1/ My "news bias" thread generated a relevant, footnote style, discussion. In it, I expand further on variation within bias. I'm putting the discussion into a thread for easier reading.

It started with this question:
3/ Picked up and responded to by Prof. Goldberg of Bar Ilan (who forwarded the thread, prompting the OP)

7/ I haven't described who the NYT presumes is their audience, but it relates to how the conflict is conventionally & popularly described as a "centuries old religious conflict" which is reductive, incorrect and favors (what I would say is) a Christian POV
8/ Ironically, I compare the coverage of Israel to what the NYT does about Tr*mp voters in diners, or the anti-vax RedHats: they are exoticized but also taken at face-value.

My feeling about that echoes this mini-thread:
9/ For the most part, I think the average American feels about any foreign conflict with the basic ideology of "These are violent strangers and I want them to just stop fighting" with public sympathy going to whoever has the best PR office.
10/ I say this based on my own experience; I looked at the conflict in Northern Ireland and Kashmir with a similar attitude: I just wanted everyone to stop killing each other. As an American, I was raised to support the underdog, and every PR office played on that narrative.
11/ N. Ireland received Irish-Diaspora sympathy in the US & I recall research that compared it to conflicts in the Middle East.

IMO coverage of Israel in the US is colored by the (1) underdog narrative (favors PAL), (2) Diaspora (favors ISR), & (3) just stop already! (neither)
12/ Unlike Ireland/Kashmir, Israel is a Christianized plaything of the religious right, which colors all the coverage (see thread below).

Add onto that the identification of Israel, especially after 12 years of Bibi, as synonymous with the GOP.

13/ IMO the Netanyahu-GOP relationship is essential to understanding the US polarization of support for Israel. Bibi's MO is to poison things to save his own skin.

(NB: everything here is why I claim it's not a cop-out to call the conflict "complicated")
14/ Back in 2002, I implored my community leaders to not tie the support for Israel with support for George W. Bush. I was ignored.

Sadly, 9/11 led to a panicked reaction in the US that favored violence, simplicity, and overlay an explicit religious message to the Mideast.
15/ For the past 20 years, the GOP - because of their dependence on the religious right (Christian AND Jewish) - have lashed themselves to Israel & Likud/Bibi have self-destructively welcomed this.

So, despite my protests, there are logical reasons to conflate Israel w/the GOP.
16/ In fact, I'd describe the current generation of Americans' view towards Israel to comprise 4 eras:

1) pre-1967
2) Cold War, 1967-1992
3) Oslo/Clinton
4) Post 9/11-now

Roughly: #1 = Boomers & before. #2 = add GenX. #3 = Millennials, #4 = GenZ.
17/ I described the post 9/11 era (#4) above.

Pre-1967 (#1), Israel was seen as the underdog and there was overt domestic US support, especially since the Shoah was fresh in memory.

See Hollywood movies from that era, especially "Cast a Giant Shadow."
18/ During the Cold War (#2) the Arab-Israeli conflict was b/w Soviet backed belligerents - Egypt, Syria - vs. the US backed Israel. The region was seen as a standard Cold War proxy fight

Support for Palestinians became synonymous w/supporting the USSR!
19/ I really need to emphasize this: until the fall of the USSR, supporting Palestinians, recognizing them as an independent group with an identity and nationalist needs, was politically dangerous in the US because of the Cold War.

GenXers like me remember this era, still.
20/ The Clinton/Oslo era started to change the narrative of the region and shifted to giving support for Palestinians as a people and not a Soviet proxy army. IMO without 9/11 & Bush's stolen presidency, this would have been able to continue. Peace was close in 2000.
21/ As I said about anti-AAPI violence (below), treatment of far-East Asians in the US is negatively affected by 3 wars the US fought in that region, which evoked racist slurs & stereotypes that infected the discourse and culture.

22/ In similar fashion, the Bush family's conservative Christian crusades that helped spur along the 1st Gulf War, wars in Afghanistan & Iraq, plus the panicked reaction to 9/11, colored the already religious-racist US culture to dehumanize Muslims, foreign & domestic.
23/ In sum, re-iterating my point above: a natural American support for the underdog Palestinians was basically forbidden because of the Cold War.

In 2021, perceptions of the region are likely divided b/w those generations, confounded by religious as well as GOP/Democrat lines.
24/ Add onto that, recent decades of Middle East wars have inflamed domestic grievances. However, two decades on, anti-Muslim attitudes can be tied to specific rejected politics of Bush & Tr*mp.

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More from @JoshuaCypess

23 May
45.01/ Week Forty-five, May 22-28 2021, begins here.

Week 44 below:
45.02/ Re-upping this thread from Friday about journalism and why the NYT can be seen as biased vs. Arabs & Israelis.

45.03/ I just wrote up a follow-up to the above thread that goes deeper into my social-scientific (data-poor, sorry) analysis of the American perception of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Read 10 tweets
21 May
1/ Thread on journalistic bias.

The linked thread by an MIT undergrad makes a data-rich claim that the NYT is biased in favor of Israel and against the Palestinians.

This intrigued me because it's axiomatic in Jewish circles to believe the opposite.
2/ I'm not going to comment on her work - her preferred framing for Israel is from <https://decolonizepalestine-com> which is both non-academic & reads like an opposite-day Arutz7 - because it's beside the point. Bottom line: her fellow partisans feel the NYT is against them.
3/ While I would decry any respectable journalist to sound like a universalized Arutz7/FoxNews, I would claim that journalism should be held to a similar standard I apply to social science: it should be seen as accurate to the subjects of the story.
Read 35 tweets
16 May
1/ #ReshetKeshet

I've been dwelling on the concept of 'fear' recently, specifically as it relates to my religious community and COVID, but it has application to all areas of morality as well as civic life.
2/ In Jewish ethics, we talk about being "Yirat Cheit" which translates into "Fearing Sin" and "Yirat Shamayim" which translates into "Fearing Heaven"

They are related but not equivalent. But fearing sin is the minimum to be considered reliably religious according to Jewish law.
3/ "Fear of Sin" generally means the lowest minimum acceptable level of religious observance because that kind of person doesn't buy into the ideology, doesn't understand the purpose of the system, but will still follow the rules before they fear the consequences.
Read 45 tweets
16 May
44.01/ Week Forty-four, May 15-21 2021, begins here.

[note: Forty should have a 'u' in it, no? English is a weird language.]

Week 43 below:
44.02/ So many people I assumed were motivated by greed (for money, abstract resources) and/or power are actually driven by ego. This discovery required a major retooling of my understanding of moral philosophy

e.g. during the #TrumpCrisis people risked their lives just for ego
44.03/ Long thread about 'fear' (45 Posts)
Read 30 tweets
10 May
43.01/ Week Forty-three, May 8-14 2021, begins here.

Week 42, May 1-7 2021, below:
43.02/ Sunday was wonderful but exhausting. It was my daughter's Bat Mitzvah and we turned it into a celebration for her two grandmothers on #MothersDay as well. It was socially distanced, highly zoomed, and amazing. But I'm wrung out like a sponge.
Read 24 tweets
2 May
42.01/ Week Forty-two, May 1-7 2021, thread begins here.

Week 41, April 24-30 2021, below.
42.02/ I'm an NFL fan, so I don't lament these numbers, but it's a fascinating datum nonetheless. And 'watching the draft' doesn't encompass the interest people have (e.g. I couldn't watch over Shabbat, but I woulda if I coulda)
42.03/ #ReshetKeshet. I just uploaded a dvar Torah I wrote 16 years ago about this week's parsha (with connections to Avot, Ruth, and the Simpsons)

Read 32 tweets

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