Reuters is reporting that young people, outraged over Gaza, are rejecting Washington’s “reflexive support” of Israel. A recent opinion poll released on July 28, 2014 by the Pew Research Center demonstrated clearly that it is getting more difficult for corporations, lobbyists and governments to influence the beliefs of young people because young people don’t watch television news. They are more likely to get their news from Facebook, twitter, instagram, buzzfeed and other alternative sources of direct information. They are looking at live coverage of world events directly from the people who are there, and asking for more information from knowledgeable people online rather than relying on mass media or government statements.
“While all age groups north of 30 years old clearly blame Hamas more than Israel for the current violence, young adults buck the trend in a big way. Among 18 to 29-year olds, 29 percent blame Israel more for the current wave of violence, while 21 percent blame Hamas,” reports Aaron Blake in the Washington Post.
“Latest Gallup poll shows young Americans overwhelmingly support Palestine,” concludes the latest Gallop poll also,” reports mondoweiss.net. “Most support for Israel comes from ages 50 and up.”
Women who say “Israeli actions are unjustified” outnumber the pro-Israel female by 44 to 33 percent. Nonwhite, by 49 to 25 percent. That’s two-to-one, reflecting the attitudes of the young, reports mondoweiss. 18 to 29-year-olds regard Israel’s actions as “unjustified” by 51 to 25 percent. Among 30-49 year olds, 43 compared to 36 percent view Israel’s attacks as unjustified.
The Pew study reveals that most Americans have absorbed the Israeli narrative or else are just confused about the situation. Even so, when asked who is to blame for the violence in Gaza, far more young people blame Israel than Hamas for the violence. Why? Because Israel is the entity causing the violence. How do the youth know more than their parents? Because they saw the photos of Palestinian babies with their brains oozing out of their cracked skulls circulating on the internet – they are fully aware of who is bombing whom. By contrast, Americans over the age of 65 think that Hamas is at fault for the current violence by 53 vs 15 percent. Since 2006, the number of people who “don’t know” if Israel has gone too far has increased from 14 to 25 percent while those who think Israel has acted rightly has decreased from 44 to 35 percent.
David Palumbo-Liu, the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor at Stanford University on salon.com also notes that the American understanding of history is shifting:
“International support for Israel is ebbing because the Holocaust narrative can no longer offer an omnipotent shield against a critique of the second narrative regarding the founding of the state of Israel. Israel is in fact risking losing the narrative war altogether, as more and more of the global public is asking questions that probe into that history, prompted by the evidence of Israeli’s current efforts to continue and expand Israeli power and land, efforts that are now increasingly regarded not as survival tactics but as violent colonial ones. In sum, there is now a widening band of light in between the heretofore seamless merger of the Holocaust and founding narratives, resulting in a weakening of the former in its capacity to act as an alibi for the latter. Again, this is especially important with regard to the U.S., which has been the world’s most generous supporter of Israel. More and more younger Americans, growing up well past the postwar era, find the Holocaust narrative to be less than absolutely and unquestionably a good reason to support the horrible killings in Gaza. And as they learn more, their support will wane further.”
So far, a petition entitled “Israel-Palestine: This is how it ends” on avaaz.org has gathered almost 2 million signatures.
Basically, a growing minority of Americans are starting to be willing to educate themselves about history and current events regarding Palestine, in particular, Liberal Democrats, but this change is too slow for it to impact anything on the ground. What is perhaps more likely to change facts on the ground is the fact that Americans are running out of money.
Despite unanimous resolutions passed in the Senate offering Israel emotional support regarding its “survival,” according to Burgess Everett on politico.com, “a last-ditch effort to deliver aid to Israel during its war with Hamas died on the Senate floor on July 27, as Republicans blocked the proposal over concerns that it would increase the debt,” all because they couldn’t agree on fighting wildfires vs helping stranded children vs helping Israel.
“I want to fund Israel,” replied Coburn. “I also want to make sure our children have a future.”
However, by Saturday, August 2, the bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Dailykos.com reports:
“The House, however, took a vote on it. It passed easily but not unanimously: 395 to 8. Only 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted against it.”
The four Democrats were Keith Ellison (MN-05), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Jim Moran (VA-08, and Beto O’Rourke (TX-16). The four Republicans are Justin Amash (MI-03), Walter Jones (NC-03), Tom Massie (KY-04), and Mark Sanford (SC-01).
Keith Ellison is reportedly the only member of Congress who has been calling for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza.