A recent article by John Gerzema included some revealing poll data related to worldwide perception of the Jewish people in the context of how the media is reporting the Israel-Palestinian conflict.|
Mr. Gerzema and his research team have "expertise and experience in understanding people -- their perceptions, their motivations, and their behavior." The team, which usually focuses on consumer-related issues, conducted an international survey of attitudes towards Israel and the Jewish people. They spoke with 4,756 people in samples from Paris, Lyon, Toronto, New York, San Francisco, London, and Madrid.
The survey results showed negative beliefs about Jews in general corresponded strongly with negative opinions about Israel, i.e., anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Conversely, when people supported Israel, they were much less likely to voice anti-Semitic views when questioned by our pollsters. According to Gerzema, "The data supports the anecdotal reports that when Israel is in the news, especially as it uses force to defend itself, negative feelings toward Jews may be inflamed."
When they asked the survey respondents to read an unbiased report on the ongoing events in Israel and Gaza they found expressions of anti-Jewish feelings decline:
- Those who told the surveyors they were "somewhat open" to new information moved from a 14 percent to 25 percent likelihood of sympathizing with Israel;
- Those that were "very open" moved from 35 percent to 42 percent likelihood of sympathizing with Israel
Concluded the researchers, "We saw related reductions in the number of people who said they had negative thoughts about Jews in general" when the media reported the facts in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
However the media -- BBC, CNN, NBC News, New York Times, Russia Today, Al-Jazeera, the Guardian, and many other outlets -- continue to spin the facts in their own biased direction.
The surveyors reported anti-Semitism in the countries surveyed to be "stubborn, deep-seeded [sic] and chronic." The only way to turn the tide is for the media to start reporting the facts about Israel and the Jewish people. It's difficult to force these outlets to report the truth, but we can't give up. Our lives depend on it.