That audiences are interested predominantly in bad news is a well known phenomenon routinely exploited by mass media. The research is straightforward: people want to hear and disseminate good news—preferably exaggerated—about their close friends and relatives, and bad news—also exaggerated—about everyone else, enemies and neutral subjects alike. People prefer information about same-sex subjects, which suggests they want to hear about their likes.

Regarding Israel, those tendencies combine to a vicious end. Western audiences don’t want news about Arab barbarians because Arabs are barbarians, different. Cultured people have to be acquainted a bit with the Middle Eastern situation, and so Westerners turn to news about Jews.

For Westerners, Jews don’t fall into the cognitive profile of friends, and naturally everyone wants to hear bad things about Jews. That’s why the Western media show Israeli reprisals against Gaza rather than Hamas attacks. Media are not wicked; they just go with the trend to make profits.

Why then, do Westerners love the pictures of Africans suffering from malnutrition, and even help them? Because Africans fall into the Westerners’ cognitive profile of pets: curious, even cute; nice, non-threatening, weak, and fully dependent on those who help them. Note how relatively small and insufficient is Western help to Africa: the blacks are not treated as humans who must be allocated whatever resources are necessary for their survival, but as pets for whom any donation is an act of benevolence.

Jews have achieved a similar status with Evangelical Christians, many of whom are certain that the poor Jews just cannot survive without their help. Jews are treated not as exotic animals, but as human beings of exotic faith curiously unwilling to embrace the Christian teaching.

Israel’s efforts at changing her image in the world media for the better are inherently futile.

Israel's image in media