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Democratic Like Us? Political Orientation and the Effect of Making Democracy Salient on Anti-Israel Attitude

  • Yphtach Lelkes (a1), Ariel Malka (a2) and Penelope Sheets (a3)
Abstract

Israel is viewed unfavorably among wide segments of the public within several European democracies, despite being regarded itself as a Western democracy. Does drawing attention to Israel's democratic attributes improve views toward Israel? In two surveys with Dutch national samples, anti-Semitic affect, low anti-Arab/Muslim affect, and left-wing political orientation independently predicted anti-Israel sentiment. However, in experiments embedded within the surveys, making salient Israel's democratic attributes had opposite effects on Israel attitude across those on the right and the left – slightly decreasing anti-Israel sentiment among those with a right-wing orientation but slightly increasing anti-Israel sentiment among those with a left-wing orientation. We discuss potential explanations grounded in social psychological theory as well as implications for the strategic communication efforts of groups seeking to influence attitudes toward Israel.

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Journal of Experimental Political Science
  • ISSN: 2052-2630
  • EISSN: 2052-2649
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-experimental-political-science
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