ADL Survey: US Jews overwhelmingly supported Israel's Gaza action

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Max Bialystock
ADL Survey: US Jews overwhelmingly supported Israel's Gaza action

Looks like anti-Zionists and those in the Jewish community concerned with the welfare of the Palestinians have their work cut out for them.

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/5455_62.htm

Quote:
% expressed sympathy for Israel over Hamas; only 1% for Hamas (graph). By denomination breakdown: Orthodox - 98% expressed sympathy for Israel; Conservative - 96%; Reform - 91%.

•  81% expressed the belief that Hamas was responsible for the escalation of the violence; only 14% held Israel responsible (graph).  By denomination breakdown: Orthodox - 84% held Hamas responsible, Conservative - 88%, Reform - 77%; non-practicing 77%.

• Asked whether Israel's response to Hamas rockets was appropriate or excessive, probably the major theme that has appeared in international critiques of Israel, 79% said it was appropriate, 17% excessive (graph). By denomination breakdown: Orthodox -  88%, appropriate, Conservative - 80%, Reform - 80% and non-practicing - 71%

• When asked about Israel's right to self-defense versus the need to win the "hearts and minds" of the Arab world, 79% said that Israel's responsibility to protect its citizens takes precedence (graph).

 "The survey findings strongly contradict those who disagreed with Israel's actions against Hamas and claimed there was a sharp division in the American Jewish community," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

"The vast majority of the Jewish community clearly understands and overwhelmingly supports Israel's effort to stop Hamas' constant rocket attacks and cripple its terrorism infrastructure. The Jewish community is an open community where different views are welcome.  It was unfortunate that some seem to have an interest in exaggerating the level of disagreement on this issue."

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
The vast majority of the Jewish community clearly understands and overwhelmingly supports Israel's effort to stop Hamas' constant rocket attacks and cripple its terrorism infrastructure.

All hail the Israel Lobby.  How many other propagandists have been able to have their targets believe in the virtue of their thefts and murders to this degree? 

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

 

Quote:

What makes our steadfastness admired around the world is not only our perseverance but the justice of our cause, which is freedom, democracy and plurality. It is important to remember this broader definition of our character and our steadfastness. It is even more important for us to more loudly trumpet this, our true identity, throughout the world.

The reason is simple: Israel has dedicated an enormous amount of resources to perverting our identity and the character of our struggle. It has gained a significant degree of influence over the media, especially in the West, and has used this strength to transform and manipulate reality to its own ends. Thus despite our being slaughtered in the streets of Gaza, we are told that we are not only to blame but that the siege we are enduring is unworthy of international intervention.

Despite having thousands of our civilian brothers, sons, fathers, sisters, mothers and daughters in Israeli prisons routinely subjected to torture, we are told to immediately release a single captured Israeli soldier--or face another wave of high-tech brutality.

Despite the fact that we have international and human rights law on our side, it is said that we are "stubborn" because of our refusal to surrender the remainder of our historic birthright to Israeli occupation. We Palestinians are depicted in much of the media as steadfast only in our savagery, irrationality and propensity for violence.

From the 1920s onward, Palestinian resistance has been overwhelmingly nonviolent. The number of peaceful, unarmed Palestinian martyrs of this conflict far outweighs those of us who have fought the enemy on its own violent terms. From boycotts to business and hunger strikes, from demonstrations to diplomacy, we Palestinians are engaged daily in nonviolent struggle against the occupation of our land and the constant abuse of our dignity and security

  Steadfast Before Goliath

 

 

By Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi

Unionist

I find it disgusting that anyone would take the ADL's word for the opinions of U.S. Jews. Perhaps we should quote the Fraser Institute polls for the opinions of Canadian workers?

 

Lord Palmerston

I don't think this poll is a fake.  However it  was certainly designed to maximize the "pro-Israel" response and I wouldn't rule out some people with reservations might have been reluctant to express them to the ADL.  It's kind of like asking "do you support the troops?"

It's Me D

I wonder how this compares to the general US population... rather bizare to survey only Jews... does anyone think approval for Israel's massacre in Gaza was much lower amongst the general American population? Given what they recieve from their media I'd be surprised if there is much of a difference.

Unionist

Lord Palmerston wrote:
I don't think this poll is a fake.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

The poll was conducted by the "Marttila Communications Group".

Try to find its website.

Now name another company that has no website.

 

KenS

As pointed out, the 80% [or more] support for the "appropriateness" of the Israeli attack may be an exagerration. But it doesn't sound completely out of line.

However high the level of support is among among American Jews, I agree that the level of support of ALL Americans is very high also.... way past a majority. I rather expect there isn't much difference in levels of support of among white people and that of Jews. For levels of support among people of colour I couldn't even make an educated guess.  I only know of somewhat  more criticism of Israel among African-Americans [beyond those explicitly political/activist or otherwise some kind of public community figure].

Its very daunting.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Excuse me, but why the fuck should I care about American surveys on the issue, when there is so much to be done to educate those on my own side of the border?

Unionist

KenS wrote:

I only know of somewhat  more criticism of Israel among African-Americans [beyond those explicitly political/activist or otherwise some kind of public community figure].

I conducted a two-person poll on that issue: Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

Stockholm

"rather bizare to survey only Jews"

I don't think its "bizarre" at all. People do surveys all the time of subsets of the population. I've seen surveys published of Cuban-Americans, African Americans, Muslim-Americans etc... why not - its all interesting.

KenS

Valid point LTJ.

But unfortunately, I think the same overwhelming support for Israel as it has acted exists in Canada.

It doesn't matter enough that people may typically think Israel used excessive force. If in the final analysis, they think that Israel 'had to' attack Hamas/Gaza... then that is all the bloodthirsty Israeli PR machine needs.

We're of course just making educated guesses about how much of that support there is.... but from the people I talk to it looks pretty clearly like in Canada Israel won that PR war. That they had massive help from the media is immaterial to where things stand at the moment.

aka Mycroft

Call me cynical and jaded but I'd prefer to see a survey of more than 400 people done by a pollster people have heard of and perhaps not commissioned by the JDL (or at least with the full questionairre released). For all we know the critical questions were preceded by a dozen or so leading questions overemphasising the rocket fire and underemphasizing the blockade etc.

It's Me D

Stockholm wrote:
I don't think its "bizarre" at all.

I guess I should have specified that its bizarre to survey American Jews only, without data on the general US population to contrast their findings against. From a purely data collection perspective their findings have little meaning as they cannot show if American Jews differ from the general population in thier opinions on this. The only reason I can see for this is a desire to represent the position of American Jews as more supportive of Israel's Gaza massacre than your average American; a position I've already called into doubt and which their survey cannot prove since they only surveyed American Jews.

Star Spangled C...

It's Me D wrote:
rather bizare to survey only Jews...

The question to me is HOW they managed to survey only Jews. Most "general" surveys (like political surveys) are done randomly. A computer algorithim jsut calls numbers at random and they speak to who they can get. If it's on voting intention, the only qualifications are that you be over 18 and a citizen so most people you reach will be qualified to participate. For "narrower" survyes like, say, guaging satisfaction of people who recently bought a Toyota, you can't jsut call numbers at random hoping to get a new Toyota owner cause such people make up a tiny percentage of teh popualtion. So you have to get a specific list, likely given to you by the people at Toyota.

Since Jews are 1 or 2 percent of the population, I doubt they jsut randomly called numbers and eliminated 99% of people they reached. So, presumably, they used a list. The question is: where did they GET that list? If it was, say, a list of ADL members, that's not a truly representative sample of the overall jewish population, jsut a representation of the members of that organization.

It just sends up a red flag for me...

aka Mycroft

That's an excellent point. If the phoning was truly random there would be a prohibitively high rate of "not qualified" calls for every "qualified" (ie Jewish) respondent. If the phoning pool was derived from, say, the ADL's membership/contact list or other "lists of Jews" that the official Jewish community may have developed for outreach, than the result would be suspect as any such list would skew right (not suprisingly Jews who are critical of Israel are less likely to participate in Jewish commuity organizations and are also less likely to live in predominantly Jewish neighbourhoods.

It's Me D

SSC, quite true, you're right that they'd have had to survey the general population or use a list... if they used a list its quite possibly biased, if they didn't and they've thrown out the general population data (you're right its unlikely) then one has to ask why they'd have done so... the likely reason being that US Jews did not have statistically relevant differences of opinion on this from the opinion of the general American population.

Stockholm

Its a good question to ask of how they get a sample of American Jews. There are plenty of other surveys though that get done of small sub-samples of the population. I've seen surveys that are supposedly of gays and lesbians and they are also a very small proportion of the population and even less likely to self-identify than are Jews. I've also seen surveys published of Arab-Americans - how do you suppose they do that?

I have a hunch that the way they would do the survey would as follows: First of all there are about 6 million Jews in the US (about 2.5% of the population). But the vast majority live in either New York, Florida, California, Illinois or to a lesser extent Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts - so right off the bat - no point combing through West Virginia and Alaska and Alabama looking for Jews to interview. Then within these states there are census tracts and areas where there are much higher concentrations of Jews - so they can target the phoning into areas where there is a much higher "hit rate". They can also use computer programs to search directories for common Jewish surnames etc...

 None of these methods is perfect, but there are ways to survey a small population like American Jews without having to phon 98 people at random for every 2 that you get.

aka Mycroft

That's true but it would still skew the result if assimiliated Jews who live in Utah or Minnesota are less likely to have strong pro-Israel views than those living in Florida or New York and who are more likely to be fully engaged in the organized Jewish community and more likely to be bombarded by people around them with views supporting Israel.

It would be interesting to look at the US census and see what proportion of US Jews don't live in Jewish centres.

Unionist

I'm going to try this again and see what people think:

1. This so-called "poll" was conducted by the Marttila Communications Group.

2. The Marttila Communications Group has no website.

3. The Marttila Communications Group is not a polling company. It describes itself as "a strategic consulting company". I have found no mention of polling as part of its mandate.

4. I have found no mention of any poll ever conducted by the Marttila Communications Group except a few for the so-called Anti-Defamation League.

5. I think the ADL has enough money to commission a poll (a real poll, that is) if it is so inclined.

At this point, therefore, I consider the ADL's declaration to be unsupported propaganda.

KenS

I'd agree unionist.

My comments were leaving behind the question of polling and expressing what I read as general support [qualified or not] for Israel's actions.

Others have only commented on the viability of accurately polling american Jews. No one except you has directly addressed the credibility of this poll, and it would seem that tacitly no one sees that it has any credibility worth speaking to.

Its just my opinion based on who I talk to that even if it isn't at 80% level- the support among American and Canadian Jews is very high; and my opinion also that even if it may not be equally high among Americans and Canadians in general, it is high enough to be the clearly dominant opinion.

In other words, for the practical effect it has, I don't see a discernable difference between the support among North American Jews and North Americans in general for the actions of Israel. Even now. 

Salsa

A survey of only 400 people ? Red flag.

 

Now I'm no pollster but if I were and I wanted to sample the Jewish population I'd most likely contact the Jewish community, say by going to a Synagogue(s) making my intentions about conducting this survey known and ask for phone numbers and a best time to call.

Were I looking to bias my survey, I might wear something like an ADL lapel pin.

 

Like I said I'm no pollster.

 

Warning...aside.

 

While I'm  here. On one of the Israel/Gaza thread chunks, I read that the IDF/Israeli government was actually paying people to go forth into the world of internet forums and champion the Israeli cause. I'm unable to find that information as my google-fu is weak today ans I'm wondering if someone has that link handy if they might do me the favour of reposting it.

 

The reason I'm asking is i highly suspect I have one of these guys on another forum and I don't want to "hurl an accusation" at him without something, at least, to back it up.

Stockholm

I disagree. I've seen polls of Canadians as a whole on the Middle East and you tend to get about 15% who describe themselves as pro-Israel, 15% who describe themselves as pro-Palestinians and about 70% who are "neutral/fuck the lot of the them". In the US there is probably a larger percentage that are pro-Israel, but I'll bet that a plurality are "neutral/fuck the lot of them".

Star Spangled C...

Stockholm, you make a lot of good points about how to potentially improve the sampling in the survey research. yeah, it probably would make sense not to call utah since the rate of qualified respondents would be way lower than if you called Brooklyn. And, yes, it makes sense to narrowcast it by neighbourhood to get higher response rates as well. So if you were polling in Toronto, it would make sense to call households at bathurst and Lawrence instead of households in Scarborough. the problem here, though, is that you get certain 'types" of jews more often so it can't really be an accurate sampling of the jewish population as a whole and it elimates the principle of "random probability' which is at the heart of survey research. You mentioned surveys being done with other small population groups but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a problem; it could just mean that the SAME probelms exist in thsoe surveys. For example, if you're surveying gays, yes it makes sense to focus on areas liek Church and wellesley in Toronto or the Castro district in San Fran. But gays who consciously choose to live in predominantly gay areas may ahve different views than gays who live in Oakville. just like a Jew who chooses to live in a hasidic neighbourhood is lilely pretty different than a guy in utah who just happens to be Jewish.

When surveying "jews" too you also run into problems of how to qualify people as "Jewish." Reform, Conservative and Orthodox each have different standards as to who is a Jew according to jewish law. Does anyone with jewish ancestry count? Do Jews for Jesus? 

It's sort of like if you wanted a survey of "Blue jays fans" how do you decide who is qualified as a Blue Jay fan? Anyone who, if forced to choose, would say they prefer the jays to any other team but who've never actually seen to a game and generally hate baseball? People who've watched a game in the past year? People with season tickets? (cause those guys may actually be Yankees fans but jsut can't drive to NYC to watch a ballgame). What? How do you do that with "Jews?" Do people who've never set foot in a synogogue count the same as a talmudic scholar from Boro Park? They likely have pretty different views but the guy in Boro Park is a lot easier to reach...

Unionist

With all due respect, almost everything I've read in this thread amounts to groundless speculation - triggered by a so-called fraudulent "telephone survey" by a non-polling company, without even an indication of the margin of error (there's another first, folks!).

My discussions with Jews indicate that the vast majority were deeply disturbed by the horrors committed in Gaza and the fact that the peace movement in Israel is in hiding.

My discussions with workers indicates that there is extremely limited support for Israeli mass-murderous behaviour in the Montréal area.

Those conclusions are accurate within 5%, 19 times out of 20.

 

Star Spangled C...

Unionist, to your points about jsut who the hell is this polling company, i would offer two possibilities.

One is that it is jsut some bullshit, fly-by-night company with no credibility.

the other is that it is a legitiamte polling firm that disguised its name while doing the research. Lots of polling companies do that. Not the ones like Gallup or Ipsos who poll for the media but companies that poll for political parties or advocacy groups will often use a fake name so as not to reveal the sponsor of the research and bias the participants. If they say they're calling from Frank Luntz Research, that could be a tip-off cause Luntz is a republican pollster who works with right wing organizations. If you get a survey from them, you are safe to assume it's not being done for the Obama campaign or the AFL-CIO or Planned Parenthood.

aka Mycroft

I've heard of polling companies disguising their names when making the actual calls but not of them doing so when releasing the results.

It's Me D

KenS wrote:
No one except [unionist] has directly addressed the credibility of this poll, and it would seem that tacitly no one sees that it has any credibility worth speaking to.

Lots of us are questioning the credibility of the poll. Unionist's point is a good one; no one else has felt the need to repeat it but that doesn't mean we disagree. The rest have raised other reasons why this poll has no credibility, if in fact it isn't a complete fraud (which is certainly possible). 

KenS wrote:
Its just my opinion based on who I talk to that even if it isn't at 80% level- the support among American and Canadian Jews is very high; and my opinion also that even if it may not be equally high among Americans and Canadians in general, it is high enough to be the clearly dominant opinion.

Are you saying that the dominant opinion among North American Jews is support for Israel's Gaza massacre? Would you say that is different from North Americans in general? If no, why make the distinction?

Unionist

There was no poll. The ADL hired someone to phone their members (and not on the Sabbath, wouldn't you know). The article doesn't even allege that they were selected at RANDOM! Get over it, folks. Let's wait for credible stats, but meanwhile this thread is a good example of speculation based on nothing.

 

aka Mycroft

Anyway, I think the views in the Jewish community are much more nuanced than the poll suggest. The poll, I think, is a propaganda exercise, much like the National Post/COMPAS polls of a few years ago - designed to produce a specific result which can be used in propaganda and, if the sponsors are lucky, also get their message into the media. The intention is not to learn what people are thinking but to try to influence their thoughts.

I expect that a plurality of American Jews did support Israel's war but I also think a substantial minority did not and that many of those who did support it had serious reservations.

KenS

Unionist wrote:

My discussions with Jews indicate that the vast majority were deeply disturbed by the horrors committed in Gaza and the fact that the peace movement in Israel is in hiding.

What you say here is no more or less "groundless speculation" tha what I or others have or might offer. And I wouldn't call any of it that- its all we really have to go on.

For what its worth I agree that most North American Jews seem to be horrified to at least some degree. And its a mark of the disturbing corruption of Israeli civil society that Jews there seem to run from cheerleading the horrors to a small minority who even feel the need to rationalize away the facts of what they see.

The same shock at the horrors goes for the general North American population. But I still think that in the face of that, if North Americans when push comes to shove think that Israel "had to do something"... the Israeli propaganda has achieved all that it needs.

And thats certainly what I get from people- that at least before I bring up other possibilities to them, they DO think that Israel "had to do something."

It's Me D

Unionist: Interesting that John who conducted this "poll" is well connected to the new administration.

KenS

Before people jump all over me, let me point out that two different questions are being asked.

The question being asked in the "poll" amounts to "are you clearly in favour of what Israel did in Gaza?"

To counter that, and apparently somewhat to counter what I am suggesting, people are giving evidence of how many North Americans are disturbed by what Israel has done in Gaza.

Behind my suggestion would be different questions put to people: "Do yopu beleive Israel had to militarily intervene in Gaza?"

My suggestion is that a great many North Americans would be both disturbed by what Israel did, and STILL say that Israel 'had to do something.' I would further suggest that this continued 'quailified' support of Israel would be an effect of buying into Israeli propaganda about the Gaza 'war'... and is perfectly sufficient for Israel to get what it needs from the North American public.

Lord Palmerston

aka Mycroft wrote:
I expect that a plurality of American Jews did support Israel's war but I also think a substantial minority did not and that many of those who did support it had serious reservations.

I agree.  And obviously framing it as "Israel vs. Hamas" maximized the pro-Israel response.  

Stockholm

"When surveying "jews" too you also run into problems of how to qualify people as "Jewish." Reform, Conservative and Orthodox each have different standards as to who is a Jew according to jewish law. Does anyone with jewish ancestry count? Do Jews for Jesus? "

If I were constructing the poll my solution to that would be very simple. "Do you consider yourself to be Jewish?". Anyone who self-identifies can take part in the survey. Period. 

Unionist

KenS wrote:
Unionist wrote:

My discussions with Jews indicate that the vast majority were deeply disturbed by the horrors committed in Gaza and the fact that the peace movement in Israel is in hiding.

What you say here is no more or less "groundless speculation" tha what I or others have or might offer. And I wouldn't call any of it that- its all we really have to go on.

LaughingLaughing

Sorry, Ken, I was kidding in that post - just wanted to show that I could come up with just as "professional" a survey as the ADL, and more in tune with Canadians in fact.

Unionist

It's Me D wrote:
Unionist: Interesting that John who conducted this "poll" is well connected to the new administration.

John Marttila is described in various places on the internet as a senior advisor to the John Kerry campaign.

It's Me D

Unionist wrote:
John Marttila is described in various places on the internet as a senior advisor to the John Kerry campaign.

And more recently to VP Biden.

Lord Palmerston

aka Mycroft wrote:
It would be interesting to look at the US census and see what proportion of US Jews don't live in Jewish centres.

Unlike in Canada, where religion is asked and Jews are also counted as an ethnic origin (so you can have ethnic Jews of no religion, people who claim Hungarian ancestry whose religion is Jewish, etc.), in the US "Jewish" is not considered an ethnic group so they're classified as Polish, Russian, Israeli, etc.

Star Spangled C...

Obviously, I'm not a pollster. I am, however, a medical researcher and have a pretty good understanding of quantitative research methodologies.

And, basically, the results of this poll seem meaningless. Giving a survey exclusively to Jews really doesn't tell you anything. If I'm overseeing a drug trial, only monitoring the people on that drug doesn't tell me anything. I need a control group of people NOT on teh drugs so I can compare the results. Is jewish support higher, lower or equal to the population? Without knowing that, I don't really know anything. Further, someone's religion is only one of many variables that affect their views on issues like Israel and gaza. Other factors - age, income, geography, political orientation, etc. - are also important. Are tehy more important? We ahve no way of knowing that based on these silly results and poor methodology. We'd need to run a multivariate regression analysis (wikipedia can probably explain it better than I can to people unfamiliar) where you hold certain variables constant to see if the dependent variable (supporting israel) is actually corelated to the fixed variable (being jewish). Are the views of high-income 55 year old and over politically conservative New York Jews any different thatn those of high-income 55 and older politically conservative new York Catholics? Maybe. But if not, then some otehr variable, whether age, geography, politics, etc. is obviously more important in determining how one feels about israel.

Star Spangled C...

Unionist wrote:

There was no poll. The ADL hired someone to phone their members (and not on the Sabbath, wouldn't you know). The article doesn't even allege that they were selected at RANDOM! Get over it, folks. Let's wait for credible stats, but meanwhile this thread is a good example of speculation based on nothing.

 

I doubt if they simply fabricated the poll but I'm guessing it would not meet the minimum threshold to be considered a legitiamte scientific survey and that any legitiamte polling firm would probably be embarassed to ahve their name attached to it.

i think it's about as meaningful as the poll that i conducted that showed that I am, in fact, the sexiest man alive. i mean, yeah, the sample consisted of my wife but maybe I should put out a press release...

Unionist

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

i think it's about as meaningful as the poll that i conducted that showed that I am, in fact, the sexiest man alive. i mean, yeah, the sample consisted of my wife but maybe I should put out a press release...

Was the polling subject offered a multiple choice?

It's Me D

SSC wrote:
Giving a survey exclusively to Jews really doesn't tell you anything. If I'm overseeing a drug trial, only monitoring the people on that drug doesn't tell me anything. I need a control group of people NOT on teh drugs so I can compare the results. Is jewish support higher, lower or equal to the population? Without knowing that, I don't really know anything.

Thats what I said right away! Even if the "poll" was top-notch in its selection methods and rigorously scientific it's not telling you anything at all without comparitive data on the general US population.

Star Spangled C...

 

Was the polling subject offered a multiple choice?

Well, Bush gave a multiple choice survey of "with us" or "with the terrorists." I think the ADl poll may ahve jsut cut and pasted that into the survey. I think qualitative research would be more meaningful. I mean, in a forced choice question, most would probably choose "israel" over "hamas" but that doesn't mean unequivocal support for israel.