Shift in Young Americans' Perception of Israel Sparks Debate

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The shift in how young Americans perceive Israel has become a subject of debate, with some blaming TikTok. However, experts argue that there are multiple factors at play, including the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the politics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's administration.

Israel, Young Americans, Perception, Debate, Tiktok, Black Lives Matter, Politics, Benjamin Netanyahu

A well-documented shift in how young Americans perceive Israel in recent years has become the subject of heated debate, most notably among some technologists and politicians keen to point the finger at TikTok. But while TikTok has certainly become a bigger part of youth news diets, there is far more at play than the video app, according to political scientists, pollsters and activists on both sides of the U.S. debate.

Theories for why young Americans increasingly sympathize with Palestinians include: the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the right-wing politics of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration, changes in U.S. demographics, the fallout of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the images and videos of Palestinian civilians that are spreading on all social media apps, not only TikTok. “It would be really easy to blame social media platforms,” said Joshua Kertzer, a professor of international studies and government at Harvard Universit

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