Social media sees 20% drop in Arab objection to normalization with Israel

Perhaps Arab states are beginning to approach normalization with Israel in a more positive light.

SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT Twitter (photo credit: REUTERS)
SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT Twitter
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Arab social media witnessed a 20% decline in negative attitudes towards normalization with Israel during the past four months, the Strategic Affairs Ministry reported in a new study. 
Lauding the shift as being "on the verge of a new age in the Middle East," Strategic Affairs Minister Michael Biton argued that the change is the result of the recent agreements between Israel and Sudan, Morocco, and the UAE and said his ministry must “actively” build up the support of normalization among the various Arabic-speaking people in the region. 
The study found that the decline had been in the Palestinian Authority and groups committed to the de-legitimization of the Jewish State. This, after the PA decided to resume security and civic cooperation with Israel in November, which was met with rage among those who oppose relations with Jerusalem. 
The amount of online objection to the Abraham Accords dropped from the “very negative” 94% in summer 2020 to 75% in November, a state the report labels as “negative.” The authors argue that this is partly due to the intensive efforts by the respective states, especially the UAE, to show how commercial and cultural ties with Israel would benefit the region. 
Faced with the reluctance of the PA to cast stones and such a large effort to show Israel in a positive light, the report warns that anti-normalization groups are likely to target individual institutions in smear campaigns to discourage others from forming ties with Israeli groups.
The ministry also means to look into the quality of the social media activity, as it suspects some of the objection is not coming from human users on Facebook and Twitter but rather from bots and avatars constructed to shape public perceptions. Such bots when specifically targeting audiences in or around Israel in the past were found to be run from within Iran. 
Different reasons were offered to support the changes for those who became more positive towards the thought of ties with Israel. in September, 75% of UAE social media discussions said the Gulf state would enhance its own security via the accords. By November, 75% of people supported it as a positive step without feeling the need to justify good relations with Israel with any practical reasons.  
However, many social media objections were very negative, with Ramallah News approving a comment to an online article which supported Israel's normalization with Sudan. One user objected to the agreement with Sudan by suggesting the writer should “peel the black off his skin as if he was peeling an eggplant.”