Nachum Kaplan
Moral Clarity: Truths and Politics and Culture

Jews and Israel have more support than supposed

Demonstrators during a pro-Israel march in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. The US and its allies are ratcheting up efforts to prevent the war between Israel and Hamas from engulfing the wider region, acting on concerns that an invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces could prompt Iran to enter the conflict. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Israel has much more international support than news headlines would suggest.

Israel may look isolated internationally, but the country and its people have more support than global news headlines suggest. It is another example of the international news media’s entrenched anti-Israel bias.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world support Israel and its war against Hamas. The notion that Israel is isolated does not get challenged enough.

News reports paint a grim picture of countries cutting diplomatic ties, alleging genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), cutting off military aid or threatening to do so, imposing trade boycotts, and incessant calls for a ceasefire that would make Israel lose a war it can win.

It all sounds very imposing. However, foreign correspondents, diplomats, multilateral institutions, and academics, live in a hermetically sealed bubble full of people trying to validate themselves and each other.  It is a detached elite whose rantings and pronouncements are treated as reality. Consider the bruhaha leading up to Israel’s Rafah operation. No universe exists in which Israel was not going to enter Rafah to destroy Hamas. Yet, the world – with media amplification – continued talking about it as though it was possible.

The international media cannot, or refuses, to grasp what the war is about. They insist it is about nation states, territories, United Nations resolutions, and performative legal maneuverings. It is really about people and ideas. The people are Israelis and Palestinians (and their backers). The ideas are decency and civilization versus Islamism and Jihadism.

Israel certainly has enemies in the world of diplomacy (and some flaky allies), but there is another set of facts that the global media never weaves into a narrative because it would undermine their anti-Israel worldview. Simply put, outside of the bubble, hundreds of millions of decent people across the planet support Israel.

It is time to marshal some neglected facts.

The most recent demonstration of the widespread popular support that Israel enjoys comes from the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden. It was a perfect illustration of the disconnect between the elite and ordinary people. Israel won the public vote from 14 of 27 countries, including the rest of the world. While some were just voting on Eden Golan’s stellar performance, many noted the competition’s politicization and took the opportunity to show their support for Israel. The jury however, where elite politics was on display, ranked Golan’s nerves-of-steel performance 12th, showing their political leanings and how out of touch they are with the average person.

There may have been 12,000 anti-Israel protestors outside the venue in Malmo, but millions of Swedes watched from their living rooms aghast at the Islamist thuggery on display. No one reported this. It is untrue that one cannot write a story about something that is not happening. Such stories are common. Consider “Why I am not buying the new Taylor Swift album” or “Why parents are not letting their children use mobile phones”. These are stories about things that are not happening.

While these examples are trivial, reporting about the vast majority who were not protesting, but were angry about the protests and the Islamization of their country, would have informed readers and viewers better by putting the protestors’ significance in perspective. This slanting of reporting by omission is mainstay of the global media’s Israel coverage. It is something to which it is worth being alert.

Americans also strongly support Israel. While tensions between Washington and Jerusalem over Israel’s Rafah operation have dominated the headlines, the story on Main Street is different. Four out of five Americans support Israel in its war against Hamas, while seven in 10 blame Hamas for the war, according to a Harvard Caps-Harris Poll. The disconnect between the government and the the polity is enormous.

In Brazil, the disconnect is even greater. While the country’s Leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has made a string of widely quoted outrageous comments, including that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and even compared it to the Holocaust, ordinary Brazilians are not so stupid.

The international media misled the world with its coverage of Brazilians’ response to Lula’s comments. They reported that tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro, but barely noted that many were waving Israeli flags in direct response to Lula’s slandering of Israel. A CNN Brazil poll showed that 80 percent of Brazilians took issue with Lula’s comments.

Political polarization explains the disconnect. In a polarized world, Leftish parties may be governing some countries, but those who disagree with with them have not only different ideas, but starkly different ones. Diplomatic support for Israel could look different, and much stronger, in just an election cycle or two.

Right-wing governments have come to power in Hungary, under Viktor Orban; in Argentina, under Javiier Milei; and in the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom has become the largest party in parliament. All three staunchly support Israel. Many nations in Europe, such as France, are on a political knife edge. So, Israel’s diplomatic isolation is anything but something permanent and entrenched. If anything, Israel is now a football in the West’s culture wars.

Mainstream media coverage of social media trends also underplays how much support Israel enjoys. Social media gives a distorted view of the public mood. For example, pro-Palestinian posts outnumber pro-Israel posts by as much as six to one on social media, but support for each side comes up much more even in traditional polling. This is because social media contributors are only a subset of society, and not representative of it. It is disingenuous of media not to point this out when reporting on it.

Finally, while the international media is focused on what governments and international bodies say, there is little reporting on those that do support Israel, most notably many of the world’s 2.4 billion Christians. South Africa’s churches, for example, have gone to great lengths to criticize their failing government’s taking of Israel to the ICJ for alleged genocide.

Christian support is far broader than Evangelical churches, which support Israel because of their religious worldview. While the Church has long been a source of anti-Semitism, and still is in some of its more extreme wings, Christian-Jewish relations have come a long way.

Reasons include Christian awareness of their failure during the Holocaust, the belief that Jews are responsible for Jesus’ death now being a fringe view, and many simply knowing right from wrong, and that Israel is the victim in its war with Hamas.

The international media’s bias against Israel is entrenched and not going to disappear. Too much media sees itself not as reporters of facts, but as activists at the vanguard of the West’s self-loathing dalliance with Wokeism.

However, never confuse headlines with reality. Israel has at least hundreds of millions of supporters. The idea that it does not is just another of the many lies about the Jewish state.

About the Author
Nachum Kaplan has 30 years international experience as a journalist, commentator, speaker, and C-suite media strategist to Fortune 500 companies. He has held senior positions and help set the strategic direction in some of the world's leading newsrooms, including Reuters and International Financing Review. He has worked in Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Singapore, and traveled extensively across the US, Europe, and Middle East, for his work. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Indonesian from Monash University. He writes about the nexus between media and politics in his Moral Clarity Newsletter at
Related Topics
Related Posts