NEW YORK (VINnews) — Jewish people often grumble that many of their gentile counterparts appear to have a knee-jerk antipathy for Israel based on what they hear from the media which generally has a biased view of what is going on. However in the following clip, Shelach Bennett of StandWithUs, a Los Angeles-based non-partisan Israel education organization “which inspires and educates people of all ages and backgrounds, challenges misinformation and fights antisemitism”, demonstrates that part of the problem is the incredible ignorance people have about Israel and its role in the Middle East.
Students on UCLA campus were asked which is the only democracy in the Middle East. Most answered Iran, Syria and Turkey with none dreaming that Israel is a vibrant democracy in a dictatorial region. When asked how many Jewish countries there are in the world with a Jewish majority, students thought there were 6, 7 or 15 such countries, with none imagining that there is only one haven for Jews in the world. StandWithUs believes that educating the public about Israel and empowering others to educate their communities will go a long way towards changing Israel’s image among a generally uninformed gentile population.
Ironically, UCLA boasts its very own center for Israel studies – the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, which sponsors courses about modern Israel and generates and disseminates academic research in the field of Israel Studies. Apparently the center has yet to make any headway in educating most of the students at the university regarding Israel’s status and significance.