A Palestinian boy stands next to the remains of a mosque in Khuzaa town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli aggression, in the east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip August 6, 2014. With its spacious villas and palm-lined streets, the town of Khuzaa in southern Gaza gave Palestinians a rare place to spend their free time before it was bombed and shelled to rubble last month. Largely free of the local tensions and feuds found in other neighbourhoods, Khuzaaâ€™s green spaces were one of just a few destinations for daytrips in the crowded Gaza Strip, where 1.8 million people live in just 360 sq km (140 sq miles). Around 500 metres from the Israeli border, Khuzaa is now only accessible via cratered roads strewn with debris. Nearly all of its homes have been flattened and its nine mosques lie in pieces. Picture taken August 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Reuters is reporting that young people, outraged over Gaza, are rejecting Washingtonâ€™s â€œreflexive supportâ€ of Israel. A recent opinion poll released on July 28, 2014 by the Pew Research Center demonstrated clearly that it is getting more difficult for corporations, lobbyists and governments to influence the beliefs of young people because young people donâ€™t watch television news. They are more likely to get their news from Facebook, twitter, instagram, buzzfeed and other alternative sources of direct information. They are looking at live coverage of world events directly from the people who are there, and asking for more information from knowledgeable people online rather than relying on mass media or government statements.
â€œWhile all age groups north of 30 years old clearly blame Hamas more than Israel for the current violence, young adults buck the trend in a big way. Among 18 to 29-year olds, 29 percent blame Israel more for the current wave of violence, while 21 percent blame Hamas,â€ reports Aaron Blake in the Washington Post.
â€œLatest Gallup poll shows young Americans overwhelmingly support Palestine,â€ concludes the latest Gallop poll also,â€ reports mondoweiss.net. â€œMost support for Israel comes from ages 50 and up.â€
Women who say â€œIsraeli actions are unjustifiedâ€ outnumber the pro-Israel female by 44 to 33 percent. Nonwhite, by 49 to 25 percent. Thatâ€™s two-to-one, reflecting the attitudes of the young, reports mondoweiss. 18 to 29-year-olds regard Israelâ€™s actions as â€œunjustifiedâ€ by 51 to 25 percent. Among 30-49 year olds, 43 compared to 36 percent view Israelâ€™s attacks as unjustified.
The Pew study reveals that most Americans have absorbed the Israeli narrative or else are just confused about the situation. Even so, when asked who is to blame for the violence in Gaza, far more young people blame Israel than Hamas for the violence. Why? Because Israel is the entity causing the violence. How do the youth know more than their parents? Because they saw the photos of Palestinian babies with their brains oozing out of their cracked skulls circulating on the internet – they are fully aware of who is bombing whom. By contrast, Americans over the age of 65 think that Hamas is at fault for the current violence by 53 vs 15 percent. Since 2006, the number of people who â€œdonâ€™t knowâ€ if Israel has gone too far has increased from 14 to 25 percent while those who think Israel has acted rightly has decreased from 44 to 35 percent.
David Palumbo-Liu, the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor at Stanford University on salon.com also notes that the American understanding of history is shifting:
â€œInternational support for Israel is ebbing because the Holocaust narrative can no longer offer an omnipotent shield against a critique of the second narrative regarding the founding of the state of Israel. Israel is in fact risking losing the narrative war altogether, as more and more of the global public is asking questions that probe into that history, prompted by the evidence of Israeliâ€™s current efforts to continue and expand Israeli power and land, efforts that are now increasingly regarded not as survival tactics but as violent colonial ones. In sum, there is now a widening band of light in between the heretofore seamless merger of the Holocaust and founding narratives, resulting in a weakening of the former in its capacity to act as an alibi for the latter. Again, this is especially important with regard to the U.S., which has been the worldâ€™s most generous supporter of Israel. More and more younger Americans, growing up well past the postwar era, find the Holocaust narrative to be less than absolutely and unquestionably a good reason to support the horrible killings in Gaza. And as they learn more, their support will wane further.â€
So far, a petition entitled â€œIsrael-Palestine: This is how it endsâ€ on avaaz.org has gathered almost 2 million signatures.
Basically, a growing minority of Americans are starting to be willing to educate themselves about history and current events regarding Palestine, in particular, Liberal Democrats, but this change is too slow for it to impact anything on the ground. What is perhaps more likely to change facts on the ground is the fact that Americans are running out of money.
Despite unanimous resolutions passed in the Senate offering Israel emotional support regarding its â€œsurvival,â€ according to Burgess Everett on politico.com, â€œa last-ditch effort to deliver aid to Israel during its war with Hamas died on the Senate floor on July 27, as Republicans blocked the proposal over concerns that it would increase the debt,â€ all because they couldnâ€™t agree on fighting wildfires vs helping stranded children vs helping Israel.
â€œI want to fund Israel,â€ replied Coburn. â€œI also want to make sure our children have a future.â€
However, by Saturday, August 2, the bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Dailykos.com reports:
â€œThe House, however, took a vote on it. It passed easily but not unanimously: 395 to 8. Only 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted against it.â€
The four Democrats were Keith Ellison (MN-05), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Jim Moran (VA-08, and Beto Oâ€™Rourke (TX-16). The four Republicans are Justin Amash (MI-03), Walter Jones (NC-03), Tom Massie (KY-04), and Mark Sanford (SC-01).
Keith Ellison is reportedly the only member of Congress who has been calling for an end to Israelâ€™s blockade of Gaza.