Washington, Feb. 14 – “The Israel Project’s Spanish language program is proud and humbled by the strong support and interest we have received from the U.S. Latino population,” says program director Leah Soibel. The Israel Project’s Spanish program was created approximately a year and a half ago in August, 2010.
The Israel Project’s Executive Director for the Americas, Alan Elsner, expounds, “We at TIP are excited by the opportunity to build and strengthen our relationships with this important community with which we share so many fundamental values and experiences, and we are eager to deepen our dialogue and learn from one another.”
In TIP’s first targeted quantitative efforts to collect public opinion data among this population in early 2011, Latinos clearly support Israel in the context of the conflict. Personal support for Israel reaches 48 percent while only 9 percent support the Palestinians. And, 44 percent of Latinos say the U.S. SHOULD support Israel, compared to only 6 percent for the Palestinians.
U.S. Latinos have warm feelings toward Israel by a three-to-one margin (41 percent positive-14 percent negative) and are cool toward the Palestinians by two-to-one (16 percent-31 percent). When asked to rate their feelings toward Iran, a majority of Latinos (54 percent) give a negative rating.
Like many other demographic groups in the U.S., TIP brings a targeted approach to communicating directly with the Latino community, and has great optimism regarding the strengthening of Israel’s relationship with this key group.
Recently, Soibel moved from TIP’s Jerusalem office to the Washington office to be closer to her daily efforts, working as an educator and resource for the Spanish language media as well as political and diplomatic leaders from the Latino community. She has worked closely with hundreds of Spanish-language reporters and world leaders over the years, providing them with exclusive materials in Spanish and facilitating tours, interviews and media events with experts and officials about the region.
Soibel is a meticulous researcher with expert knowledge of Israel's security needs and peace efforts, international terrorism and Iran-backed activities in Latin America and the Middle East. She regularly appears in the Spanish-language media and often briefs journalists and opinion leaders in Spanish and English on the latest Mideast developments.