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Sunday, February 24

Israel and the battle of the crazy polls
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“Today, the Times of Israel published results of a Gallup poll that find 88% of Americans consider Israel a security threat to the United States.”

Two things are wrong with this statement.
Most obvious, the Times of Israel is the voice of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency known for its slavish brutality and utter dishonesty.
To be generous, most security agencies are both slavishly brutal and dishonest. Most are also stupid. Shin Bet is in no danger of rising above the crowd in this category.
The real story in the Times of Israel cited a Gallup poll that was deceptively worded to convince “someone,” certainly not Americans, that everyone loves Israel and hates Iran:
“The Gallup poll found that 99 percent of Americans believe the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States in the next 10 years,” with 83% saying it was a “critical threat” and another 16% saying it was an ‘important, [but] not critical’ one. Just 1% declined to say it was at least an important threat.”
This is where we catch the big lie.
Nothing in the poll mentions “the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.” This is what we call a “push poll,” which is designed to elicit a specific response to fabricate misleading statistics that appear to be true but are not”.
Thus, the statement citing Israel as a security threat to 88% of Americans is every bit the equal of the wild claim made by the Times of Israel.
Here are actual poll results:
1. Development of nuclear weapons by Iran – 83% (critical threat) – 16% (not critical threat) = 99% total
2. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians – 44% (critical threat) – 44% (not critical threat) = 88% total (Source: Gallup Poll, February 7-10, 2013 on “Critical Threats”)

The big lie

Note that the Gallup fails to address the primary issue of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. In fact, their question is entirely hypothetical in its wording.
Note that the Gallup fails to address the primary issue of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. Iran is not pursuing the development of nuclear weapons, as US intelligence concluded in 2007 and reaffirmed in 2011.
“If Iran were developing nuclear weapons, would it represent a ‘critical threat’?” What happened to those polled who don’t believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons?
Where did that number go?
We will never see that number. Gallup avoids issues that its clients do not want to address.
In 12 years, Gallup has never polled Americans on their attitudes about the 9/11 Commission report or how many want a new 9/11 investigation.
Gallup never asked the American people if President Bush should be prosecuted for ordering falsified intelligence that led to the decade long bloody conflict in Iraq.

The statistics game

Since the Gallup poll does indicate that 88% of Americans find the “the conflict between Israel and Palestinians” a threat to national security, what does this really mean?
What conflict is Gallup referring to?
Could it be the unrestricted bombing of Gaza or the violation of Palestinian sovereignty?
As the vast majority of nations who make up the UN General Assembly have repeatedly found, the aforementioned conflict is entirely predicated on wrongdoing, war crimes in violation of the Geneva Convention, on the part of Israel.
That being so, Gallup must have meant by “conflict” the aggressions of Israeli war criminals.
No other explanation is possible.
Then, making the same convenient use of statistics the Times of Israel did, is it not the will of the American people that Israel be held to account? Do they want aid reduced, perhaps eliminated entirely?
Should America play “policeman of the world” and send in troops to restore what is clearly the will of the general assembly:
November 29, 2012 (Reuters) – The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world body to issue its long overdue “birth certificate.”
Actually, upon careful reading of Gallup’s poll comes much closer to supporting a blanket condemnation of Israel by the American people.
By “closer,” the point we make is that at least this question isn’t entirely hypothetical.

Failure to read the document

If you aren’t adequately skeptical, it is easy to be “had.” Toward that end, Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com was “had” when he wrote the following analysis based on what must have been a very cursory reading of a predictably misleading “Times of Israel” polemic:
“A grim new poll from Gallup shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, indeed 99 percent of them, believe that Iran’s civilian nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States.”
The poll reflects the near complete saturation of American opinion with politicians’ claims of the “threat” posed by Iran’s civilian program, in spite of repeated reports conceding that Iran isn’t presently developing nuclear weapons and that it may indeed never choose to do so.”
In fact, the “grim new poll,” as Ditz calls it doesn’t show anything at all. The Gallup poll made no mention whatsoever of “Iran’s civilian nuclear program.”
As pointed out earlier, results left no room for respondents who hold that view. Those familiar with “push polling” and statistics games know quite well that those unwilling to play with weighted hypotheses are discarded from the statistical mean.
Their responses were discarded away as though they were Ohio “Gore and Kerry” voters.
Thus, Jason’s second hypothesis, that the poll “reflects the near complete saturation of American public opinion” is unsupported and, in fact, almost as bizarre as the Gallup poll itself.
The “AntiWar” article seems intended to be supportive of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program but is well beyond reach with its unsupported conclusions regarding the relative success of Israel’s propagandizing of American media.

Israel’s Real Concerns

Whatever anyone says, whether they ask about the weather or sports scores, the real subtext will be about the Hagel nomination.
“Everything,” for the next few days or weeks at least, will be about “Hagel.”
Senator Chuck Hagel, as pointed out by Republican senators during his confirmation hearings, is no friend of Israel. From today’s Times of Israel:
“What’s surprising is not the level of opposition to Hagel’s candidacy, but that it surprised anyone when it surfaced. Hagel has been an outspoken critic of many of the signature Republican foreign policy positions of recent years, vociferously opposing Bush’s Iraq policy, openly calling for diplomatic contact with terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and speculating with apparent equanimity that the ayatollahs of Iran would responsibly wield a nuclear weapon.”
Today, I interviewed active duty officers and staff NCO’s serving in my own organization, the United States Marine Corps. They were wildly supportive of Hagel and totally unconcerned with his “cold shoulder” handling of Israel.
All major veterans groups, representing 28 million American families, have come out in support of Hagel.
Strangely enough, despite his clearly critical remarks about Israel, every Jewish member of the Democratic Party serving in Congress, the party 80% of American Jews support, also support Senator Hagel, a Republican, for Secretary of Defense.
This is why Israel is in a panic.

American political statistics 101

Recent Gallup polls, as poorly worded and childishly unreliable as they are, have shown that American Democrats are increasingly distancing themselves from Israel.
Much of the leadership of the Democratic Party is Jewish.
Their membership is generally better educated, urban, progressive and less dogmatic and sociopathic in their makeup than those who identify themselves as “Republicans.”
Democrats also outnumber Republicans by nearly two to one.
Depending on the wording of the poll, between 53% and 65% of Democrats support Israeli over Palestinian interests.
Between 78% and 80% of Republicans support Israel in similar polls but let us remember, there are many more Democrats than Republicans.
More importantly, the Democrats are the ruling party.
Thus, Israel faces a ruling party prepared to cut back on military aid and, moreover, a President who has nominated his for his top security post the first American politician in decades with the personal courage to push back when Israel makes demands.
Israel is like a punch-drunk boxer, entering the ring for “one last fight.” Hagel will clearly be a “knock-out punch” for Israel.
Israel’s typical response is to “head to the winners home, kill his kids and dog and burn the house down.”
There was a time when saying this would be “politically incorrect.” That time is gone.

Nasty reality

Why the misleading polls and childish articles? The answer is simple, Israel, not unlike others, has raised a generation on ethnic cleansing, racism and hate.
Israel may well have to accept the possibility that America is now looking.
“You just can’t keep on forever murdering innocent people without someone noticing.”
“What if humanity was more important than greed and hate?”
The Times of Israel has a clear task. Their job is to deny history.
We wish them luck with that.
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