Americans of Hispanic origin, the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, are relatively hostile towards Israel because they are ignorant about Middle East affairs and are influenced by traditional anti-Israeli Catholic views, according to the Israel advocacy group, The Israel Project (TIP).
In a media briefing in New York to mark the resignation of TIP’s founder, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, the group’s Executive Director for the Americas, Allan Elsner, said that Israel is more popular among older Americans, Republicans, conservatives and Evangelicals and less popular among “liberal elites”, African-Americans and Democrats. Elsner said that the Israel Project was focusing its efforts on “groups where we have a problem.”
In the global arena, according to TIP’s Executive Director of Global Affairs, Laura Kam, the Project has found anti-Israeli public opinion in Europe difficult to budge and is therefore devoting most of its efforts on the continent to working with local Jewish communities.
At the same time, TIP is rapidly expanding operations in Russia, China and India where people “are less interested in the conflict and more in Israeli innovation,” Kam said. But the same approach of trying to “brand” Israel by highlighting its creativity and innovation is “a complete fiasco” in the United States, according to Laszlo Mizrahi, because Americans “are not interested.” In America, she says, one has to focus on Israel’s “quest for peace, shared values and the common front in the fight against terrorism.”