Research: Public perceptions of Israel & Jews


(1) Background

(2) Summary of research data on public perceptions of Israel: The U.S., W. Europe and beyond

(3) Research data sources, with detail

(4) Reports exposing mass incitement of hatred against Israel

(5) Examples of incitement against Israel, based on lies

(1) Background

Anti-Israel protest in London, England, 2014. From here.

When the general public in America and beyond hears the word “Israel,” many (if not most) people think of it only in the context of its ongoing, seemingly intractable conflicts with neighboring peoples. A significant sub-set of the general public — especially the young — also believes that Israel:

  • Is an illegitimate nation, imposed amid the indigenous people of the region
  • Is perpetrating widespread “human rights violations” against Palestinians
  • Poses a grave threat to world peace

These perceptions are driven by inaccurate, if not egregiously-biased, depictions in the news media, school classrooms and social media, which omit:

  • The verifiable reasons why every one of these claims is untrue
  • The fact that out of a barren desert, awash in poverty for centuries, the Jews who flocked to Israel after World War II (joining those who lived on that land for more than 3,000 years), built by hand a flourishing garden oasis of agriculture, groundbreaking innovations in medicine, technology, agriculture and other tools useful for the advancement of rational human interests
  • The fact that the Palestinian “governments” on Israel’s borders are both sworn to its destruction — and, despite their public statements to Western audiences, believe all of the land on which Israel sits is “Palestine,” and consider it their holy mission to reclaim it, by force if necessary
  • The fact that Israel is the lone refuge in the Middle East to which the LGBT community can flee, to escape the humiliating oppression and murderous terror, inflicted on them, as a matter of both state policy and cultural norms

One example of this gulf between perception and reality is the results of a survey by a professor at the University of California – Berkeley, which showed that of students who claim to be “passionate” about the issue of “Israeli occupation,” only a tiny fraction (a) knew the most basic facts about the issue, or (b) could even find the Palestinian territories on an unlabeled map.

When considered in the context of the collapse (or distortion) of history and geographic education in America and other Western nations, this is not surprising:  For example:

  • 80% of seniors at America’s most elite colleges and universities cannot pass a high school history test, yet all will be able to graduate without taking a single history class of any kind.
  • 55% of American high school seniors are “below basic” in a test of U.S. history — the lowest ranking, meaning they have not even achieved partial mastery of this knowledge; 88% score below “proficient,” the second-highest ranking. These numbers have not moved significantly since 1994.
  • 50% of Americans age 18-24 cannot locate New York state on a map; 20% cannot locate the Pacific Ocean.

A “person on the street” survey tends to support these shocking statistics:

See more research data that supports the above contentions at: “Meet Today’s Typical American” by Jon Sutz, and “America At The Precipice” – A special report by Jon Sutz.

(2) Summary of research data on public perceptions of Israel: The U.S., W. Europe and beyond

Against this disturbing backdrop, here is a summary of the research data on this page, into the misconceptions concerning Israel that are rampant in both North America and Western Europe:

  • 2012: An international survey of people in 22 nations found that Israel ranked third, behind only Iran and Pakistan, for “negative influence” on the world.
  • 2008: A survey of 15 European nations showed Israel is viewed as the #1 “threat to world peace”; these findings mirror a 2003 survey of Europeans, which produced the same result.
  • 2014: A worldwide survey reveals that Israel is viewed as one of the world’s “biggest threats to peace,” on par with Iran and North Korea.
  • 2020: 20% of those surveyed Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland claim a “Jewish cabal” runs the world; 24% believe Israel’s policies make them understand why some people hate Jews.
  • 2018: 38% of all Americans (including 55% of Democrats, and 44% of those under 35 years old) believe the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies.
  • 2017: Between the 2010-2016, the number of U.S. Jewish college students who say they they lean towards the Israeli side in the Israel-Palestinian conflict dropped 27 percentage points.
  • 2017: 31% of Jewish students at U.S. universities reported experiencing anti-Semitism; of them, 59% say it was related to anti-Israel attitudes.
  • 2019: Roughly twice as many Americans (41%) have a favorable view of the Israeli government versus the Palestinian government (19%).
  • 2019: Between 2018-2019, Americans’ support for Israel dropped more than in the past decade.
  • 2016: More Americans who identify as “liberal Democrats” support the Palestinians than Israelis; Millennials support Israelis over Palestinians by a 43%-27% margin, the narrowest range of any demographic. According to one researcher, “The future of America no longer believes that Israel shares their values.”
  • 2015: 70% of Americans view Israel favorably.

(3) Research data sources, with detail

The research data present below is in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

Hating Israel Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry, by Steven Emerson, IPT News, March 6, 2020. Excerpt:

Professional politicians say a lot of things that just aren’t true, so perhaps it’s not fair to hold others to a higher standard than the people we put in power. But when it comes to anti-Israel activists, it seems that anything goes, including claims that cross the line into outright anti-Semitism. And the bigger the whopper, the better.

Marc Lamont Hill can make the outrageous claim that Israel poisons Palestinian water and still be invited to speak at fundraisers and other events. Linda Sarsour can repeat the blood libel that Jews and Zionists justify police killings of unarmed black people in America – and worse, are responsible for them – and still get a lucrative Simon & Schuster book deal and serve as an official surrogate for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.

Her chronic displays of anti-Semitism largely are overlooked by national news outlets.

Fellow Sanders surrogate Amer Zahr can equate Israel with ISIS, a sentiment repeatedly uttered by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter directors Zahra Billoo and Hussam Ayloush, without consequence. Billoo comes right out and says she does not “believe [Israel] has a right to exist.”

She’s still CAIR’s top official in the San Francisco Bay area.

Their obsessive focus on Israel is telling. China is imprisoning and indoctrinating 1 million Muslims. Syria has spent years engaging in mass murder of hundreds of thousands of its own people and displacing millions more, numbers exponentially greater than Palestinian casualties in all the wars and conflicts with Israel. But thus far, none of these activists have advocated ending these, or any other states. Just the world’s lone Jewish state.

And that brings us to a protest held Sunday in front of the White House. A small group met for the anti-Israel group Al-Awda: The Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees’ “national rally to support Palestine and protest AIPAC.” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was holding its annual convention a short distance away.

1 in 5 Europeans says secret Jewish cabal runs the world, survey finds, by Cnaan Liphshiz, Jerusalem Post, February 26, 2020. Excerpt:

In each of the countries polled, a representative sample of 1,000 adults was presented with 45 questions or statements in face-to-face interviews about Jews and Israel.

PARIS – A secret network of Jews influences global political and economic affairs.

That’s the feeling among a fifth of the 16,000 respondents to a survey among Europeans from 16 countries. The same number also agreed with the statement that “Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own needs.”

The survey was presented Monday at a conference about antisemitism organized in Paris by the European Jewish Association. It was conducted in December and January in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland, among other countries.

Other findings:

      • A quarter of respondents agreed with the statement that Israel’s policies make them understand why some people hate Jews.
      • More than a quarter concurred with the statement that “Israel is engaged in legitimate self defense against its enemies.” A quarter of respondents disagreed and 46% did not express a position.
      • More than a third agreed with the assertion that “During World War II, people from our nation suffered as much as Jews.”

Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish Deputies for those who oppose antisemitism, in Parliament Square in London. (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)

In Survey, UC Berkeley Prof. Finds Most Students ‘Passionate’ About ‘Israeli Occupation’ Can’t Find Palestinian Territories on Map, The Algemeiner, November 27, 2019. Excerpt:

Most students who care strongly about the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories” do not have knowledge of basic facts surrounding the subject, and do not share similar concerns about other geopolitical conflicts, a recent study has suggested.

The survey, carried out among 230 undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley, was conducted by Ron Hassner, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Israel Studies at the school who published an essay on his results on Monday.

Pro-Israel Student Group ‘Silenced’ at Williams; The student government at Williams College drew the ire of the college president and national organizations for rejecting official recognition of a student group supportive of Israel, by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Inside Higher Ed, May 9, 2019. Excerpt:

Members of a pro-Israel group at Williams College had everything in order to be recognized by the student government, including a constitution and signatures of support from their peers.

But when the time came for the Williams’s College Council to vote on the Williams Initiative for Israel’s affiliation with the college last month, it rejected the organization in a 13 to 8 vote, with one abstention. The council seemingly did so on the basis of not agreeing with the mission or perceived politics of the organization, also known as WIFI.

A new perspective on Americans’ views of Israelis and Palestinians, by Carroll Doherty, Pew Research Center, April 24, 2019. Excerpt:

Among the public overall, larger shares have favorable opinions of both the Israeli people (64% very or somewhat favorable) and the Israeli government (41%) than of the Palestinian people (46%) and the Palestinian government (19%).

In last year’s survey, more Americans (46%) said they sympathized more with Israel, compared with 16% who sympathized more with the Palestinians; another 5% volunteered their sympathies were with both sides and 14% volunteered neither side, while nearly one-in-five (19%) did not express an opinion.

New poll: Americans’ support for Israel falls to lowest point in a decade; Gallup survey finds Republican sympathy for Israel declined 13% over the last year, while Democratic sympathy dropped by 6%, by Eric Cortellessa, Times of Israel, March 6, 2019. Excerpt:

Support for Israel in the American public is at its lowest point in a decade, according new Gallup poll released Wednesday, with a whopping decline among self-identified Republicans who said they sympathized more with Israelis than Palestinians.

Whereas 65 percent of Americans said they were “more sympathetic” to Israel over the Palestinians in 2018, 59% said the same in 2019, marking a six point drop. That decline is the biggest over a one-year period in the history of the poll, which began in 2001.

The number of Americans who said they sympathized more with the Palestinians, however, went unchanged during the last year, remaining at 21 percent.

Americans are increasingly critical of Israel, by Shibley Telhami, Brookings Institution, Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Excerpt:

[T]here is a growing sense that the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies: 38 percent of all Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of those under 35 years old), say the Israeli government has too much influence on the U.S. government, compared with 9 percent who say it has “too little influence” and 48 percent who say it has “about the right level of influence.” While the number of Jewish participants in the sample (115) is too small to generalize with confidence, it is notable that their views fall along the same lines of the national trend: 37 percent say Israel has too much influence, 54 percent say it has the right level, and 7 percent say it has too little influence.

‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students; Brand Israel Group raises the alarm on a widening gap in the US between older supporters and the increasingly pro-Palestinian next generation, by Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel, June 21, 2017. Excerpt:

According to the report’s executive summary, since 2010, claimed knowledge of Israel has increased 14 percentage points nationally (from 23% to 37%) and is up among every demographic group (except for college students, where it is down 16 percentage points, from 50% to 34%). These increases, however, have not translated into increased favorability, which is down 14 percentage points (from 76% to 62%) nationally and by large margins across the board.

5 facts about how Americans view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by Samantha Smith and Carroll Doherty, Pew Research, May 23, 2016. Excerpts:

(1) Views of Israel and the Palestinians have become more ideologically polarized.

In early September 2001, just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there were only modest partisan and ideological differences in Israeli-Palestinian sympathies. But since then, and especially over the past decade, the share sympathizing more with Israel than with the Palestinians has increased among all ideological groups, with the exception of liberal Democrats.

(4) There is a growing generation gap in Mideast sympathies. A decade ago, Millennials and older generations held similar views on the Israel-Palestinian dispute. But today, Millennials are less likely than older Americans to sympathize more with Israel, and more likely to sympathize more with the Palestinians.

Millennials are the only generational cohort in which fewer than half (43%) sympathize more with Israel. And about a quarter of Millennials (27%) sympathize more with the Palestinians, the highest share of any generation.

Seven in 10 Americans Continue to View Israel Favorably, by Lydia Saad, Gallup, February 23, 2015. Excerpt:

Even as relations between the leaders of Israel and the United States reportedly deteriorate over disagreement about how to handle Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has retained its broadly favorable image in the U.S. over the past year. Seventy percent of Americans now view that country favorably, and 62% say they sympathize more with the Israelis than the Palestinians in the Mideast conflict. By contrast, 17% currently view the Palestinian Authority favorably, and 16% sympathize more with the Palestinians. […]

Democrats’ support for Israel has also risen since 2000, but not quite as sharply as Republicans’. Additionally, the percentage of Democrats sympathizing with Israel fell 10 points this year to 48%, possibly reflecting the tension between Obama and Netanyahu.

A new poll says these nations are the top 4 threats to world peace. Guess who’s number one, by Sarah Wolfe, GlobalPost, January 3, 2014. Excerpt:

US President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize four years ago. Today, the country he leads is seen — according to a new poll — as the biggest threat to world peace.

The global survey, conducted by WIN/Gallup International, polled residents in 68 countries on everything from the global economy to politics and living conditions.

According to the poll, 24 percent of the surveyed countries ranked the United States as the greatest threat to world peace today, followed by Pakistan at 8 percent, China at 6 percent and four countries (Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea) tied at 5 percent.

Israel ranked third behind Iran and Pakistan for ‘negative influence’ in BBC survey; Americans buck the global trend with increasingly positive attitude to Israel, Times Of Israel, May 17, 2012. Excerpt:

Israel, along with North Korea, ranks third behind only Iran and Pakistan in the latest annual Country Ratings Poll of the BBC World Service. Bucking the global norm, a growing proportion of Americans — 50% in the latest survey — have a favorable view of Israel in 2012.

The 22-country survey, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA among 24,090 people around the world, asked respondents to rate whether the influence of each of 16 countries and the EU is “mostly positive” or “mostly negative.” The most negatively rated countries were, as in previous years, Iran (55% negative), Pakistan (51% negative), and Israel and North Korea (both 50% negative).

Israel Troubled by Poll Calling It A Threat to World Peace, by Julie Stahl, CNS News, July 7, 2008. Excerpt:

The Israeli government, American Jewish groups, and the head of the European Commission have expressed serious concerns about the results of a recent poll in which a majority of Europeans said they believed that Israel posed more of a threat to world peace than any other nation. […]

Respondents were given a list of 15 countries and asked if each country was a “threat to world peace.”

Fifty-nine percent – the highest percentage – said they believed Israel to be such a threat, while 53 percent viewed the U.S., Iran and North Korea as a threat to world peace.

European poll calls Israel a big threat to world peace, by Thomas Fuller, New York Times, October 31, 2003. Excerpt:

Almost 60 percent of Europeans say that Israel is a larger threat to world peace than North Korea, Iran or Afghanistan, according to a poll scheduled to be made public Monday by the European Commission. The result from a survey of about 7,500 people across the European Union was confirmed Thursday by an official at the commission.

(4) Reports exposing mass incitement of hatred against Israel

Palestinian Leaders Use Coronavirus to Attack Israel, by Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, March 20, 2020. Excerpt:

  • On March 18, Israel delivered hundreds of kits for detecting the coronavirus into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, together with equipment for medical protection. This is the same Gaza Strip from which Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have been firing thousands of rockets at Israel for the past few years, and launching party-balloons carrying hidden bombs as recently as last week. In February alone, more than 40 rockets were launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
  • The Palestinian leaders, who are pursuing their efforts to prosecute Israelis for “war crimes,” have been concealing from their own people and the international community the fact that Israel is assisting them in the war on the coronavirus.
  • For Palestinian leaders, it seems that the war on Israel is more important than the battle against a pandemic and saving the lives of their own people. Yet, these leaders and their families, if they are diagnosed with the disease, will undoubtedly be the first to rush to Israel to seek medical treatment there.

Cartoonist Carlos Latuff Spreads the Antisemitism Virus, by David Lange, IsraellyCool, March 15, 2020.

I already posted many of the vile Israel-bashing and Jew-bashing social media posts as the coronavirus wreaks havoc around the world. But trust antisemitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff, (with some help from Mondoweiss MondoScheisse) to team up for this:

Of course, this cartoon conveniently ignores the facts that Gaza also shares a border with Egypt (who similarly restrict movement), Hamas has now closed Gaza’s border crossings with Israel and Egypt for travel due to the coronavirus, and Israel is cooperating with the palestinians in the fight against this common enemy.

But why allow truth to get in the way of some good old fashioned Jew-bashing?

Perverted Israel-Haters Claim Israel Trying to Hurt Palestinians with Covid-19, by Elder of Ziyon, The Algemeiner, March 11, 2020. Excerpt:

There is nothing too low for Israel-haters.

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Maryland is having a conference where they want to somehow tie the coronavirus to Israel’s “occupation.”

And at California State University, which employs Asad Abukhalil (who has a blog called The Angry Arab), the professor accuses Israel of planning to put all non-Jews in mass prisons.


Palestinians Revive Blood Libels as Israel Saves Their Lives, by Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, March 9, 2020. Excerpt:

  • Earlier, the Israeli authorities announced that they had facilitated 105,495 humanitarian crossings for Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel during the last week of February.
  • Yet, rather than showing gratitude toward the Israeli authorities for their assistance, the Palestinian Authority and its media outlets and officials are continuing their campaign of incitement against Israel.
  • If, as the Palestinians claim, the Jews have been using wild boars for the past two decades, why has no one snapped even one photo of an Israeli truck carrying the animals into Palestinian villages?
  • What about the hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the West Bank? How come they too have not been attacked by wild boars? And how are these wild boars able to distinguish between Arabs and Jews?
  • While this sort of perverse Palestinian payback is nothing new, it nonetheless ought to interest anyone in the international community who is considering contributing to the Palestinian cause.

Hating Israel Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry, by Steven Emerson, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, March 6, 2020. Excerpt:

Professional politicians say a lot of things that just aren’t true, so perhaps it’s not fair to hold others to a higher standard than the people we put in power. But when it comes to anti-Israel activists, it seems that anything goes, including claims that cross the line into outright anti-Semitism. And the bigger the whopper, the better.

Marc Lamont Hill can make the outrageous claim that Israel poisons Palestinian water and still be invited to speak at fundraisers and other events. Linda Sarsour can repeat the blood libel that Jews and Zionists justify police killings of unarmed black people in America – and worse, are responsible for them – and still get a lucrative Simon & Schuster book deal and serve as an official surrogate for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. […]

Their obsessive focus on Israel is telling. China is imprisoning and indoctrinating 1 million Muslims. Syria has spent years engaging in mass murder of hundreds of thousands of its own people and displacing millions more, numbers exponentially greater than Palestinian casualties in all the wars and conflicts with Israel. But thus far, none of these activists have advocated ending these, or any other states. Just the world’s lone Jewish state.

Scripps College to host professor who wrote book claiming Israel purposely harms Palestinians, by Jackson Richman, JNS, March 6, 2020. Excerpt:

“The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability” by Jasbir Puar asserts that the Israeli Defense Forces believe in “rehabilitation through the spatial, affective and corporeal debilitation of Palestine,” as well as “the sovereign right to maim, wielded by Israel, in relation to the right to kill.”

Scripps College, a private woman’s liberal-arts institution and part of The Claremont Colleges in Southern California, is scheduled to host a keynote this month by Rutgers University professor Jasbir Puar, who wrote a book accusing Israel of maiming Palestinians to assert control over them.

The March 12 address at the school, titled “Debility and Disability in Palestine: Notes Towards Southern Disability Studies,” is presented by Scripps’ anthropology department, the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, and the college’s Department of Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

It is also co-sponsored by Claremont Graduate University’s Cultural Studies Department and the Pomona College Politics Department.

“This keynote will detail various strands of histories of disability in Palestine and their import in terms of activism, advocacy and the field of southern disability studies,” according to the event description. “Based on fieldwork with disability and rehabilitation center workers in 2016 and members at refugee camps in the West Bank from the summer of 2018, Jasbir Puar’s research suggests that disability is lived as an inevitable consequence of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation.”

Note: Richard Cravatts, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), said on Facebook, in response:

“The fact that this anti-Semitic Israel-hater was invited to Scripps, not only by the virulent student group Students for Justice in Palestine, but by several academic departments from the college itself, indicates the depths to which academia has sunk when it comes to talking about the Middle East. Puar engages in what is at best pseudo- scholarship, making up facts and statistics to support her odious thesis that Israelis deliberately maim and harm Palestinians in order to erase their cultural identities and to keep them subservient to the Jewish state. It’s a resurrection of the Christian blood libel of Jews who specifically wish to harm and kill non-Jews. To make matters worse, her last book was published by the extremely biased Duke University Press, another indication that academia has been taken over by ideology instead of intellect.”

Catholic Antisemite Incites Against American Jews and Israel on Iranian Television, by Dexter Van Zile, CAMERA, January 8, 2020. Excerpt:

E. Michael Jones, a well-known Catholic antisemite who resides in South Bend, Indiana, has spent the past few days giving advice to the leaders of Iran, telling them that they should not regard U.S. President Donald Trump as their enemy, but that their real problem is with Israel and Jews who control American foreign policy in the United States.

He offered this advice in two recent appearances on Iran’s PressTV.

Jones’s cozying up to the mullahs should come as no surprise. Over the years, he has established himself as a booster for the ayatollahs who have murdered thousands of Iranian citizens since the 1979 revolution in that country.

Speaking at a conference in Tehran in February 2013, during which he portrayed Jews as having a corrupt influence on American society, Jones declared, “Iran is the leader of the free world.” He also described the shootings of Jews at synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Poway, California as a response to the role “the Jews” have played in undermining the moral order. The Christian moral order, Jones says, has been “overridden by an operating system or by software that you would call ‘The Jews.’”

“They’ve been undermining the moral law in the name of liberation,” he said. “That’s what abortion is. That’s what pornography is. That’s what gay rights is. And now, that’s what Zionism is.”

Experts Weigh In: Why Is Israel Losing The PR War And How Can We Save Ourselves?, by Lex, IsraellyCool, April 25, 2018. Excerpt:

It doesn’t take a genius to know that Israeli PR has much to be desired, that slowly but surely the world is being won over by Hamas and Fatah and their smear campaign.

It is not a particularly brilliant smear campaign. Anyone with a third grade education could see through the smoke and mirrors and understand their strategy to lie their way into the hearts and minds of the influencers of the younger generation.

It is almost as if people want to believe the smears. It is almost as if it makes them feel good to see Jews as perpetrators of oppression, in the same way that when Jews were powerless and their ancestors were in power, they perpetrated violence against Jews.

I was talking to my friend Virag Gulyas, a Hungarian non-Jewish Hasbara powerhouse, and we were griping yet again about what a disaster Israeli PR is, how sometimes it seems they feed right into the hand of the enemy.

Anti-Israel sentiment sweeps U.S. college campuses, by Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times, April 28, 2018.

New docs reveal Third Grade Anti-Israel event much worse than thought; Ithaca (NY) presentation by Bassem Tamimi and Jewish Voice for Peace incited hatred of Israel, by William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, November 8, 2015. Excerpt:

On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, including Ariel Gold of the local chapter of the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace.

On Sunday night, September 20, Legal Insurrection broke the story, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY. Because of Tamimi’s notoriety for exploiting children in videotaped confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Tamimi’s mere appearance in a third grade class raised suspicions about the event.

After our report, a firestorm of controversy erupted, with the Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD), Dr. Luvelle Brown, conducting an investigation, after which he issued a statement that the event was “politically skewed, inflammatory, and not endorsed by the Ithaca City School District.”

The Superintendent’s statement, though, contained few details of his investigation.

But now Legal Insurrection exclusively has obtained documents pursuant to a Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) request that show the event was even worse than we thought.

While numerous documents, including a video of the event, have been withheld by ICSD, what was produced is enough to declare without doubt that the event was an anti-Israel presentation in which both the activists and the teacher leading the discussion skewed the conversation against Israel to the extent that one or more students were incited to express hatred of Israel.

The reaction to Brown’s statement from anti-Israel activists was furious, with JVP national launching a petition drive claiming the statement was part of an effort to silence Palestinian voices. The activists involved claimed that the event was just about peaceful coexistence and was not anti-Israel. Based on those activists’ representations, a letter writing campaign was launched demanding that Brown retract his criticism of the event. We now know that these complaints about the Superintendent’s handling were not based on fact.

The Campus War over Israel; As the movement in academia to boycott and sanction Israel grows more virulent, it threatens to infect mainstream politics, too, by David Greenberg, Democracy, Summer 2015. Excerpt:

No issue on American college campuses today is more toxic and divisive than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For a decade now, “Israeli Apartheid Weeks,” which posit Israel as another South Africa, have featured extreme anti-Zionist events. Guest speakers friendly to Israel have been shouted down and silenced. At UCLA, candidates for student government were asked to pledge not to go on trips abroad sponsored by certain pro-Israel Jewish groups, but were not asked to avoid trips sponsored by pro-Palestinian or other organizations. At Ohio State, the police had to break up a student government meeting days after one undergraduate doused herself in blood (spoofing the “ice bucket challenge”) to protest Israel’s policies. At Temple University, a pro-Israel student was assaulted at a Students for Justice in Palestine leafleting booth. […]

But the relative stability of American public opinion conceals a worsening polarization in academia—a development to which non-academics should be paying much more attention, as The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel, edited by Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm, drives home. As Samuel and Carol Edelman write in one essay in this authoritative volume, campuses lately have been experiencing “a barrage of anti-Israel films, speakers, panels, editorials, and faculty presentations portraying Israel as . . . a racist nation” and often championing a policy of boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel. Within scholarly professional societies, such as the American Studies Association (ASA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA), activists have mounted campaigns to pass boycotts and related resolutions, including efforts to shun travel to Israeli conferences, bar intellectual collaborations with Israeli researchers, exclude Israeli academics from scholarly activities, and so on. According to Eric Fingerhut, the former Democratic congressman from Ohio who now heads the national Hillel organization, the last year witnessed “the most organized campaign to demonize Israel and attack pro-Israel students we have ever seen.”

(5) Examples of incitement against Israel, based on lies

As Tel Aviv prepares to welcome Beyoncé, here’s a review of Israel’s atrocious record towards black people, by Dan Cohen, MondoWeiss, February 12, 2016. Excerpt:

Days after her Super Bowl halftime appearance, Israeli outlet Yedioth Ahronoth has confirmed rumors that Beyoncé Knowles will perform two dates in Tel Aviv, Israel this August, which would be in violation of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Her recent performance referenced the Black Panthers, the Black Lives Matters movement, and Malcolm X. Beyoncé’s dancers wore Black Panthers style berets and black leather, and were photographed raising their fists in an homage to Tommie Johnson and John Carlos salute at the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City. They were also photographed holding a sign that read “Justice 4 Mario Woods,” who was killed by San Francisco police last December.

The day before, she released a video for “Formation,” her latest song which references police brutality and Hurricane Katrina.

In light of her decision to perform in Israel – which would put her at odds with Malcolm X’s sharp criticism of Israel – I have compiled a review of Israeli policy towards people of African descent.