Last year, I wrote a satirical post on April 1 titled “Birthright ends trips to Israel — ‘American Jews are better off imagining Israel than seeing it.’” My story included such (made up) gems as this quote from the Birthright CEO, “We finally figured it out, the best way to build support for Israel is to have as little contact with Israel as possible.”
Who could have known how right I was! Last month, Brand Israel Group released a study comparing a 2016 survey they did of Americans to one in 2010. And it turns out that their own research shows the more Americans learn about Israel, the less they support it. The internet has been a game changer. The study says Americans know more about Israel now than they did six years ago — and increasingly feel that Israel does not share their values.
Our current fundraising campaign, “They Fear The Truth: We Report It,” has been focused so far on showing how Israel lashes out to silence critics and journalists. But the survey from Brand Israel shows why they fear the truth: people who learn about Israel’s actions understandably come to reject them. And that’s the core of Mondoweiss’s mission and our daily work–the work we need you to invest in so we can continue to inform the world of Israel’s crimes.
The impact of truth-telling about Israel/Palestine is greatest among the young. Here are some of the statistics from the Brand Israel study that really stood out to me:
- The percentage of college students supportive of Israel dropped from 73% in 2010 to 54% in 2016.
- 82% of Jewish college students still support Israel—-but in 2010 this number stood at 95%!
- 13% of Jewish college students are considered “unreachable”, meaning they are fundamentally critical of Israel. This was the largest “unreachable” share of any demographic the study looked at, larger than among college students in general (11%) or the U.S. population (9%).
Of course, we can’t take all the credit for those “unreachable” students, but I think it’s fair to say that Mondoweiss has played an essential role in exposing Israel’s crimes and giving American Jews an alternative perspective on Zionism.
As Brand Israel head Fern Oppenheim put it, “The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values….The sands under our feet are shifting. It is clear that the divide in our community is here for the next generation.” Thanks, Fern. We couldn’t state more clearly why Mondoweiss is dedicated to publishing the stories that get ignored in the mainstream media.
Israel’s supporters understand clearly where and how the battle is being waged. Oppenheim said, “When [a college student] hears Israel is an apartheid state, what he’s hearing is, Israelis don’t treat people the way we do. This is a fight about values, morality and the humanity of Israeli society. These kids… they’re thinking Israelis are not like us.” That’s exactly right. And Mondoweiss is here to point out the bankrupt values, lack of morality and inhumanity of Israeli society simply by reporting the truth. It’s simple–but it’s necessary.
When the opposition recognizes your work as their most urgent threat, it’s a moment to celebrate– and a moment to double down. Mondoweiss works with allies and partners throughout Palestinian, Israeli, and U.S. sectors of the movement for Palestinian human rights. We are proud that together, we are making an impact. And we ask for your support so that our part of the struggle–telling the truth, over and over–will continue to strike fear in the hearts of Israel’s apologists.
They fear the truth. We report it. Please contribute today so that we can keep them shaking in their shoes.