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Professor Scott Galloway about a permanent shift in the perception of brand Israel.

2024-01-22 (274)

The war between Israel and Hamas is not fought out only through bombs and rockets - it’s also waged in the media, on campus, online, and even in the corporate world. Few have a better grasp of where those worlds meet than Profesor Scott Galloway. Yonit and Jonathan ask him if we’re witnessing a permanent shift in the perception of brand Israel - and hear how his own stand has cost him dear.

Credits: @unholytwojewsonthenews3929

Video Transcription:

The wider world has been paying attention to the war from the start and in a way conducting its own war.

The battle online, the battle on TV screens and on newspaper front pages and on people's phones.

This is a war that has reached right into people's social media streams in a way perhaps unlike any other.

The foremost authority in the world in a way on where these things meet is our guest for this week.

Hello Scott Galloway, welcome back to Unholy.

Thanks for having me on.

We thought long and hard how to introduce you but then remembered that you have your own AI database

which processes everything you've ever said and written I believe.

So we asked your AI database, we're all hosting Scott on our podcast, how should we introduce him?

Would you like me to read out what it said?

No, no.

Okay, so I'll read you out my own introduction.


I will mention that your AI introduction does end with, please mention I'm the world's greatest dad.

So that we have to say.


But besides that, we will say that you are a professor of marketing at NYU, host of Prof G podcast and Pivot with Kara Swisher.

Your latest book is Adrift, America in 100 Charts, serial entrepreneur, best-selling author.

One of the most thought-provoking people in business, tech and media.

That's my introduction.


Not the AI.


So Scott again, thank you so much for talking to us.

And obviously we'd love to dive in first and foremost into the events of October 7th and the repercussions for Israel and for the world.

It does seem like, to us especially, from the Israeli point of view, to me, from the Israeli point of view,

that very quickly the world has moved into this both-side-ism of the conflict.

And I wonder if we're talking about this on how things are perceived, we're not talking about the battlefield.

How has Israel moved from suffering this horrific attack and now three months after needing to defend itself against charges of genocide?

So first off, I think that a lot of folks in the West, and specifically Jews, have been absolutely – so we're horrified by what happened on October 7th.

And I think we've been not horrified, but even more surprised.

What happened on October 7th was horrific, but when you look back, the fact that it happened isn't that shocking.

Surrounded by enemies, people who's – or a terrorist organization whose only constitutional element is the extermination of Jews.

So it's not surprising that they would try to do this.

What has been most shocking for me has been, you know, that adage that two-thirds of an iceberg's mass is below the surface.

If you had said to me growing up as an atheist, but who was raised culturally Jewish – I grew up in West Los Angeles.

My mother is Jewish.

I've always felt some connection to Israel, not a lot.

I have family there, but I would describe myself as a very westernized Jew atheist.

And if someone had said – and I have Jewish friends who said anti-Semitism is everywhere.

And I didn't believe it.

I thought, come on, man.

I mean, we're beyond that.

The world has progressed beyond that.

You're being paranoid.

And I didn't really believe that anti-Semitism was a real issue in the US.

And then you find that the anti-Semitism was 99% below the surface and this brought it out.

And it was just shocking to see what I saw as more systemic fairly black and white racism and bigotry against Israel and specifically Jews bubble up that I just was not expecting.

It struck me as just so shocking and I was just absolutely flummoxed.

On a broader level, if you were to say, all right, well, what has happened?

What leads to the nation of South Africa having the temerity or just the gall to bring charges of genocide against Israel?

On a bigger picture, I think that what has happened is sort of there's three or four legs of the stool here.

The first is – and I just want to be – try to be as sober and as honest as possible even if it upsets some of your listeners.

I don't think Israel has draped itself in glory over the last 30 or 40 years.

I think it's gone from being the David to the Goliath.

And that is whether it's – what the West perceives as the dismantling of many of your democratic foundations, whether it's the prime minister and a government that is seen as corrupt,

whether it's imagery that you could argue fairly or unfairly depicts Israel as being unethical and maybe even inhuman towards the residents of Gaza.

We can have a much longer argument around what's true or not.

But I think that's the perception globally, that you've gone from the good guys, the 67 war, 72, one of my first images was Munich.

And 70% of people my age support Israel.

And then over the last 40 or 50 years, that has changed dramatically.

And now people under the age of 25 in the United States, it's 20% support Israel.

So the generational divide between boomers and Gen Z is greater on Israel than it was on Vietnam.

It's literally greater.

The generational divide is greater than it has almost been on any issue.

And so one, I think just to be blunt, Israel has made it difficult to think of them as the good guys.

I don't think they've managed their image well.

You can argue what the reality is, but the perception is Israel's reality.

And the perception, again, is that they're no longer the good guys too.

In the United States, we have done a really good job of trying to reconcile with our history and highlight that there are certain groups that have been persecuted,

whether it's non-whites or LGBTQ.

And it's important that we acknowledge it such that we can maintain our American values and provide people with better opportunities

and live up to what is the original founding father's vision.

I think you could argue it's gone overboard.

And that is you have progressives who feel, and I feel like I fell into this camp of identity politics for the last 10 years,

where you're so angry about the wrongs of yesterday that, OK, there's now laws against this.

Most of the real perpetrators of these terrible biases and racism and oppression are dead.

But young people are so outraged about it, they go on the hunt for what I'd call fake racists.

They go on the hunt for trying to find the perpetrators of this.

And what you're dealing with in America is for the first time, people under the age of 18 are now the majority are non-whites.

And the easiest shorthand for kind of identifying an oppressor, quite frankly, is two elements, how white you are and how rich you are.

And I think that fairly or unfairly, there is no nation or group of people that are categorized in shorthand as being whiter and richer than Israelis.

And then the third thing, and this sounds a little conspiracy theory or paranoid, but it doesn't mean I'm wrong.

You are where you spend your time.

And people under the age of 25, when surveyed, said if they were given all media or TikTok as a choice, they would choose TikTok.

And I believe that it would be in TikTok's best interests to divide America internally.

TikTok is influenced, if not controlled, by the CCP.

In America, we have a psyops division of the armed services that purposely tries to spread propaganda for pro-American interests.

And effectively, the CCC has developed and implanted a neural jack in the wet matter of almost every person under the age of 30 in America.

And I believe, and I realize this sounds paranoid, that they would be stupid not to put their thumb on the scale of content that divides America internally.

And so when you go on TikTok, I believe you will see a disproportionate amount of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel content.

Because I believe the CCP says we cannot, and I'll finish up here, we cannot beat America militarily.

We cannot beat them economically.

But we have strategic interests in weakening them, and the way to weaken your enemy is to atomize them.

So I believe there are a lot of bad actors, including the GRU, who has a vested interest in getting the West to take its eye off the ball and focus on this conflict instead of Ukraine-Russia.

So I believe that there are a lot of bad actors weaponizing porous social media platforms.

This – what I believe is ill or incorrect, ignorant view that Israel is conflated and Jews are conflated with oppressors.

And also this general notion over the last 50 years that Israel is no longer the good guys.

And it has resulted in this perfect storm of a level of bigotry and racism you have just – I haven't seen in my lifetime.

I've never – if I went on the campus of NYU where I teach and I went into the square and I held up a Confederate flag and I said lynch the blacks.

I had a sign that said lynch the blacks.

I started chanting lynch the blacks or I started chanting burn the gays.

My NYU ID would be shut off by close of business that day.

I would be fired.

There would be no need for context.

Context would not be required.

And I would never work in academia again.

And the fact that you can say that about a group and have university presidents who are well-educated and esteemed have trouble condemning in uncertain terms that action just gives you a sense for how this groundswell of antisemitism has built a much broader, much deeper base in America than any of us anticipated.

I have been – shock doesn't even begin to describe what I have seen in the U.S.

I'm not as familiar with it.

I'm in London right now.

I've seen similar sentiments here.

But I think there's been this perfect storm that has led to just an outspringing of antisemitism, the likes of which I've never thought was imaginable in the West.

So much in that answer to dive into.

One thing I'm interested in is the fact you're sitting in London and whether you now in some ways see the United States more clearly for being away from it or whether in some ways you've got the kind of European sense of this that we've all been living with for many, many decades and the U.S. has sort of caught up with.

Because some of the sentiments you've described were more common for a while in Europe.

And people looked across to the United States where there was the support for Israel was more solid.

I wonder if in a sense the U.S., you feel, has sort of caught up with European attitudes.

But putting all that in the pot, I mean, the TikTok point, though, that you make, and you've been one of the first actually to present the stats that say this isn't just a hunch on your part.

The sort of, as it were, pro-Hamas content outnumbers pro-Israel content by 10 to 1, I think.

I think that's documented.

You mentioned the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party.

What can be done about that?

Because I think a lot of people feel a sense of powerlessness when confronting with this platform that is so huge and so big.

Well, I think we can bring symmetry to our trade policy.

And that is China would never allow and hasn't a U.S. influence media platform to operate in the United States.

They let Google and they let U.S. media platforms in for just long enough, specifically Google, such that they can steal their intellectual property.

They then kick them out, prop up a local entrepreneur, and capture that value internally.

And I got to be honest.

I think it was the smart strategy.

Look what's happened to Italian newspapers and media companies and unemployment in Italy by letting Google and Meta into Italy.

You got to admire that they've said, no, thank you.

We're going to steal your IP.

And we're going to prop up a local entrepreneur.

What can be done is to reciprocate the same trade policy and to ban TikTok.

I just don't think this I think this is an easy one.

If the CCP owned NBC, the BBC, Sky, HBO, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Netflix, would we be OK with that?

Well, they do for people under the age of 25.

It's called TikTok.

And the problem is people my age don't understand how much time young people are spending on this platform.

And I was at the White House about a month ago.

They're banned from being on it.

So I think they don't have a sense for what is actually going on on this platform.

If I go on TikTok, within a few minutes, you can go down a rabbit hole.

And that rabbit hole just immediately starts taking you, as far as I can tell, to pro-Hamas content.

Now, it could be a few things.

It could be that social media is just doing what social does.

And that it tries to identify who you are.

And it immediately throws you to one of the polls and puts you in a hermetically sealed echo chamber with little real nuance or conversation.

It could, in fact, be that people under the age of 25 have come to their own conclusions that creates empathy for Hamas and animosity towards Israel.

And that TikTok just reflects that.

I think it's more than that.

I think if you look at the ratio of pro-Hamas to pro-Israel, anti-Israel content on TikTok versus meta.

I think you see that something is going on here.

That there are external forces weighing in.

And where I always come back to this, it's what we would do.

I think the CCP would be stupid not to be doing this.

I think the Mossad would have a field day with TikTok, depositioning their enemies.

This is what we do in a modern world where we realize that propaganda that no war can be won without public support and no war can be lost without public support.

So what do we do?


I think we ban TikTok.

I think we force them to spin it to U.S. investors and interests.

Otherwise, we have to get comfortable with the notion that we are going to have the CCP have dramatic influence over tomorrow's civic, business, military, and nonprofit spin it to U.S. interests.

Is it that at all plausible?

I mean, it looks like so many people kind of accepted the fact that state actors are manipulating social media and are OK with that.

I mean, how plausible is it that legislators would shut it down if this indeed is the case and this is what they're doing?

It seemed more plausible six months ago.

So the U.S. has so many assets.

We have unprecedented prosperity and resources.

We're creative, intellectual property, technically very sophisticated.

And I think the optimism of people in the United States, you know, we will fire a gigantic heavy rocket into the atmosphere and it blows up and we think that's progress.

And we're like, OK, next.

You know, we take risks like no one else.

We're willing to put hundreds of millions of dollars into a company that has robots making pizzas, which is no one else is willing to do this shit.

Maybe you have a little bit of that in Israel.

You're getting more of it in the U.K., but there's no one that's more batshit crazy optimistic than the United States.

And it results in some stuff ends up being crazy genius.

Our weakness is that we're very short term and we're like a cat chasing a dot.

So look at what Russia is doing in the Ukraine.

They're just waiting us out.

They're just waiting us out.

They can't beat us, but they can outweigh us.

They can outlast us.

And already there's now like we're getting tired and fatigued.

And I think Putin is hoping and there's, you know, unfortunately, I think he might be right.

If I just wait long enough, they'll get sick of this and they'll move on.

And I'm willing to kill 100,000 of my countrymen every year, have the economy go into the tank.

This is nothing compared to what we as Russia have endured.


This is a walk in the park.

The U.S., if your inflation is at 4% instead of 2%, there's practically a riot in the streets.

We want to kick out the administration.

We don't.

We're not.

We're not long-term thinkers.

We seem to have lost our focus on the threat of TikTok.

Six months ago, I thought that it was going to be spun or banned.

And now we're so obsessed with the election, inflation, what's going on in the Middle East,

what's going on in Ukraine, that it seems to have gone on the back burner.

I also think just politically, the Biden administration has one big problem and it gets worse every day.

And that's his age.

And there's nothing they can do about it.

And to go after TikTok makes you seem a little bit older.

It's kind of buying a Buick.

It makes you seem just not quite as down with the youngins.

And so I think they've said this isn't the beach we want to die on right now.

So I hope Biden gets reelected and that his tech folks and his Surgeon General,

who's thinking about how to start to zero in again or return to the threat that is TikTok.

Let's go back to this question of Israel's standing and brand, if you like, and how it shifted.

This didn't happen overnight.

This hasn't happened the last three months and the war in Gaza.

This is a long process.

You said the shift from David to Goliath, which I think puts it very well.

And I would agree with you that 67 is the starting point.

To what extent can that be dealt with by the usual?

And I want to almost say the tricks, the techniques of branding, of sort of corporate identity, that field.

And to what extent is it about the product and meaning the reality of Israel?

I'm thinking about even the war that's ongoing.

A lot of people have talked about messaging and communications.

I think the point you made about TikTok is that kind of media.

But also people talk about, you know, pressuring the conventional media, the mainstream TV stations and so on.

Or is it the actual reality, the actual product?

And just one example, I've noticed CNN did something on it.

And Andrew Sullivan, the blogger, wrote something about this.

He wants to be sympathetic to Israel's case after October 7th, but says, just to pick one example,

you know, the dropping of these £2,000 bombs.

Israel has dropped hundreds that people estimate in the last three months.

The United States in its whole battle with Islamic State 2017 dropped one and then had an investigation.

If those are the actual sort of facts of the situation, all the branding geniuses and marketing gurus in the world,

could they be able to spin this any better than they already are?

Or is the reality, the product, the problem?

I think there are issues.

I think that Israel has given its enemies, if enemy is perception, too much to work with.

And that is something that Israel as a sovereign nation has to decide.

I was heartened by, I believe it was the Supreme Court overturned the attempt to dismantle some of those rights.

I think Netanyahu has been a disaster for Israel's perception abroad.

I hope he is kicked out of office.

And as I look at the big conflicts and security failures over the last 50 years in Israel,

Israel usually does have a reckoning.

They usually deal with it and then they do have a reckoning.

And I hope that happens here.

And I hope Israel continues to be this outpost of democracy in the Middle East that stands singular and alone.

I think that from a branding standpoint, I think a lot of it is awareness and spokespeople.

We're outnumbered.

When there's a protest in favor of Israel, it gets a good turnout in London.

It is an overwhelming turnout for pro-Palestine because, quite frankly, there's 4 million Arabs in the United Kingdom.

There's 200,000 Jews.

It's either 200,000 or 300,000.

I mean some of it is a numbers game.

So unless Jews do a better job of, in a thoughtful way, educating people about the reality.

You just mentioned Andrew Sullivan's article.

I found that article so repugnant and full of bullshit and lies.

It made me want – I felt like I could pass out because I think Andrew Sullivan is an intelligent guy.

Let's talk a little bit about actual conflict and wars.

The Japanese killed 2,200 servicemen at Pearl Harbor.

I mean the history of the world is shaped in some instances by a country with more prosperity,

more technical innovation and industrial might invading another country.

When another country thinks they can get advantage by attacking it, you risk them attacking back and winning.

When Japan took that risk and killed 2,200 service people in Pearl Harbor,

we went on to kill 2.5 or 3 million Japanese including 100,000 people in one night.

And the condition wasn't – there wasn't people calling to protect the hospitals of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

The conditions were simple.

Unconditional surrender or we keep killing your people.

That's called war.

When al-Qaeda came in and killed 2,800 Americans, we went on to kill 400,000 people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was very simple.

Al-Qaeda is swept out of power and so is Hussein.

There was no – what we did to Mosul is very comparable to what's happening in Gaza if not more brutal.

If you look at the number of fatalities of civilians relative to enemy combatants,

Israel is being more targeted or what you would call less inhumane than American forces were in World War II.

Most definitely what allied forces, how they treated Germany.

When we continued to carpet bomb Dresden and Hamburg, the generals were asked by the press,

they're like, we've won.

The war is over.

Germany is done.

We've won.

Why do we continue to drop bombs on civilian targets in big German cities and kill civilians?

And the response was – and I'm not saying it's the right response but it's been the response that the West has given

and most nations act on is they need to know that they lost.

And so with all these cries of inhuman treatment, this is war.

War by virtue of it is inhuman.

And when you go into another nation with a superior military infrastructure and you commit the type of slaughter that was committed

on October the 7th, you are inviting war and all its inhumanity.

And Israel is the only country that has been told or the rest of the world just assumes they're not allowed to win a war.

They can fight back to a truce.

But unlike every other Western nation that's been attacked and has responded and asked and demanded for unconditional surrender,

Israel isn't allowed to do that.

And it affects everybody, this double standard, the White House, CNN, college campuses.

We must save the hospital.

We must end this war.

What's going on here is inhuman.

It's very simple.

Hamas puts down their weapons and releases the hostages and guess what?

The war is over.

And it doesn't strike me that the West perceives it that way.

It doesn't call for that type of – the way we would call for that unconditional surrender in every war that we have prosecuted when we've been attacked.

The double standards here are just striking.

And some of it might be that it's kind of the first war that's broadcast on TikToks where people are seeing up close the horrors of war.

We killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Bashar al-Assad kills 250,000 Muslims.

No one gives a shit, right?

There is a senior Iranian memorial for a senior Iranian.

A hundred – I think a hundred plus people are killed in a bomb attack.

Front page, Israel, the Jews did it.

Oh, wait.

Oh, wait.

ISIS took responsibility for it.

Oh, it's just Muslims killing Muslims.

It just strikes me that what the West has decided, what folks on college campuses, the Western media, CNN, the New York Times, everybody have all decided,

is that the last true Christians on earth, the last people that really should call on their better souls,

that shouldn't have a disproportionate response, that shouldn't ask for surrender,

the last true Christians as embodied by Christ should be Jews.

But the rest of us get to commit actual war.

I don't even see the media and people who think of themselves as pro-Israel even – I think are in touch with just how out of control, inconsistent,

and one-sided their perception in the words and the nomenclature they use around this war.

If on a proportionate – a per capita basis, if Mexico had been taken over by a drug cartel that was brutal and killing people left and right

and had this weird – this constitution that they were there to kill black people or they were there to kill evangelical Christians.

They had this fundamental view that these people were evil and they were committed to the extermination of these people.

And then they found weakness in the southern border and they incurred into Texas.

And on a per capita basis, these are real numbers, they slaughtered 35,000 people.

They killed every family, every student, every faculty member, everyone that goes to a preschool near the University of Texas, Austin.

And then they took – and then they took, OK, 4,000 or 5,000 people.

They took the freshman class from Southern Methodist University hostage and took them back over the border.

What would America do?

Would people be calling on the White House to save the Monterey – the Playa del Carmen Hospital?

Would they be calling for grace and truce of America?

Do you realize what we would do to those people?

And so there is a standard levied on Israel that is levied on no other nation.

And it's absurd for any nation to even use the word genocide.

And bring it in front of the UN.

It absolutely undermines the credibility of the UN and they would even entertain this.

I mean people don't understand.

Fratricide, patricide, these words have actual meaning.

Genocide is you're targeting an ethnic group for elimination and extermination.

Israel could do that in about two weeks if they wanted to do it.

They could do that.

They're not doing it.

Just so that people don't write in, it is 3.8 million Muslims in the UK and about 380,000 Arabs in the UK.

Excuse me, thank you for saying that.


I was going to pick up on that thread after October 7th.

I think there are a lot of shocking things that Israelis have seen.

Not only, you know, being under this investigation by the UN.

But also the wave of, I'd actually call it a tsunami of anti-Semitism hitting the shores of the United States.

And I want to focus on that a little bit.

I guess I wanted to hear from you before we even get into college campuses.

Obviously, there's a lot to say about that.

You know, you have had so many interactions with the Fortune 500 companies in tech and business.

How prevalent is anti-Semitism?

And how – do you know of any, you know, influential people today that are afraid to speak up because of that?

To be honest, I don't see it in corporate America.

I work with – this is an arrogant thing to say.

But I work at the highest levels of big multinational corporations.

I just saw an intolerance for an intolerance.

I never experienced or witnessed – and people don't think I'm Jewish, last name Galloway.

People have been shocked through this to find out that I'm Jewish.

I've never really seen or experienced anti-Semitism.

I don't see it in corporate America.

And when I saw it erupt the way it erupted across the media in the United States, most corporations are – they're sort of too busy making money to be bigoted in my view now.

I don't – a few of them still manage.

But, you know, I would argue that corporations – and I think this is wonderful – they don't lean left.

They don't lean right.

They lean green.

They're really focused on money.

And there are now so many laws and you can get so shamed and you can be so beaten up in the media if you're perceived that I would argue they've almost gone too far.

That oftentimes you end up with companies that are ossified and afraid to do anything because they're afraid to be accused of being racially insensitive.

I have not – I did not experience that in corporate America.

But I just want to go back to the comment earlier about what needs to be done.

I am shocked and incredibly disappointed at how few Jews are speaking up.

Where are the Jews?

I mean we have – one of the great victories of Jewish culture is that people value education, real success in powerful industries.

Where the fuck are they?

If I see Deborah Messing or Jessica Seinfeld on Instagram talking, they're the only – there's literally a handful of Jews as far as I can tell speaking out.

What do you put that down to, that reluctance, do you think?

What is that about?

I know what you're talking about.

What do you think it's down to?

One word, downloads.

My podcast, Prop G, appeals to young people.

My downloads are significantly down.

I have been very outspoken on this issue.

A lot of my young viewers do not agree with me.

They are turned off by my views and they have stopped listening.

In one week, this is not an exaggeration, one week when I went on, I think I'm getting – I don't want to say leveraged.

That's the wrong word.

But because I have a platform and because I think I'm seen as a moderate politically and I'm not seen as quote unquote hardcore Jewish because most people didn't know I was Jewish,

I'm getting invited on a lot of podcasts like this.

I got invited on a ton of these types of podcasts in one week.

The next week, I lost $980,000 in business.

I lost two speaking gigs in the Gulf.

I don't even think it was anti-Semitism.

I think they just don't want the controversy.

I don't think they want me on stage in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and talking about Israel.

I think I'm calling on their better angels.

I don't even think it was necessarily anti-Semitism.

They're like, this is just so hot, so emotional.

Scott, we'd like you to talk about young men or we'd like you to talk about TikTok.

So, they backed out, canceled contracts.

I lost my biggest sponsor for my newsletter.

And again, I don't think it was anti-Semitism.

I just think it's like this is so hot and so emotional and so many young people don't agree with you, Scott, that there are better places to put our money.

So, if you're an actor or a TV star or a writer or a producer or the CEO of a public company, I think your agents and the people around you are saying, yeah, no, we know how we feel.

But keep it to yourself.

Keep it to yourself.

And young people, especially in media, have a disproportionate amount of power.

It's young people that make shoe brands, consumer brands, retail brands, that actually go to the movies, that actually watch TV, that are very, very vocal on social media.

Everyone's obsessed with people under the age of 30 for the right reasons.

They kind of dictate the code and trends.

And there's just no getting around it.

Go on my social feeds.

I've been called Professor Genocide.

I mean, I'm not – I get some support.

I get some support.

And privately, I get a lot of texts and emails from people who are very complimentary and appreciate the support.

But oh my gosh, you get massive blowback, massive.

So, if you're a young actor, you're a CEO, if you're a high-profile Jewish person who has what I'll call multicultural appeal in the media, your agent, your own instincts, your accountant are all telling you,

keep it to yourself right now.

Keep it to yourself.

Because, I mean, look at how many people – I want to say we have – look at how many Jews have really big platforms and aren't saying anything.

And maybe he's the biggest platform of all when you look at Mark Zuckerberg and the fact that he is completely silent after October 7th.

I mean, we've seen him after a ski accident.

We've seen him with his beef farm.

There's nothing that he has been saying about this.


Can you think of why?

Same reason?

I think he could lose 200 million people from WhatsApp and his core platform overnight.

Young people – I mean I don't know if you saw this Pew poll.

But it came back that around half of people between the ages of 18 and 25 are supportive of Hamas.

And so if you run the biggest platform in the world with 2 billion people and you disproportionately over-index Young and you're trying to build products – I mean – and again, I don't think it's fair to call on individuals.

People have the right to speak out.

They also have the right to not speak out.

So I think it's unfair.

I know a couple of CEOs of investment banks.

And I've said to them personally, I'm like, how come you haven't said anything on this?

And I thought that's not fair.

Just as no one has the right to tell me to shut up, I don't think I have the right to tell people, oh, you're Jewish.

You have an obligation to speak up.

And I feel it.

But I don't think you can call people out for it.

So this point about the generational divide could mean you go one of two ways about when you contemplate the future.

Either you think, look, young people now are in the position you've described.

But young people move on.

They become old, for one thing.

And there will be a new issue.

There will become something else that interests them.

It's OK.

Because don't worry, all the CEOs and the Joe Bidens, they're all still in place and they feel the way you've described.

Or you say, right now, a few 50-plus, boomer-plus CEOs and captains of industry and Joe Biden are holding the line.

But this has really got three, four, five, maybe 10 years to run.

And then it's all going to be swept away by the TikTok generation, the Columbia University generation, who see this completely differently.

And therefore, if we're having this conversation in 20 years' time, it will be a global consensus that Israel is not just Goliath, but actually, you know, the global pariah.

Which of those two paths, one is, you know, from your point of view, optimistic, one pessimistic, this generational divide leads you to which one of those two outcomes, do you think?

Well, you're doing what the Chinese do, Jonathan.

You're thinking long term.


And that's what we need to do.

Because there's the glass half empty view and the glass half full.

If you're someone who believes that Israel will always be the outpost, the light on a shining hill for democracy in the Middle East.

And I believe that.

And that is, the negative view is that the people who supported it in the West, and it would be very hard to imagine Israel having a long-term future if it doesn't maintain real support in the United States.

Right now, that support, you could argue, in terms of what matters, is steadfast.

This happens, the Biden administration immediately commissions and orders two carrier strike forces to the Gulf.

And it's clear why they are there.

And I think Biden, I actually think the Biden administration has really come through.

In my view, their messaging is bad.

I think they're subject to the same misperceptions as much as American media is.

But the bottom line is, I think they have basically said to all the other enemies, don't even think about it.

Hamas was trying to inspire a multi-front war.

And I think those two carrier strike forces that can deliver the violence of the U.K., France, and Germany combined with these two carrier strike forces.

People don't realize just how the reason we spend, the U.K. spends $55 billion on its military.

The U.S. spends $800 billion.

And the reason we, one of the reasons we do that is we have mobile delivery capabilities, the likes of which.

We can take the fifth largest economy's military in the world and deliver it somewhere in a matter of 10 days, as long as it takes an aircraft carrier strike force to get there.

And I think it's a really powerful deterrent to cauterize this from becoming a national or a regional conflict.

So I think the Biden administration and the people in power right now are on Israel's side.

In 10 or 20 years, as this generation, unless this generation does like a, not a 180, but a 120 on the issue.

And, you know, things happen as you get older, right?

Who knows?

But it does not look good long term for Israel as it relates to the West support.

Now, ironically, I would argue that the most hopeful thing, I have spent a decent, one of the things I love about living in London is I've spent a bunch of time in the Gulf.

I have found that the Gulf, at least when I'm in the kingdom in Bahrain and Qatar, I have actually found, I believe they are pivoting towards capitalism.

And I do believe and I'm hopeful that the kingdom will at some point, sooner than people think, normalize relations with Israel.

I think that there are moving away from what I'll call Islamism or whatever you would want to, however you would want to dictate or brand their past.

And I think they're moving towards capitalism.

And it's an anecdotal observation, but I was in Mykonos this summer.

I used to go to Mykonos a lot.

You go to these clubs.

It's all Gulf kids now.

It's all Gulf kids.

And I think the young up and coming powerful in the Gulf have decided they're kind of turning left.

I think they're pivoting towards the West.

And rather than going all the way to San Jose for technology, I think of the two largest economies, normalized relations, which I think the kingdom would like to do.

That will be the equivalent of the most impenetrable iron dome for Israel.

So while the West's perception, tomorrow's leaders, are not as pro-Israel as in the past and that has real implications for the future of Israel and we need to be mindful of it.

I'm equally hopeful that many of the actors in the Middle East actually see long-term benefit and prosperity from normalizing relations with Israel.

I mean, after everything we've gone through in 2023, there's actually a prospect of normalization with Saudi Arabia.

At least there's a little bit of a glimmer of hope.

And in the future, I do want to ask specifically more about college campuses.

Because after everything we've seen, obviously after the congressional hearings of the heads of Harvard and Penn and MIT, a crisis is also an opportunity.

It could have been an opportunity for this recalibration, to reset.

I mean, you've obviously been very critical of campuses in general for all kinds of reasons.

I thought for a moment it might be a good point of change, that they would actually ask themselves questions and maybe change course.

It doesn't really seem to be happening.

And I wonder what should be done in that regard, in the campuses themselves.

Actually, I think it is happening.

I'm very involved in University of California, Berkeley and UCLA.

And every year, the alumni and donors get a letter from the chancellor.

And for the past five years, the chancellor, you know, greetings from another beautiful day in the Berkeley Hills.

We admitted the strongest freshman class in history.

And she would go on to talk about how these freakishly remarkable kids choose Berkeley.

And it would always end with the same thing.

It would always end with, and also, this is the most diverse class ever.

And that's a good thing.

The academic gap between black and white was double what it was between rich and poor 60 years ago.

Giving people a leg up based on race, affirmative action, just made sense.

Where it came off the tracks was we started saying, okay, now let's revisit the past and kind of get into, in a very reductive way, oppressor versus the oppressed.

And it's kind of come off the rails.

And I think people, students and faculty see that this has gone too far.

And the thing that has fueled it is that universities have morphed from centers of excellence to kind of political indoctrination vehicles and also feel that like they should be social engineers.

And I think people have said, no, we need to go back to where we're just centers of excellence.

And you're even saying, for example, race-based affirmative action was struck down.

It's fine to let someone in or give them advantage because of adversity.

But when you're at Harvard and you're only letting in 1,500 kids, the good news is 51% of the freshman class is non-white.

That's a real victory.

The bad news is that of those non-whites, 70% come from dual-income, upper-income households.

So letting in a rich Indian kid is not diversity.

So all we've done is reshuffle the elites of these universities.

And the thing we don't talk about in terms of what's impacted universities is when you create a DEI department, they have to do something.

And when you create a sustainability, an ESG, an ethics, a leadership, they have to do something.

And the wonderful thing about these jobs is they have no accountability.

Every day, we're not like other people.

People have a tendency to believe that academics are much more noble.

We're like everyone else.

We're capitalists.

We want to have good lives.

Every day, we wake up and we look in the mirror and we ask ourselves the same question.

How do I increase my compensation while reducing my accountability?

I know.

I'll start something called the DEI Center.

And I'll talk about the injustices that are really present, especially in the past and where they are now.

There's no measurable outcomes.

And if anyone criticizes what I'm doing and says that it's not helping kids establish the currency to build economic security and be leaders, which is what I believe we're supposed to do, I can call them a racist and some of it will stick.

And so we have what I call FIPS, all these formerly important people that we pay $200,000 to $400,000 a year heading ethics departments.

I can't get my 13-year-old to make his bed, but I'm supposed to teach a 27-year-old in business school how to be more ethical?

I mean, it's just this self-aggrandizement and ability to create all these departments that need to do something such that – and by the way, these people are expensive and can never be fired because you're a racist if you fire them.

They're impenetrable.

They're invulnerable from any critique around, okay, what exactly are you doing?

If you want more diversity, if you really were serious about diversity, equity, and inclusion in a place like Harvard, you take some of that $52 billion and you take the freshman class from 1,500 people, which is what a good Starbucks serves every day, and you'd expand it to 15,000.

And you'd let in more trans kids, more black kids, more LGBTQ, more white kids from Appalachia.

You'd let in just more.

And we wouldn't have these heated emotional conversations around who should get advantage and who doesn't because it's a misdirect.

The answer isn't who gets in.

The answer is how many get in.

But instead, we're going to create an LVMH proxy called a university, and it will make the alumni feel great because the value of their degree goes up.

I like bragging that I'm at NYU and hearing about all my friends' kids can't get in, but I teach there.

It makes us all feel really important, and it creates hostility and resentment.

And then we have all of these BS departments and administrators that are overpaid that results in insurmountable student debt who think big thoughts and talk about all the injustice of the past and DEI and are very quick to call things racist.

And it's gotten to the point where the snake is eating its tail, and this is the first time we've really seen it.

And I think people are – smart people are cognizant of the fact that when you become – when you go on the hunt for fake racists, at some point, it reduces to this oppressed orthodoxy, and you end up with racism.

Is it over time people will observe their actions and pay closer attention as they are now and notice things and notice, okay, when Salma Hayek and Julia Roberts on the red carpet in Cannes were holding up signs saying,

Bring our girls home from Boko Haram.

Well, there's 20 girls being held underground right now.

Where are the fucking signs, ladies?

When you see the hooties that are associated kind of with this moment, and someone actually interprets their flag, and the flag says God is great, death to America, death to Israel.

We have the benefit that over time, Hamas and what has gone on here, the truth will bubble up.

I also believe that over the long term, while people are very empathetic and get angry over short-term conflict, I do think voters respect strength.

And I believe that actually the Middle East, many of these nations respect in a quiet way kind of Israel's response.

I think they respect strength.

And I think American voters will, I'm hoping, will see that Biden was resolute here and showed real strength.

That's what I'm hoping.

In terms of the election, it is just so strange what is going on.

We had the Iowa caucus last night.

There's some very weird things happening in America.

Over half of the Republican voters were over the age of 65.

Our nation is being run by old people right now, much less the candidates.

I mean, it's just so strange.

Now, young people turning out who they vote for.

Cornel West has no shot.

The candidate that might create the unintended consequence we weren't expecting is RFK Jr.

People just don't – and people can't figure out is he good or bad for which candidate and will he get the kind of traction he'll get.

So this is going to be a strange year.

I just don't – if Biden slips and falls and it's on camera, his candidacy is probably over.

But at the same time, Trump could be sentenced to prison and people – only 7% of the Republican base says they would not vote for him if he were sentenced.

You think, well, wow, that's amazing.

His base is that hardened.

If he loses 7%, he can't win.

So we're dealing with third-party candidates, a president who has a 7% to 9%, according to actuarial tables, of dying every year.

These people are just too old.

It's insane we have these people running for president.

And then another guy who might be sentenced to prison.

And then a series of third candidates.

So who the hell knows?

I can't figure this out.

There's too many moving parts here.

Jonathan said this might be our last question, but I have to disagree with him and just ask one more small one.

We talked a lot about Judaism or about, I think, anti-Semitism.

You said on a different podcast that this crisis made you shift your part-time Jewish status to full-time.

Is that what you feel?

I'm no more religious than I ever was.

I believe at some point I'm going to look into my kids' eyes and know our relationship is coming to an end.

I'm what I call a devout atheist.

And I see it as a sign of strength.

At the same time, I recognize that my mother was a four-year-old Jew living in London when the Blitz broke out.

And had it not been for a 17-mile stretch of water, Russian blood, British brains, and American brawn, her life would have ended with a train ride.

So to not nod to good people and Israel and pay just a tiny bit back, in my view, would be a total lack of recognition around the dangers that face my mother.

In addition, there's been a chill on my business.

I have a small business, and we're losing revenue.

And there's a bit of a chill.

Do I have the right to be politically active and put other people in my company's economic security at risk?

I mean, this brings up a host of issues, right?

So I can selfishly indulge myself in my own political views.

My podcasts aren't really – I talk about geopolitics, but that's kind of not why people come to me.

They come to me for economics and tech and other things.

So I'm struggling with this stuff.

And where I end up is the following.

And it's what Sam Harris said.

If you have economic security, which I do have.

I got very lucky I have economic security.

I can't be canceled economically, at least I don't think so.

If you have people who love you unconditionally, which I would like to think, then you have an obligation to speak out.

And I haven't spoken out on anything important my whole life.

I haven't.

I have been woefully non-courageous and non-philanthropic.

Every question in action through my life up until very recently has been, how do I get more money, more women, more status, more fame?

Fucking me, me, me.

And this was an opportunity to finally say, okay, you know the history.

I think I have a sense for what's going on here.

I have a platform.

It's just overdue for me.

So it has brought me into the fray.

It has brought me to a viewpoint that I think is supportive of Israel.

And, you know, just from a self-preservation standpoint, I don't know about you guys.

I never in my life considered at some point me and my family might have to move to Tel Aviv.

Like I just would have thought that was a one in a million chance.

If this shit continues to spin out of control, like at some point is the only safe place Tel Aviv.

I mean, it's unlikely.

But at a minimum, just for self-preservation, it feels like, well, Israel and a certain level of support for Jews has to survive.

So for me, this is just sort of an awakening to finally kind of doing the right thing and using my platform for something I believe in.

But I wouldn't call this a reawakening of my religious roots.

This is just what I think is finally having the backbone and the sack to do what's right.

Scott Galloway, thanks so much for talking to us on Unholy.

Thank you. And thanks for your good word.

Thank you, Scott.
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