The conflation of a people with a nation is wrong and misleading.

by Ari Paul, FAIR

As protests erupt worldwide against Israel’s ferocious bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, which has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Palestinians (Reuters11/6/23), US media ponder how all of this impacts Jewish people. Sadly, the way this is often framed completely mischaracterizes Jewish opinion and the pro-Israel movement, falsely acting as if Jewish opinion is unquestionably unified in support of Israeli military attacks and in opposition to Palestinian rights.

One might think corporate media might have learned better by now. The New York Times (10/27/23) reported on a massive “never again for anyone” protest at Grand Central Terminal headed by Jewish Voice for Peace. Descendants of Holocaust survivors were arrested for protesting military aid to Israel at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s house (Business Insider10/14/23). More than 300 activists were arrested in Washington, DC, while calling for a ceasefire in a Capitol Hill protest organized by JVP and IfNotNow, another Jewish peace group (USA Today10/19/23).

israel flag surrounded by USA flags

CNN (10/23/23) reported, “Thousands more Jewish Americans continue to gather in protests across the United States, calling on President Joe Biden and other elected officials to rein in Israel.” Among those Jewish-led protests was one outside the Los Angeles home of Vice President Kamala Harris (LA Times10/19/23).

None of this should be surprising, as a Pew Research (5/21/21) survey “found that Jewish Americans—much like the US public overall—also hold widely differing views on Israel and its political leadership.” Younger Jews in particular are often sharply critical of Israel; a poll by the Jewish Electorate Institute (7/13/21) found that 38% of US Jews under 40 agreed that “Israel is an apartheid state,” and 33% believed it was committing genocide against Palestinians.

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