The greatest level of sympathy towards Israel can be found in India, according to international study on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
According to the study, which was unprecedented in scope and was undertaken by an international market research company, 58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel.
A total of 5,215 people took part in the study. Other countries that showed significant sympathy to Israel included Russia (52%) Mexico (52%) and China (50%). At the bottom of the list, the study ranked Britain (34%) France (27%) and Spain (23%) as the least sympathetic countries towards Israel. (via From India with love - Israel News, Ynetnews).
Leopards don't change
This study was mighty interesting. On three counts.
Western Europe continues with its sterling record of intolerance, xenophobia, the push for 'assimilation and integration'. In Western Europe (Britain, France, Spain, et al), prejudice against Jews is marked. Whether it was Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice or Hitler in Europe, Antisemitism is alive, well and kicking in Europe.
Desert Bloc remains the prime exponent of propaganda - maya. Illusion. Something that tricks people.
For this maya, Israel has to thank people like Leon Uris writer of Exodus, (hired by Edward Gottlieb for 'improving Israel's image), The Raid at Entebbe, ( the rescue of Israeli hostages from Idi Amin's Uganda) or the hunt for Eichmann movies.
The propaganda overdrive on the Holocaust won the State of Israel many sympathizers. The propaganda on how the kibbutzim made the desert bloom, covered the open wounds of the Palestinians expulsions.
Propaganda practitioners and PR gurus like Edward Gottlieb and Howard Dietz embraced the Zionist cause and promoted the idea of the State of Israel. Edward Gottlieb, a PR pioneer, author of a PR primer book, worked on the cause of Israel. Edward Gottlieb's masterstroke was to send Leon Uris to Israel to 'research' the story of the Exodus. Howard Dietz, the publicist of Sam Goldwyn, (reputedly behind many of Goldwyn's malapropisms)was another.
The fall guys
The third part of the story is the story of the 'fall guys'. The classic 'fall guys' for this propaganda operation were the distant bystanders. The 'sympathy' shown to Israel, comes from typically countries with a small or negligible Jewish populations - like China, Mexico - and India. People who saw these events from far - very far. The Indians, Chinese, Mexicans, et al.
Indians know of the Israeli story through the movies, fiction and 'war' stories. In school, the size of the Exodus, made me shirk from the starting the book. But the many 'rave' reviews from classmates steeled me to pick up the book - and 1 week later. I was a 'convert' to the Jewish cause.
A few years later, it was a different story. My neighbours, some Jordanian-Palestinian students dropped in to see me, in Poona, one night. Over some music and soda, they introduced me to the 'other' side of the problem. (I wonder where these Iranian and Palestinian students have disappeared?)