Despite the adoption of the new fake definition of anti-Semitism and the
attempt to depict anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic, the truth has a way of getting
through. The American Jewish community
is the most valuable to Israel, since it does its diplomatic bidding as well as
helping to fund the pariah state.
What a surprise it must therefore be to Israel’s veteran propagandists,
the Hasbarists who cry ‘anti-Semitism’ at the drop of a hat, that young
American Jews no longer feel an affinity with Zionism and Israel’s racial
nationalism. Settling other people’s
land, seeing the vast disparity between poor Palestinian peasants and the rich
and lush settlements isn’t a winner amongst progressive young
racially pure Israel and building a 3rd temple as the way to
encourage the return of the Messiah doesn’t hold too much attraction to secular
John Hagee of Christian United for Israel isn’t a vote winner either.
savvy when you treat Palestinians as the untermenschen
isn’t necessarily a winner. The author Amanda Borschel-Dan observes that just because the
Angel of Death in Auschwitz, Dr Joseph Mengele, was a brilliant scientist,
doesn’t mean that the Nazis were attractive.
I suspect that if I had made this analogy the cacophony of Zionist propagandists.
something good about Israel and therefore settles for the aid given to Syrian
fighters as an example of Israeli selflessness.
The problem is that these Syrians are Jihadist murderers of Ahrar al
Sham and al-Nusra. What is more
pertinent is that Israel has refused to take a single Syrian refugee because
non-Jewish refugees are a threat to Israel’s racial purity.
the millions of dollars invested in pro-Israel propaganda, you cannot beautify
an ugly duckling or a detestable regime.
Group raises the alarm on a widening gap in the US between older supporters and
the increasingly pro-Palestinian next generation
describe a typical Italian house. Words like “lush, food, cooking, maternal, welcoming” quickly rolled of the
tongue. The same group was asked about an Israeli home and a very different
vibe was described: “concrete, strict,
ultra-religious, middle-aged ultra-Orthodox men.”
of Israel in the American psyche. The unanimous perception was a
conflict-driven country filled with religious fundamentalists.
who commissioned the study now falls under the Brand Israel Group (BIG) rubric.
While each member of this heterogeneous Mad Men coalition had his or her own
reasons for wishing to change Americans’ innate view of Israel, for Fern
Oppenheim, co-founder of Brand Israel Group, her tipping point came after the
September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks.
sense of Jewish security that day. “I
never thought I’d smell smoke living in New York,” she said in Jerusalem
In this September 11, 2001, file photo, thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center towers stood. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)
skills — behind Israel. With her extensive marketing and management background
at such companies as Kraft/General Foods, Oppenheim began to use her
professional prowess to help the Jewish state, which she calls “the canary in
the coal mine.”
typical “shooting from the hip,” said Oppenheim, the high-level marketing execs
“rolled up their sleeves to get a
research-based understanding” of mainstream Americans’ perceptions of Israel,
and only then to create a strategy based on their research.
large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a followup in 2016. For anyone with
the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support is
Relationship,” Oppenheim repeatedly used the word “devastating” — each time without hyperbole.
At UOIT outside Toronto, Students for Justice in Palestine activists staff their information table, 2016 (UOIT’s SJP chapter Facebook page)
The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college
students are the leading defectors from Israel support.
of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values’
Israel; rather, they begin with misperceptions and negative assumptions. This
creates “fertile ground” for delegitimization, said Oppenheim, who also spoke
this week at the prestigious annual Herzliya Conference.
depicting the Israel beyond the conflict — specifically, highlighting high-tech
achievements — is not effective. In fact, the more the study participants knew
about Israel, the less favorably they felt about the country.
of Israel has increased 14 percentage points nationally (from 23% to 37%) and
is up among every demographic group (except for college students, where it is
down 16 percentage points, from 50% to 34%). These increases, however, have not
translated into increased favorability, which is down 14 percentage points
(from 76% to 62%) nationally and by large margins across the board.
|Fern Oppenheim, the co-founder of Brand Israel Group, ‘The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls.’ (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)|
paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing
hearts and souls,” she said.
Israel, the camera needs to be pulled back to show the full face of the country
and its people, she said. When Israel is an issue, and not a country filled
with an incredibly diverse population, the field is open for boycott campaigns
and other delegitimizing efforts.
bedrock of the American-Israeli relationship. Without this connection, the
future of the alliance is in jeopardy,” claims the BIG group. And the
biggest value gap is between core Israel supporters — basically older,
wealthier, more conservative, whiter Americans — and those who are labeled as “at-risk” — younger, minorities,
potential Jewish leadership. Between the 2010 and the 2016 surveys, Jewish
college students dropped 27 percentage points on the question of whether they
lean towards the Israeli side.
between the ultra-liberal Jewish college student and Israel.
|On December 15, 2015, more than 300 Jewish activists in Boston marched for the Black Lives Matter movement, including members of Jewish Voice for Peace (photo credit: Ignacio Laguarda/Wicked Local)|
of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge!
Devastating,” she said.
anti-Semitism; of that bunch, 59% say it was related to anti-Israel attitudes.
But these experiences generally do not sway their opinions of Israel.
college student is the only group more favorable to Palestinians” now, rising
18 percentage points between 2010 and 2016, she said.
conversations about Israel, she said. Instead, the “atmosphere is oppressor versus victim. Israel is just another symbol
to reach these students’ hearts. Using a morbid example, she said, “No one didn’t think that [Nazi “Angel of
Death” Josef] Mengele wasn’t a brilliant scientist. But he was a monster. We
need to drill down that Israelis are people” — not just high-tech geniuses.
defined by its detractors,” she emphasized.
decency, morality and the diversity of the Israeli society in general — and in
the context of the conflict — to be heard.
to Israel “because Israel is too decent
to turn her away. People need to know this,” said Oppenheim.
number of people who visit Israel at a younger age, and even starting prophylactic
Birthright-Taglit trips before university.
under our feet are shifting,” said Oppenheim. “It is clear that the divide in
our community is here for the next generation.”