The Numbers Crunch: Israelis 'Like' settlement boycotts

Also, Twitter meets Google+, Jpost readers back controversial bill, and Malaysia riots, Casey Anthony verdict sweep YouTube.

Numbers Crunch 311 (photo credit: Mrkay Design)
Numbers Crunch 311
(photo credit: Mrkay Design)
It was social media meets social media on the Web this week, with Twitter users tweeting about Google’s new social networking tool, Google+. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s weekly New Media Index, 35 percent of news links tweeted in the past week related to the site, specifically its privacy features which are said to be better than those of Facebook.
On Facebook itself, meanwhile, local news was starkly reflected in “Like” trends. The Israeli cause “Sue me, I boycott products from the settlements” pulling almost 8,000 “Likes” in three days, after the Knesset passed a controversial bill which allows citizens to bring civil suits against persons and organizations that call for boycotts against Israel, Israeli institutions or regions under Israeli control. The cause was the top trend online in Israel, according to global popularity website Likester. Also on Facebook, a Tel Aviv rally protesting the new law, planned for July 30, was getting significant traffic, with over 4,000 people set to attend the event.
Jerusalem Post readers, however, voiced resounding support for the bill, in a recent unscientific poll. Almost 60% of respondents agreed that “Israel is under siege and must protect itself against such delegitimizing boycott campaigns,” though 16% insisted that boycotts are a “legitimate, non-violent form of protest.”
Poll results
Poll results
In another recent JPost poll, readers seemed to follow Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s line, that rabbis should be investigated like anyone else in Israel. The poll was taken after  Rabbi Dov Lior and then Rabbi Ya'acov Yosef were arrested on suspicion of incitement to violence and racism over their alleged endorsement of the controversial Torat Hamelech (The King’s Torah) book. An overwhelming 65% of readers voted that rabbis should be questioned by police “just like any other citizen in Israel would,” though 15% said that rabbis statements fall under a “different category” of speech.
Poll results
Poll results
On YouTube news videos, protests in the Middle East dropped further in popularity, after holding the top spots almost every week since February. The site’s Newsroom section featured a clip from Malaysia, in which protesters demanded more transparency in the voting process.
The second and third top news clips on the video-sharing site were not related to protests at all, but rather reflected popular topics in US news: A massive dust storm caught on video in Arizona and the announcement of the dramatic not-guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony case.
According to the PEJ News Coverage Index last week, only federal-debt limit talks received more news coverage in the US than the murder trial, in which a Florida mother was found not-guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter. According to the index, 24% of coverage was devoted to the economy, and 17% to the trial. Across US media, Anthony was the biggest name in news in the past week with 101 stories on her trial, followed by President Barack Obama (73), and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (21).
Back on, the Top Five stories spanned news topics, a change from the last list, when flotilla-related stories flooded the Top Ten. In this week’s list, the much-hyped “Flytilla” took the top spot, but the next four most-read stories covered varied topics:
1. 'Air Flotilla' lands, 69 activists barred entry
2. New Jewish group wants to restore polygamy
3. American picks IDF service over elite US Army Rangers
4. Cancer cell breakthrough reported by Hebrew University
5. UN's Richard Falk under fire for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon
From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a bi-weekly column which zooms out and brings you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the world, and poll results from If you have stats to share, email
The writer is the Internet desk manager at
The Jerusalem Post