How many times have you heard “I grant your facts and understand your reasoning, but I just don’t see it that way?” That’s the elephant talking!

Another reason is confirmation bias. Psychological research has shown over and over that humans have a tendency to focus on evidence that supports their beliefs and ignore evidence that challenges them. This is why scientists sometimes stick to discredited theories despite clear evidence against them (luckily for us, other scientists work hard to find disconfirming evidence for theories that they oppose).

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What can be done?

Here are a few lessons:

It will never be possible to disconnect Israel from US politics, but soon the election will be history. The focus should always be on policies, not personalities. And it is a poor idea to mix Israel with other issues. I once read a persuasive article about why Obama’s policy was anti-Israel, which closed with a negative remark about Obamacare. Stupid.

It is important to be in touch with what is happening on campuses, oppose egregious politicization of supposedly academic activities, and fight to prevent the resources of universities from being used for anti-Israel purposes. Arab and Iranian interests fund departments and programs to serve their interests; Zionists should do the same.

There are numerous organizations opposing bias in the mainstream media. It’s also necessary to develop alternative media, but strongly partisan approaches will not be effective because of the information bubble phenomenon.

Finally, involved arguments about (for example) Israel’s rights under international law are less effective than appeals to fairness, Jewish self-determination, etc.

Visit Fresnozionism.org.

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Vic Rosenthal created FresnoZionism.org to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam. The viewpoint is not intended to be liberal or conservative — just pro-Israel.

23 COMMENTS

  1. The attempt by Republican partisans such as this author to make Israel a partisan political issue in this election is contributing directly to the disillusionment by Jews.

    What the author says about the media is ridiculous. Most Americans have never listened to Pacifica Radio and in fact I would venture that most Americans have never even heard of it. (Pacifica stations are always at or near the bottom of the ratings — if they manage to qualify for the ratings at all.) Anyone who reads HuffingtonPost knows that Israel is not a major focus for them, but its opinion pieces are not particularly anti-Israel and the Canadian HP site recently published this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/arsen-ostrovsky/palestine-bombs-israel_b_2011785.html

    MSNBC did feature Pat Buchanan for years, but he is no liberal and he now has switched to Fox News, spouting his anti-Israel nonsense on the Fair and Balanced network.

    While there are indeed Leftist anti-Israel propagandists at some universities, it is not at all clear that today's college students pay any attention. Today's college students are more likely to identify with Ayn Rand and Ron Paul — no friends of ours, but no Leftists. And in the state that probably does have the worst problem with anti-Semitism, California, the State Assembly — dominated by Democrats, recently passed the following resolution as a shot over the bow over the university administration that needs to take the problem more seriously:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml;jsessionid=d4df7d3510900146efbbc88f1045?bill_id=201120120HR35

  2. The lack in America, and in the West generally, of teaching and fostering critical thinking skills to youth is the bane of possible future survival as free nations and individuals. This is one of the greatest moral sins committed – it is, essentially, child abuse to educate children the way we do. We deny them the tools necessary to be free individuals who question things. We seem to prefer to propogandize them in schools. For Shame!

  3. I Don't Agree With You About Obama Being Anti Israel…You Are Politicising An Issue Which Should Only Concern Americans…Israel Has Nothing To Do With This Election For President…America Will Always Support Israel…In Fact It Is The Big Brother Of Israel…Heaven Should Help Anyone…Including Iran…Obama Would Have Iran Decimated…If It Harmed Israel…Americans Care About Israel Jews & Non Jews…No President Would Ever Fail Israel…I Don't Care Who's President…

  4. The attempt by Republican partisans such as this author to make Israel a partisan political issue in this election is contributing directly to the disillusionment by Jews.

    What the author says about the media is ridiculous. Most Americans have never listened to Pacifica Radio and in fact I would venture that most Americans have never even heard of it. (Pacifica stations are always at or near the bottom of the ratings — if they manage to qualify for the ratings at all.) Anyone who reads HuffingtonPost knows that Israel is not a major focus for them, but its opinion pieces are not particularly anti-Israel and the Canadian HP site recently published this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/arsen-ostrovsky/palestine-bombs-israel_b_2011785.html

    MSNBC did feature Pat Buchanan for years, but he is no liberal and he now has switched to Fox News, spouting his anti-Israel nonsense on the Fair and Balanced network.

    While there are indeed Leftist anti-Israel propagandists at some universities, it is not at all clear that today’s college students pay any attention. Today’s college students are more likely to identify with Ayn Rand and Ron Paul — no friends of ours, but no Leftists. And in the state that probably does have the worst problem with anti-Semitism, California, the State Assembly — dominated by Democrats, recently passed the following resolution as a shot over the bow over the university administration that needs to take the problem more seriously:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml;jsessionid=d4df7d3510900146efbbc88f1045?bill_id=201120120HR35

  5. The lack in America, and in the West generally, of teaching and fostering critical thinking skills to youth is the bane of possible future survival as free nations and individuals. This is one of the greatest moral sins committed – it is, essentially, child abuse to educate children the way we do. We deny them the tools necessary to be free individuals who question things. We seem to prefer to propogandize them in schools. For Shame!

  6. I Don’t Agree With You About Obama Being Anti Israel…You Are Politicising An Issue Which Should Only Concern Americans…Israel Has Nothing To Do With This Election For President…America Will Always Support Israel…In Fact It Is The Big Brother Of Israel…Heaven Should Help Anyone…Including Iran…Obama Would Have Iran Decimated…If It Harmed Israel…Americans Care About Israel Jews & Non Jews…No President Would Ever Fail Israel…I Don’t Care Who’s President…

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