All Israel

Israel’s global image sees positive turn among young Americans despite Palestinian conflict

More than 80% of Americans say they would do business with an Israeli company or purchase an Israeli product

Tel Aviv at night

Contrary to the general consensus in Israel and among the diaspora Jewish community, Israel’s recent round of fighting with Gaza – Operation Guardian of the Walls – did not dramatically influence the country’s global image. 

Instead, it seems that Israel's innovation economy is acting as the Iron Dome of Israel’s image. New data published by Vibe Israel in collaboration with Bloom Consulting reveals that a wide majority of Americans (81%) would do business with an Israeli company or purchase made-in-Israel products. The survey focused on millennials, aged 25-44. 

Their main reason for doing business with Israeli companies is the perceived quality of Israeli services and products. Only 6.8% of the general population noted that their lack of support for Israel is the reason they would refrain from doing business with Israeli companies. It is considered a staggeringly low number given the timing of the survey just three months following the Gaza conflict and during the fourth wave of the COVID pandemic.

A group of American businesspeople were asked if their willingness to do business with Israel has changed in the past year – 34% of respondents stated their opinion has changed for the better and 5% of those responding said it was due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Conversely, 7.6% said that their opinion had changed for the worse, but only 3% said it was because of the conflict.

The survey indicates that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel is not as effective as many people think, said Becca Hurowitz, president and CEO at Vibe Israel USA. 

“The general public and business community in the U.S. are more interested than ever in doing business with Israel and its companies,” she said.  

Another interesting finding shows that millennials no longer primarily associate Israel with the Palestinian conflict. When asked: When you hear the word “Israel”, what is the first image or idea that comes to mind? The most popular answer was religion and religious sites (38.3%), followed by trouble, violence and warfare (16.33%).

For businesspeople, the first concept that came to mind was innovation and R&D (12.94%) followed by trouble, violence and warfare at 11.92% and then religion and religious sites at 10.33%.

Over a third of businesspeople (34%) could name one Israeli company, with the most commonly named being Fiverr (7.3%), Teva (6.5%), Wix (4.9%), Ahava (3.2%) and SodaStream (2.5%). However, when presented with the names of different companies and asked to say where they came from, around half of businesspeople incorrectly identified certain Israeli companies as being from the U.S. or U.K.

Despite 2021 being the most successful year for Israel’s high-tech sector, just 10% of the general public could name an Israeli brand or company.

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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