US professors: Support for Israel eroded
Jerusalem Post, 29th June 2009

New York demonstration against Israeli mass murder in Gaza, January 2009

 

Unwavering support for Israeli policy has eroded dramatically both on American college campuses and within the United States as a whole, according to a group of American university professors who on Sunday concluded an academic exchange program here, sponsored by the Yitzhak Rabin Center...

"The mood in the United States is changing," said Richard Samuels, a political science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of MIT's Center for International Studies. "And it's changing in ways that I think deserve a lot of attention, especially from an Israeli point of view.
"The ability to count on unquestioned support - we're talking now not for the State of Israel, but for the government's policies - I think has eroded, and I think has eroded very dramatically," he said...

Charles Kupchan, a professor of international relations at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations...said. "I think that 10 years ago, the center of gravity was to give Israel the benefit of the doubt, and I don't think that's true anymore.

Nina Tannenwald, an associate research professor of international relations at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, explained that the Israeli self-perception of an underdog was no longer a widely accepted narrative outside of Israel - another factor which now must be taken into account.  "I've been struck by the way the Israeli self-narrative of a besieged underdog, no longer resonates to outside observers," she said...

"During the early part of the trip, that trope dominated," Kupchan said. "And I think the group's reaction was that not only does it need to be updated, but that it's actually counterproductive, that it leads to a kind of worldview and a set of Israeli policies and practices that are in some respects the cause of...why there is this opening up of the debate in the US. Because there are people who believe that an Israel that is guided uniformly by that narrative, will pursue policies that are neither in Israel's interests nor America's interests."

Full article in Jerusalem Post 29th June 2009

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