Caitlin Johnstone: Israel’s Problem Is Not TikTok

Israel’s problem is not that people are being propagandized into hating it, it’s that enough people are not being successfully propagandized into supporting it.

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

By Caitlin Johnstone

Nobody starts out as the sort of person who would support a genocidal bombing campaign that murders children by the thousands. It’s something you come into gradually over the years, one moral compromise at a time.

Again and again over the course of their lifetime, a supporter of Israel is given the choice to either kill off a piece of their conscience or abandon their support for Israel.

They are presented with this choice any time they see Palestinians being treated in a way they’d never want themselves or their loved ones to be treated — whether it’s bombs, protesters shot by snipers, people being driven out of their homes, human rights organizations ruling one after the other that Israel is an apartheid state, tales of the racism and abuse suffered by Palestinians in the West Bank, or testimony about how horrific life in Gaza had been made for the people who live there, long before this latest round of killing began.

This information is unavoidable in modern times. You can avert your gaze, you can try to insulate yourself from it in an ideological echo chamber, but it will inevitably find its way into your field of perception once in a while.

And every time you are confronted with it, you have to make a choice whether to compromise your personal sense of morality a bit further than it was already compromised, or abandon your support for Israel.

You carve off pieces of your own morality one at a time, mostly in order to avoid the psychological discomfort known as cognitive dissonance which necessarily goes along with any drastic change in worldview. Then before you know it, you find yourself opposing a ceasefire to a murderous onslaught that has killed thousands of children.

Deep down you know you’re on the wrong path. You know this isn’t how you started out, isn’t how you’re meant to be living your life. But you drown out that small voice inside with the much louder voices of life in a modern industrialized society, many of whom are paid millions of dollars a year to tell you your worldview is the correct one. 

This is why there’s such a massive generation gap on the Israel-Palestine issue; young people haven’t spent a long time gradually eroding their moral compass into a worthless trinket, and they don’t consume enough mass media to have been convinced that doing so would be worthwhile.

They have not been sufficiently indoctrinated into depraved indifference toward the suffering of others.

In a recent statement rejecting right wing claims that its algorithms are stacked to favor Palestine and promote anti-Israel sentiment, TikTok says the real reason pro-Palestine sentiments are so popular on the platform is because young people just statistically oppose Israel a lot more than older generations.

TikTok writes the following:

“Support for Israel (as compared to sympathy for Palestine) has been lower among younger Americans for some time. This is evidenced by looking at Gallup polling data of millennials dating as far back as 2010, long before TikTok even existed. A March 2023 Gallup poll, before the war, shows young adults have rapidly shifting attitudes towards the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.”

In a leaked audio clip obtained by Tehran Times, Anti-Defamation League director Jonathan Greenblatt is heard bemoaning the loss of Gen-Z to pro-Palestinian sentiment.

“But I also wanna point out that we have a major, major, major generational problem,” Greenblatt complains to his cohorts. “All the polling that I’ve seen — ADL’s polling, ICC’s polling, independent polling — suggests this is not a left or right gap, folks. The issue in the United States’ support for Israel is not left and right, it is young and old.”

“We really have a Tik-Tok problem, a Gen-Z problem,” Greenblatt adds.

In reality, what Greenblatt and his associates have is a morality problem. They have a large group of people who have not been indoctrinated into accepting madness and amputating parts of their own conscience over the years, and so are able to look at the mass murder of civilians in Gaza with clear eyes. 

And really that’s all you need to see the ongoing Gaza massacre for what it is: a look with clear eyes. Just one swift glance, unmolested by propaganda distortion or cognitive biases. That’s all it takes. 

Israel’s problem is not that people are being propagandized into hating it, it’s that people are not being successfully propagandized into supporting it. Their problem is not malign influence but a lack thereof.

Because the fact of the matter is there’s only so many ways you can spin the murder of thousands of children, and now all the media obfuscation in the world is not enough to pull the wool over fresh eyes that are ready to see.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

26 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Israel’s Problem Is Not TikTok

  1. November 22, 2023 at 14:16

    Among the staunchest supporters of Israel are the fundamentalist Christians, particularly the Zionist fundamentalist Christians. They are people who have been propagandized and conditioned, perhaps as early as childhood, to believe the narrative that this one particular book, the Bible, is the “inspired and infallible and inerrant Word of God” and thus not to be questioned.

    Thus they already believe that those who, for whatever reason, do not come to “accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” during this present lifetime are doomed to an eternity of torment in hell. That is according to what is said in the Bible. And they are fine with the ancient Israelites having slaughtered their so-called “heathen” neighbors, allegedly at the command of God (but really as commanded by so-regarded spokesmen for God like Moses and Joshua and Samuel).

    Modern day Israel fits into their framework of what they think they have figured out to be God’s plan, particularly regarding the “end times” which we are now supposedly living in. Not supporting Israel is tantamount to standing in the way of God’s plan. So it is not surprising that they are totally indifferent to the sufferings of the Palestinians, who are mere pawns in God’s grand plan (along with even Jews who do not come to “accept Jesus Christ” in this present lifetime and are thus going to hell).

    Thomas Paine said: “It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.

    hxxps:// (just a little over halfway down)


  2. Adam Gorelick
    November 21, 2023 at 20:35

    A Generational Chain Has Been Broken It has certainly been heartening to see a younger generation that, as Caitlyn Johnstone observes, has not experienced necrosis of the soul resulting from Israeli propaganda and Western echoing of it. The mendacity that has polluted the minds of older iterations of Americans – Jewish and otherwise – has always been so outrageously grotesque that even Joseph Goebbels might have been given pause. Hasbara requires a fertile ground of racism to produce it’s poisoned fruit. It’s seems unimaginable that the ugly, racial supremacist ideology of Zionism, that is the apartheid state’s raisin d’etre, could possess one resistant to accepting the notion of Palestinians and Arabs being untermenschen. In the case of Israelis, who are effectively inculcated beginning in infancy with the racist ideology, the Israel Uber Alles mentality is baked in; concomitant with seeing the other as “two-legged beasts.” Those who have come of age in a time of easy access to factual information and historical context, can see beyond Israel’s veil of lies, to an evil that they won’t rationalize about to their children. The erosion of the U.S.A. public’s support for Israel, though the nominally democratic government operates independently of popular opinion, will eventually deprive it of corporate sources of revenue through the BDS movement.

  3. John D Zeigler
    November 21, 2023 at 19:46

    As an old fart from the silent generation, I can only say that the government of Israel has become in practice the horror of the Holocaust it was formed to escape. How sadly and tragically ironic.

  4. CaseyG
    November 21, 2023 at 17:25

    Zionists—–a cruel sounding name. And with Netanyahu and his governing group, Jewish is not what comes to mind. Murderers comes to mind—-cruelty does too, and ignorance of their own humanity gets in line also. I am horrified that Biden and Blinken et al even consider themselves as humanists. I do not understand my nation—although I suppose that early on my nation murdered countless native people and captured Africans too—all without a question.
    But you Nazis in Israel—you are sans eyes, sans truth, sans humanity. The world will turn on you and then what? Nazis in Nazi land—what a conundrum.

  5. nwwoods
    November 21, 2023 at 12:49

    Reuters – October 30, 2023:
    Israel awards gas exploration licences to Eni, BP and four others

    “The company was awarded a licence in the country’s southern offshore gas basin. Any technical considerations on the prospects and timing of the activities are obviously premature,” the Eni spokesperson added.

    A BP spokesperson confirmed that a Socar-led consortium was awarded the licence block.

    Quite the coincident!

  6. Vera Gottlieb
    November 21, 2023 at 10:20

    There will be a VERY dear price to pay for this…VERY dear. ZIONAZIS…reap as they sow.

  7. susan
    November 21, 2023 at 06:06

    Thank you Caitlin and thank you Gen Z for having “fresh eyes that are ready to see.”

  8. gcw919
    November 20, 2023 at 21:03

    Bravo, Caitlin. Your article is a Tour de Force.

  9. Robert
    November 20, 2023 at 19:41

    Thanks again for an enlightening article. It’s difficult for me to believe that this ongoing slaughter of Palestinian children has been so ignored by Western governments and media. The numbers should shock the senses of a normal person. The outcry should be 20 X higher than what it is. I would love to hear the conversations between Xi and Putin when this subject is broached. They are certainly more hardened and worldly than me but I like to think that they also are shocked that Israel, along with Biden Administration support, continues the genocide without a hint of regret that 4,000 children have been killed in just 6 weeks.

    Western governments almost across the board have given TOTAL support to Zelinsky and Netanyahu, two of the most vile creatures walking the earth today. To Zelinsky’s description I will add vain, pompous, and not very bright. The general population of Ukraine does not have ready access to the truth surrounding the reasons for Russia’s invasion or the dismal status of Ukraine’s military but surely their politicians and military leaders do. So the question is: how is Zelinsky still in power? He personally is responsible for the disaster that Ukraine has endured for 18 long months. And even if there was a quick end to the war Ukraine will have to remain a beggar state constantly in search of money to keep its government running. And whatever “donations” Ukraine gets are most certainly going to come at a heavy price, and I’m not referring to interest rates. What an awful mess Biden, Blinken, Sullivan, and Nuland have created. With no end in sight.

    • Valerie
      November 21, 2023 at 03:21

      And puzzling as to why Mr. Putin has an arrest warrant for NOT KILLING children:

      “On 17 March 2023, following an investigation of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, alleging responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of children during the Russo-Ukrainian War. The warrant against Putin is the first against the leader of a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.” Wikipedia

      Note the words GENOCIDE and WAR CRIMES in the text.

      • Robert
        November 21, 2023 at 08:59

        Good point about the stark contrast between that courts take on Putin vs Netanyahu. Flat out genocide in Israel is ignored (so far) by the ICC while Putin is convicted without proof of a single Ukrainian child being killed, or even mistreated, in Russia.

        Western governments and institutions have gone crazy, scary crazy, with the advent of a multi polar world. It’s fascinating to watch the reaction of Western political leaders as they gradually lose complete control of the world. There are many, many examples of that groups showing frustration with the trend. I like the simple example of Senator Marco Rubio (R Fl) who, a year ago, was visibly upset as he said to a journalist that if de-dollarazation trends continue “in 5 years we won’t be able to sanction anyone”. Oh the humanity !!!

        • Valerie
          November 21, 2023 at 13:57

          Here’s another (more sinister) example of the “group” losing control:

          “UK ‘seeking to block ICJ ruling’ on Israeli occupation of Palestine”

          “Dismay over UK statement that opposes hearing altogether and is accused of ignoring significant facts”

          Bethan McKernan in Jerusalem

          Thu 24 Aug 2023 09.26 BST Guardian

          “The UK has been accused of “seeking to block the international court of justice (ICJ) from addressing important international humanitarian law matters” in a submission to the world court on the legality of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

          A 43-page legal opinion, seen by the Guardian, was submitted by the UK last month as part of the ICJ’s fact-finding stage before an expected advisory opinion from the court on the legal consequences of the “occupation, settlement and annexation” of Palestinian land.”

          This was before the 7th Oct, and i’ve not seen anything since. The UK also is trying to extract itself from the Int Court of Human Rights. Scary crazy is right Robert.

        • Susan Siens
          November 21, 2023 at 15:44

          Thanks for the quote from Rubio, priceless.

          It is a fascinating time to be alive if one has a strong stomach, mind, and heart. My only fear is the West promoting nuclear war because anything is better than a changing world to the genocidal gangsters who rule us. (Just finishing up Dark Quadrant and our presidents’ coziness with criminals.)

      • vinnieoh
        November 21, 2023 at 14:04

        As Craig Murray points out in his current article, the ICC is merely a tool of western imperialism (aka “USA foreign policy”.)

        • Valerie
          November 21, 2023 at 17:55

          To realise the extent of this travesty, one only has to look at the “wanted” list of the ICC:


          Karim Khan (chief prosecutor for the ICC) really needs to sort out the wheat from the chaff; i believe he has the power. If the ICC can issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Putin, then they can issue an arrest warrant for Netanyahu and his cohorts. But as Mr. Murray points out, tools will only be used in the hands of those holding them.

  10. firstpersoninfinite
    November 20, 2023 at 19:02

    A quick look at the Guardian’s coverage of the “war” includes so many disparate forces made equal for the right to push an unquestioned narrative that it has become almost unbelievable. And all media outlets have been doing this to us at least since the first Gulf War. I ran across a USA Today column from that war a few years ago that has Bush senior making claims that Saddam Hussein has nuclear weapons. If the powers that be must run roughshod over the world, I don’t see why anyone should continue to make them feel comfortable in their motives or their aims. There is a strange dichotomy now in the news narrative: everything will continue as before (but with better, more controlled coverage of narrative), and also that nothing can continue as it did before due to shocks to the system. Obama didn’t dispose of Posse Comitatus because he didn’t see it as an impediment down the road. We need a new road, or a much rougher road for those who are driving us down it.

  11. Drew Hunkins
    November 20, 2023 at 17:30

    Until more Americans become familiar with some of the more genocidal and hubristic tenets of Judaism — tenets which sometimes turn into ultra right and Likud policy — we’re all merely spinning our wheels.

    It’s perfectly ethical and moral to call out and condemn irrational religious dogma of any stripe, including what’s often been a sacred cow: Judaism.

    This current absolutely repugnant and sickening ethnic cleansing the Jewish supremacists in Tel Aviv are carrying out against the thousands of innocent Palestinian babies in Gaza has nothing to do with “big oil” or any dictates from corporate America. If anything, those US corporations would prefer a more stable investment region in the Middle East, they don’t necessarily like to see it demolished and sent into uncertainty bc of mad dog Israeli warmongering. The Zionists of course have different plans based on hegemony, sadism, arrogance, and illegal land-grabbing.

    People absolutely must peruse the short book from 1994 by Israel Shahak, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion.” Trust me, it’s the most important book in the world right now. As Vidal said, Shahak was a modern day prophet!

    • Lois Gagnon
      November 20, 2023 at 20:38

      Thanks for the book reference. I’ll check it out.

      • Steve
        November 21, 2023 at 04:43

        Jewish History, Jewish Religion:
        The Weight of Three Thousand Years by Israel Shahak (text)

        FYI: hxxps://

      • John Parker
        November 21, 2023 at 10:27

        I just checked it. On Booktopia it is $82 Australian. It is either out of print, or they don’t want people buying it.

        • Drew Hunkins
          November 21, 2023 at 13:52

          Hopefully this link travels okay, it’s a link to “Half Price Books” and specifically to “Jewish History, Jewish Religion.”


          Here is a link where you can buy it at Barnes and Noble (sorry to recommend a corporate behemoth):


        • Valerie
          November 21, 2023 at 14:08

          It is available here as a free download:


          Or read online

    • Tom Hall
      November 21, 2023 at 12:11

      You make a valid point. However, focusing on the bloodthirsty, bigoted aspects of this ancient belief system doesn’t explain why cool-headed, lucid imperialists in London and then Washington chose to back this genocidal settler-colonial program. They’re not Jewish in anything like the sense Shahak wrote about. Most are not Jewish at all, and any religious sentiments they may harbor are exclusively attached to corporate wealth and military power. They don’t give a rat’s ass what Jehovah said to Abraham. They’re only interested in what Standard and Poor’s said to Morgan Stanley.

      • Drew Hunkins
        November 21, 2023 at 13:48

        The Washington imperialists, when it comes to Mideast policy, are totally being led around by the nose by the Zionist power configuration. The tail wags the dog with respect to Washington policy in the Mideast. And of course the ZPC is indeed made up of bloodthirsty, bigoted Zionist supremacists.

        See the following works by world renowned scholars and intellectuals:

        “Power of Israel in the United States” by James Petras
        “Israel Lobby” by Mearsheimer and Walt
        “Host and the Parasite” by Greg Felton
        “They Dare to Speak Out” by Paul Findley
        “Against our Better Judgement” by Alison Weir

      • Valerie
        November 21, 2023 at 14:18

        “They don’t give a rat’s ass what Jehovah said to Abraham. They’re only interested in what Standard and Poor’s said to Morgan Stanley.”

        And the more people begin to realise this, the less heartache and violence/wars there will be, Tom. What’s that reference about needles and camels and heaven!!!!

    • Susan Siens
      November 21, 2023 at 16:26

      I now call people either Jews or Zionists. There are so many Jewish people protesting what is going on that I cannot condemn a religion that has always possessed a prophetic tradition that calls people to peace and justice, and opposes violence and exploitation. Just because people ignore the prophets — and no one ignores them more than “Christians,” especially that irritable fellow Yeshua who told us that status, prestige and money mean NOTHING — does not mean that all people do so, and it does not mean that their warnings have no meaning.

      Zionists are just following a long tradition of western Europeans thinking they had / have the right to murder anyone in their way and take their land. And it’s always good to note that MSM prefers to show Israelis who look western European. I never knew until now how even people who pretend to sophistication and awareness favor those who resemble themselves.

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