Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
The Tel Aviv municipality building is lit up with the word "Peace", in Hebrew, Arabic and English. September 15, 2020.

There has recently been a 20% decrease in the number of negative content in Arabic posted on social media about the Abraham Accords, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs reported Thursday,

A previous MSA report in October found nearly 95% of Arabic comments regarding Israel’s normalization with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco to be negative, but the recent study showed the negative posts fell by 20% to 75%.

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The MSA, tasked by the government to tackle Israel delegitimization and boycotts, has been monitoring the public sentiment on social media in Arabic since August 2020, including reviewing trends through quantitative measures and qualitative research on Facebook and Twitter.

Following the signing of the normalization agreement with Sudan in November, the MSA re-examined Arabic social media and found a significant decline in the opposition to normalization with the Jewish State.

The levels of acceptance of the normalization agreements can be seen in Arabic-speaking users’ willingness to publicly support agreements. The positive comments justified their reasoning with economic or security reasons.

According to the MSA, the decline in negative comments towards Israel and normalization was in part due to the public awareness campaigns carried out by the various governments that joined the Accords.

This includes actions taken against organizations and public figures that promoted delegitimization, including those with ties to the Hamas or Popular Front for the Liberation Palestine (PFLP) terror organizations.

Following the study’s findings, the MSA has recommended establishing and strengthening initiatives aimed at encouraging the normalization process on Arabic social networks, promoting content that will provide balanced and reliable information regarding Israel to citizens of countries that have already signed normalizations agreements and those which are planning to do so.

Minister of Strategic Affairs Michael Biton declared that “we are at the beginning of a new era in the Middle East. The agreements with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco are historic steps towards promoting normalization, the complete opposite of delegitimization. We have already begun to see the change in attitude towards Israel among the populace of these and other countries.”

“The task now facing the Ministry is to actively strengthen the perception of the State of Israel among the Arab public, especially those which have normalization agreements with us,” he said.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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