Here is some information that seems to have been completely lost on the Jewish community in Australia:
Tal Becker, an Israeli/Australian analyst who was chief of staff under Tzipi Livni when she was Israeli Foreign Minister, on Israel Apartheid Week:
It is Israel Apartheid Week this week on campuses, but chances are you would not know it unless you just read this sentence. A study, just prepared by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, reveals that in the last four years Israel Apartheid Week was mentioned fewer than 400 times in non-Israeli, non-Jewish media outlets with an audience of 100,000 or more. Even more remarkable is that in 2011, some 65 percent of the coverage appeared in Israeli or Jewish media outlets. These results are reminiscent of the controversy surrounding Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ,” which depicted Jews as responsible for the death of Jesus. It was Jewish outrage at the film which seemed to make a decisive contribution to the fact that the movie grossed over $600 million at the box office, much of which came, no doubt, from people who wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
The Debunking Handbook by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky:
To debunk a myth, you often have to mention it – otherwise, how will people know what you’re talking about? However, this makes people more familiar with the myth and hence more likely to accept it as true. Does this mean debunking a myth might actually reinforce it in people’s minds?
To test for this backfire effect, people were shown a flyer that debunked common myths about flu vaccines. Afterwards, they were asked to separate the myths from the facts. When asked immediately after reading the flyer, people successfully identified the myths. However, when queried 30 minutes after reading the flyer, some people actually scored worse after reading the flyer. The debunking reinforced the myths. Hence the backfire effect is real. The driving force is the fact that familiarity increases the chances of accepting information as true.
So a bunch of fringe lunatics are trying to convince Australia that Israel today is like South Africa 30 years ago by screaming at people on campus. They’re at least as likely to turn people off as they are to convince anyone and they have been doing the same thing for years with little to show for it.
What does the Jewish community do? Probably the worst thing it possibly could.
The Australian Jewish News today:
Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, in The Australian today: