Sunday, January 04, 2009

Public Mood re Gaza


I just heard an interesting statistic on CNN: Americans support Israel's actions in Gaza by 44% in favour, to 41% opposed.

That is a remarkably LOW level of American support for Israeli policy.

On the other hand my impression is, and I have no proof of this other than obsessive reading the papers, watching of the news and surfing the internet, that the intensity of feeling, both pro and con, is much less than in Israel's previous wars and conflicts. Lebanon 2 (2006), for instance, seemed to have capture much more air-time, headlines, and public discourse.

Maybe that's because this war has, so far, occurred over the Christmas / New Year break. Or maybe because there are other competing news stories that, after all, concern Americans (and Canadians) more today then there where in the summer of 2006: the economy,domestic politics, and the NFL post-season for instance. Or maybe its because there are far fewer Western reporters in Gaza to send us gory pictures. Or maybe the West has finally just gotten sick and tired of the whole Israel/Palestine mess, and is beginning to tune it out.

It will be interesting to see, as people return from vacation, and now that the "ground campaign" provides some added "drama", to see if any of this public mood changes.

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