I clearly remember a piece on CNN.com, probably more than ten years ago which gave background information about the US' relation to Israel. It pointed to a poll that showed that in 1947 or 1948, people in the United States favored people as opposed to Arabs by a margin of about two to one. 28% to 13% if memory serves. I have not seen a link to that since but one day it likely will re-emerge and I'll have a place, here, to put it so I'll be able to find it subsequently.
I often read that the United States did not favor Israel until 1967. This is not true and it was not perceived in the region to be true at the time. The United States may have taken the role of Israel's primary patron from Britain and France around that period, but come on, if the USSR had been supposedly relatively neutral, but Israel's primary patrons had been Poland and East Germany, the people of the region would very understandably have been far better disposed to the US than to the USSR.
But what brings this up is two interesting comments over at RaceforIran, one by Fiorangela, one by Richard Steven Hack.
Fioangela's (January 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm):
The skewed values that are seeded in Anglo-American culture were planted there by emotional media — religious liturgies, entertainment, quasi-religious fiction and fictionalized and valorized history. Norman Finkelstein observed in a videod conference titled The Coming Break-up of American Zionism, that what most people understand about Israel they learned from the movie “Exodus.” Then he hummed the iconic theme song.Hack's (January 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm):
And I was initially conditioned toward Israel decades ago by the movie, “Cast a Giant Shadow”, with Kirk Douglas. That movie promoted the myth that the poor Jews were being attacked by an overwhelming Arab force, abandoned by everyone internationally (except John Wayne!), and that they had no weapons, no armor, no planes, no nothing but the will to survive. And all Arabs were cowardly, stupid subhumans…Today most people in the United States have in their heads preposterously fictional ideas of what Israel and Zionism represent. The pro-US commenters in this blog may well generally be more guilty of that than most. It is interesting to read from people in the United States exactly how these false ideas were born.
Then, of course, eventually I read Wikipedia… Which revealed all of that was so much total ruminant evacuation… The Jews had more men, better trained men, better arms, and had been using terrorism against the Brits and Arabs for decades in order to force the native Palestinians off their own lands so they could form a colonialist, imperialist, terrorist, rogue Zionist state without any justification whatsoever other than that they were “God’s Chosen People”.
And we’re supposed to think the mullahs are crazy…