Middle East Monitor / October 12, 2020
Ninety per cent of the Arabic-language social media posts about Israel’s normalisation with the UAE and Bahrain have been negative, according to a report by the occupation state’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
Haaretz said that study examined conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube between 12 August and 8 September. It found that around 90 per cent of participants voiced opposition to normalisation, with just five per cent expressing clearly positive views of the process.
The main argument against the agreements, the report said, was that they betrayed the Palestinians. This sentiment appeared in 45 per cent of comments. People also objected to signing agreements with Zionists in general (27 per cent); accused the UAE of hypocrisy (10 per cent) and of capitulating to the US (five per cent); and accused it of craving profits (four per cent).
The most popular hashtags were “normalisation is treason” and “Bahrainis against normalisation”. These hashtags, said the ministry, reached more than 100 million social media users during the period studied.
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs, often described as the propaganda arm of the Israeli state, leads on efforts to undermine the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and to criminalise criticism of Israel. It is said to have recognised the need to counter opposition to normalisation amongst ordinary Arabs across the region.
Last week a survey of 13 Arab states found that the populations were overwhelmingly opposed to normalisation with Israel until the Zionist state ends its brutal occupation of Palestine. More than 85 per cent of the 28,000 respondents also opposed diplomatic recognition of Israel.