McGill Law Professor, Writing For TheConversation.com, Presents False Data To Support False Allegations Of Genocide In Gaza

March 28, 2024

Lawyers are expected to be detail-oriented and know the difference between fact and fiction. But in a recent commentary, an assistant professor of law at McGill University, appeared to have difficulty making that distinction.

In the absence of a single good argument as part of her claim that Israel is guilty of genocide, Priya Gupta, in her March 25 opinion column published by TheConversation.com, instead opted to throw as many curve balls as possible, evidently hoping that one of them will hit the strike zone.

But despite her efforts, Gupta’s column entitled: “Does the destruction of homes in Gaza constitute genocide?,” was built upon shifting sands of falsehoods and half-truths.

Gupta wrote that “Israel has destroyed more than 60 per cent of homes” in Gaza, and linked to an infographic from the United Nations. Embarrassingly for Gupta, the infographic she linked to does not actually claim that Israel has destroyed more than 60 percent of homes; it alleged that 60 percent of homes in Gaza have “reported damage,” a far cry from being destroyed.

Worse yet, the claim itself is highly questionable. In tiny letters in the infographic, readers are told that the source of that claim is “GMO,” or Gaza’s Government Media Office, operated by none other than Hamas, the genocidal Islamic terrorist organization responsible for launching and perpetuating the current war.

Gupta’s column continued by claiming that “the bombings of Gazan homes have also killed tens of thousands of Palestinians.”

At no point did Gupta acknowledge that once again, it is Hamas which is the only source of all casualty data from Gaza. Hamas pathologically lies to the public to achieve its political ends, including about explosions at hospitals in Gaza, about famine allegedly in Gaza, and about its deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians.

Moreover, Gupta did not share with readers a rather pertinent point, namely that Israel claims that more than 13,000 of the deaths in Gaza are Hamas fighters, who, as combatants, represent an eminently legitimate target in war. But by censoring any mention of those details, Gupta demonstrated exclusive trust in Hamas propaganda.

Gupta made reference to Israel’s alleged “annexation of Palestinian land,” and wrote that “the home is also essential to the preservation of Palestine as a national homeland with territorial sovereignty,” implying that there is (or was) a nation-state of Palestine with sovereign territory and borders. This is decidedly not the case.

As supposed evidence for her claim that Palestine has “territorial sovereignty,” Gupta hyperlinked to an article in the journal of “Settler Colonial Studies,” which purported to investigate “the ways in which European colonialism and Zionist settler colonialism evicted the Palestinians from humanity.”

Other than the circular reasoning presented by anti-Israel activists, Palestine has never been a sovereign state, nor is it now, pending a final-status agreement with Israel. As such, there is legally no such thing as “Palestinian land,” but land claimed by the Palestinians for a prospective future state.

Gupta’s entire column consisted of parroting unverified and overtly false claims that come directly from Hamas, all while entirely ignoring any evidence to the contrary. For its part, TheConversation.com, a news outlet which receives Canadian government funding from the Canada Periodical Fund, the government of Quebec, and scores of Canadian universities, gave her a platform to spread false information.

In her attempt to label Israel’s self-defensive actions against Hamas in Gaza as genocidal, Priya Gupta mixed blatant falsehoods with misleading statements to create an illusion of coherence, but many poor arguments cobbled together still do not make a convincing case and a cogent argument.

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