A Pew Report and its Implications
May 10, 2013
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I was sent the following link to a very important study by my friend Geoff Boner in Israel: http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/05/09/despite-their-wide-differences-many-israelis-and-palestinians-want-bigger-role-for-obama-in-resolving-conflict/. It is a must read!
This is my response:
If I had to explain it in the West I would point to the following:
- The Palistinians have a simple story to sell – victimhood – which fits into apartheid and civil rights memes.
- There is a well-funded very energetic network of Western leftwing activists selling propaganda to a gullible and well-primed public.
- Much of academia in the humanities is dominated by “leftwing progressives” who easily buy into an anti-West/anti-Colonial/anti-Israel narrative.
- Success equals evil in the eyes of many of the above groups – Jews and Israel are successful.
- The media story is heavily biased towards the above narratives for a host of reasons.
- Persisting antisemitism especially in European countries. Places like China are contaminated by this.
- Israeli failure to take the public narrative seriously and to put resources and imagination into a counter-offensive.
- Israeli “mistakes” which while generally no worse than other democratic countries play into the hands of the anti-Israel narrative.
- Nincompoops and over-reactors among a few Israeli supporters who feed into anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice. Eg. mocking Hawking’s disabilities. How stupid can one get!!?
- Ignorance – the results in the West would be different amongst the political leadership in my view – but leaders must take note of opinion on the street.
In Arab-Muslim countries the story is different.
Could Israel change these trends? I’m not sure but she is really not trying, relying almost completely on hard economic and military power. Probably a bad idea in the long run and intensely irritating for those of us in the Diaspora who have been trying to lend our support.
What do you think?