Most US Jewish students don’t see Israel as ‘civilized’ or a ‘democracy,’ Luntz tells secret anti-BDS conference

Activism
on 36 Comments

Here’s the story in Hebrew. In a nutshell:

Minister Gilad Erdan has organized a secret conference in Jerusalem, with 150 top supporters of Israel. American right wing pollster Frank Luntz [who has earlier stated that Zionism is becoming a dirty word for US elites] presented statistics:

– The Ministry of Tourism’s attempt to market Israel as a cool destination (girls and bikinis) has failed.

– Jewish American students have an increasingly negative image of Israel:

-Just 42% believe Israel wants peace.

-Just 38% believe “Israel is civilized and Western”.

-Just 31% believe Israel is a democracy.

– No less than 21% believe the US should side with the Palestinians.

The new, or not so new, agenda put forward by Luntz and co: Israel’s supporters should say that they are in favour of a dialogue and peace-building through diplomacy, and accuse BDS supporters of obstructing dialogue, and spreading hate.

36 Responses

  1. diasp0ra
    February 22, 2016, 11:39 am

    So are the usual suspects going to come out of the woodworks and say that all of this is nothing?

    Israel is even alienating the US Jewish population. That takes skill. The dominoes are going to start dropping on Israel within the next decade. I don’t believe there is anything Israel can do to stop it at this point.

    Make your transition to an egalitarian democracy for all now before it’s too late. Transition from a position of strength before transition is forced upon you and more blood is shed.

  2. rugal_b
    February 22, 2016, 11:48 am

    Can’t blame the students, most went through heavy indoctrination from birth with Zionist ideals that mostly were fascist and neocolonialist with Judaism and Jewishness as a facade. Only need to spot one lie before the whole narrative coming undone, making these student end up being even more anti Zionist compared to the average progressive, considering the betrayal of trust and dishonesty they suffered in the hands of pro-Zionist Jews from their previous generation.

    • Mooser
      February 22, 2016, 12:49 pm

      “Only need to spot one lie before the whole narrative coming undone,”

      And then ‘boom’ away goes all those “predetermined qualities”, and a new critical thinker emerges!

      • eljay
        February 23, 2016, 10:00 am

        || Mooser: … And then ‘boom’ away goes all those “predetermined qualities”, and a new critical thinker emerges! ||

        The idea of predetermined qualities going away suggests change and – as we all know – a tiger cannot change its stripes. Instead, the predetermined qualities remain; but now instead of making the person a fervent Zionist, they make him a critical thinker.

        Ecce homo, ergo elk.

      • Mooser
        February 23, 2016, 12:19 pm

        “Ecce homo, ergo elk.”

        And you know how I feel about them. Elk, faugh!

  3. eljay
    February 22, 2016, 11:52 am

    -Just 38% believe “Israel is civilized and Western”.

    Yeah, but what’s the percentage of people who believe Israel isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes” ? It must be quite a bit higher…and that’s gotta count for something!

    • aloeste
      February 22, 2016, 3:16 pm

      what percent believe Palestine is ‘western and civilized’ ?

      • diasp0ra
        February 22, 2016, 3:55 pm

        @aloeste

        What does that have to do with anything?

        Israel is losing a critical part of its support base in the US public. That’s what this article about. The state that claims to represent all Jews is losing the support of those Jews it claims to represent.

        How do you not understand this? Year after year, support dwindling from every area? How do you keep so stubborn and uncritical? You’re on the wrong side of history, it’s just a shame you can’t see that today. But you will with time.

      • Mooser
        February 22, 2016, 6:02 pm

        “what percent believe Palestine is ‘western and civilized’”

        Everybody knows the penalty for being insufficiently ‘western and civilized’ is being colonized, murdered, and dispossessed by Zionist Jews. That’s just the way the world works.

        So everybody on your best “western and civilized” behaviors!

      • DaBakr
        February 23, 2016, 2:17 am

        @dsp

        “What does that have to do with anything”?. Obviously in the cult you adhere to it means absolutely nothing. correlation is meaningless as well. and when the job of didactic scold doesn’t cut it the explcaters of moral relativism are there to sooth any ruffled feathers.

        Aside from that the question joining the phrase “civilized” & “western” should be asked separateley as one does not necessarily equate with the other.(unless of course if it was meant to provoke a certain response by connecting the two.

      • diasp0ra
        February 23, 2016, 4:48 am

        @DB

        Aww, I’m in a cult now? Quite interesting.

        No. It’s whataboutery and has nothing to do with what was being talked about. As usual, when any criticism is levied against Israel people try and change the subject to other nations that have nothing to do with the article/question at hand.

        You’re losing your power base in the US, are they all a part of cultish thinking as well? Seems the whole world will soon be in a cult and Israel is the only non cult nation. Keep sticking your head in the sand. It has helped immensely.

      • talknic
        February 24, 2016, 2:44 am

        aloeste drops a wad of typical putrid Ziowhataboutery.
        So predictable
        So cute
        So what difference would it make aloeste?
        Would Israel suddenly after 68 years start to adhere to International Law?
        Would it suddenly and for the first time ever withdraw from all non-Israeli territories taking its illegal settlers?
        Would it suddenly write a constitution and for the first time have a legally elected government, under the required constitution promised its citizens and the world’s Jews?

    • German Lefty
      February 22, 2016, 4:21 pm

      Yeah, but what’s the percentage of people who believe Israel isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes” ?

      I totally agree. Just because most US Jews don’t view Israel as civilized and Western, doesn’t mean that they don’t love Israel. They probably love Israel despite these negative features.

      • MHughes976
        February 23, 2016, 8:12 am

        Palestine is in fact a highly civilised place and has been at least since it acquired its rather beautiful indoeuropean name around 1200 BCE, becoming a meeting place for many ideas and cultures,,but many people have been trained to see it as a heart of darkness. Aloeste may be right say that despite making the positive judgement that Israel is eastern and barbarous people may still make the comparative judgement that Palestine has these same qualities only more so. This may, despite Luntz’s gloss, mean that they support Israel as much the lesser evil. This kind of support is weak and half-hearted compared to to support based on full scale identification but it may take a long time to erode completely: so I wouldn’t share Luntz’s (from his viewpoint) pessimism in the short term.
        GL makes a somewhat different point, that some people (mainly not Jewish, I would think) may be saying ‘This is eastern barbarism and we want part of it!’, which may well be true.

      • Ellen
        February 23, 2016, 1:19 pm

        If so, the point is they cannot go on loving a myth sold to them.

        Today’s world is much smaller than their parent’s world. Other than as a curiosity through a peep hole, the Israel project will not be an easy sell in the near future.

        The entire Middle East, including Israel, is not sustainable under the current status quo upholding, for example, Qatar, KSA and Israel, etc.

  4. broadside
    February 22, 2016, 3:24 pm

    History repeats. In the south, during the Revolutionary War, there were, in the same family, loyalists (fathers) and separatists (sons). We all know who won, but without guns — and w the press not for but against — it’s going to take much much much much longer.

  5. MHughes976
    February 22, 2016, 4:24 pm

    I don’t know what Mr,Luntz has discovered concerning non-Jewish students. I’m writing this on the way home from the opening event in London Israel Apartheid Week, Malia Bouattia of (I think) the National Union of Students spoke of increasing BDS support in the UK student world – and certainly if the atmosphere was in even a slight degree representative of UK student opinion and if American students, who after all have the same facts to study as their British counterparts, have anything like the same sentiments, Luntz’s discoveries would be distressing to his hosts, The other speakers were Rafeef Ziadar on behalf of Palestinian Prisoners and, to wild applause, Steven Salaita, who explained a strategy (which maybe I didn’t quite follow) for impressing on those with a ‘visceral’ attachment to Zionism that they could never be comfortable with repressive Israel because the repressed always returns, I’m pleased to have seen him in the flesh – he’s a powerful and entertaining speaker.

  6. Boomer
    February 22, 2016, 4:43 pm

    Re: “The new, or not so new, agenda put forward by Luntz and co: Israel’s supporters should say that they are in favour of a dialogue and peace-building through diplomacy, and accuse BDS supporters of obstructing dialogue, and spreading hate.”

    yeah, it’s “not so new”

  7. dx
    February 23, 2016, 2:32 am

    Boycotting something is and historically has been an acceptable non-violent form of protest. For instance, when the Europeans started labeling goods from the occupied territories, I saw several articles in the Israeli press in which Israelis vowed to boycott European goods in response to the European actions.

    So apparently, it’s okay for Israelis to boycott whatever they choose, but no one can boycott anything Israeli because that is anti-semitic? Now who’s using a double standard?

    Israel cannot save itself with slogans and PR.

  8. Nevada Ned
    February 23, 2016, 5:43 am

    Thanks for a valuable story..

    I’d like to know when this secret meeting occurred. This week? Last month? Last year?

    Who was there at the meeting?

    Supposedly it was as secret meeting, but somebody leaked it. Obviously.

    The Israelis and their supporters and defenders are in trouble, and they know it. They’re looking for a way out.

    Nothing in this story convinces me that they have found a way out.

    Instead, I have a feeling of deja vu. Every year or so, we have a story that Israel is losing support, even among its supporters. They bring in propagandists, and “branding” experts, and pollsters and advertisers, etc etc, but Israel’s reputation continues to decline. Despite all their efforts. In the past, Israel and their supporters fought back by smearing critics of Israel as anti-Semites (etc) but that didn’t work on Jimmy Carter (Palestine Peace not Apartheid) and it didn’t work on Mearsheimer and Walt either.

    Here’s a related story….
    If you find the wikipedia entry for “Charlotte Beers” you will find the story of a power PR executive who tried from 2001-2003 to “sell” US policy to Moslems. She failed (after spending $15M) just like other campaigns. Moslems around the world didn’t buy it. Just like (most) Christians and Jews aren’t buying it.

    • Ellen
      February 23, 2016, 1:34 pm

      Charlotte Beers! Amazing you mention her name. I knew her appointment was a disaster when Colin Powell stated that if she was the ad exec. who got him to buy uncle Bens rice, she could sell US policy to the Arab world.

      Eye roll…… Take a shot….shake the head.

      It only showed what a pathetic bubble these movers and shakers lived in. And she was a federal appointee!

      No wonder the US Middle East policy is a disaster of epic scale.

      “SHE got me to buy Uncle Ben’s rice,” said Colin Powell, America’s secretary of state, early last year as he defended his appointment of Charlotte Beers as chief spin-doctor. The 66-year-old Texan steel magnolia dresses her poodle in sweaters, flirts with company bosses and is lauded ….”

      The Economist

  9. Nevada Ned
    February 23, 2016, 5:52 am

    I forgot to mention one other way in which the Israelis and their supporters are fighting back:
    they’re hiring agents to monitor social media (such as Mondoweiss) and try to disrupt the discussion.

    Regular readers of Mondoweiss recognize a troll when they see one.

    • Mooser
      February 23, 2016, 11:24 am

      “hey’re hiring agents to monitor social media (such as Mondoweiss) and try to disrupt the discussion.”

      So they register at Mondo, and start shooting in comments, supplying a steady stream of the high-quality nutrients web-sites live on. Of course, they evoke a lot of replies, and up go the stats some more. It’s a fiendishly cunning plan, sure to work! Zionism is in good hands.

  10. RobertHenryEller
    February 23, 2016, 9:18 am

    “The new, or not so new, agenda put forward by Luntz and co: Israel’s supporters should say that they are in favour of a dialogue and peace-building through diplomacy, and accuse BDS supporters of obstructing dialogue, and spreading hate.”

    In other words, just continue to kick the same old turd-filled can down the street.

    Because “dialogue” and “peace-building through diplomacy” has worked so well with the Israelis up till now, right?

    What the Israelis practice is “lie-alogue” and settlement-building through diplomacy.

  11. lysias
    February 23, 2016, 9:59 am

    On Max Blumenthal’s Twitter:

    McGill BDS [email protected] 16h16 hours ago
    We have made history today. With a vote of 512 in favour, BDS passes at McGill

  12. hophmi
    February 23, 2016, 10:14 am

    None of this is surprising. Students have been exposed to a nasty, in-your-face, fictitious BDS campaign for years now that has worked to demonize pro-Israel students and exclude pro-Israel voices from campus, while at the same time claiming victimhood. BDS is the #makeantisemitismgreatagain campaign.

    • Mooser
      February 23, 2016, 1:25 pm

      “Hophmi”! I just read a very interesting comment, from “lysias”:

      “On Max Blumenthal’s Twitter:

      McGill BDS [email protected] 16h16 hours ago
      We have made history today. With a vote of 512 in favour, BDS passes at McGill”

      – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

    • Boo
      February 23, 2016, 2:29 pm

      Well, son of Phonyhas, even if your characterization were true it would merely be a case of fighting napalm with fire.

    • eljay
      February 24, 2016, 7:36 am

      || hophmi: None of this is surprising. Students have been exposed to a nasty, in-your-face, fictitious BDS campaign for years now that has worked to demonize pro-Israel students and exclude pro-Israel voices from campus, while at the same time claiming victimhood. … ||

      Says the “shoot-and-cry” Zio-supremacist who:
      – advocates and defends Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
      – justifies and excuses the past and on-going (war) crimes of his co-collectivists and his oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent and religion-supremacist state.

      The BDS campaign may be fictitious, but the injustices and immorality of Zio-supremacism and the “Jewish State” project are very real.

  13. Kay24
    February 23, 2016, 11:26 am

    Finally Soda Stream admits BDS has worked. Even Johansson could not stop the boycotts, SS had to bow down to the pressure. Great!

    “Later that year, SodaStream announced plans to close its West Bank factory and move its operations to the Naqab (Negev) region of present-day Israel. At the time, SodaStream claimed the move was for “purely commercial” reasons.

    But after months of plummeting revenues and share prices, even business publications placed the move squarely in the context of BDS. “SodaStream closing West Bank factory targeted by Boycotts in ScarJo Split,” a Bloomberg headline stated.”

    link to electronicintifada.net

  14. eljay
    February 23, 2016, 11:40 am

    … “We didn’t leave Mishor Adumim because of BDS, we had a consolidation plan and we simply ran out of room for expansion there,” Birnbaum said. “However, if it wasn’t for BDS, we might have stayed there another year or two, so it did have some effect. So, you can say that BDS was responsible for 500 Palestinians losing their jobs when SodaStream moved.” …

    Or, more correctly, you can say that SodaStream had already determined that it was going to wipe 500 Palestinian jobs off the map (and push them into the sea), and BDS merely accelerated the process.

  15. Citizen
    February 23, 2016, 7:42 pm

    Iceland Boycotts Israel link to shar.es via @grtvnews
    Round up of BDS wins lately: when will Americans wake UP?

  16. yourstruly
    February 24, 2016, 2:33 am

    doomsday averted

    a way way back when Jewish Zionists took over Palestine
    &, based on bronze age myths & on the Holocaust
    claimed it for themselves;
    no reason why not, they insisted
    since for a people without a land
    nothing could be more right than a land without a people (& never mind that Palestinians have comprised the majority of Palestine’s population for most of the past 2 millennia)
    besides we speak not just for ourselves but for Jews everywhere
    so you owe us, lantsmen
    your money
    your influence
    your unquestioning support
    which the Zionists {Jewish nationalists} got,
    at least initially and for several decades thereafter,
    except, that is, for a few holdouts who refused to forsake the time
    honored Jewish tradition of always being on the side of the oppressed, never on the side of the oppressor,
    and as the oppression of Palestinians by Zionists intensified,
    more and more people, Jews included, took note of the crimes against Palestinians that were being committed in the name of world Jewry.
    but refusing to be complicit in these crimes, increasing numbers of Jews took to voicing the words “Not in Our Name.”
    soon this message represented the sentiment of a majority of Jews, especially, but not limited to its youth,
    after which, Israel’s days were numbered, as this turnabout coincided with a mass uprising (the ultimate Intifada) of the Palestinian people.
    and that’s how the long sought justice for Palestine was attained. Once this happened it didn’t take long for justice and peace to envelop the world

  17. Kay24
    February 24, 2016, 2:36 am

    Perhaps young American Jews have heard too much, and seen enough, from Nutty yahoo. The interfering, the manipulation of our political system, the disrespect for the President, the constant whining for more aid and weapons.

    Apparently the Master Manipulator also used Italy to pressure the US on those darn illegal settlements.

    “Wikileaks: Netanyahu used Italy to pressure US on Illegal Squatter Settlements in Palestine ”

    link to juancole.com

  18. Kathleen
    February 24, 2016, 8:31 am

    One can only hope, pray and keep pushing hard that the truth (the facts on the ground) really hurts the apartheid state of Israel.

  19. Sally Parker
    February 27, 2016, 11:44 am

    It’s amazing that one Jewish student in every five wants America to side with Palestinians. Do you have a link to this survey that I could site?

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