Although I’ve often criticised Uri Avnery in the past, you can’t help admiring the guy. He’s 85 and still writing a weekly column and still active in the Israeli peace movement, such as it is.
Still, in his piece this week, where he optimistically envisages an ‘abyss’ opening between the Obama regime and whatever government eventuates in next month’s Israeli election, one paragraph just leapt off the page.
Where are the American Jews? The overwhelming majority of them voted for Obama. They will be between the hammer and the anvil – between their government and their natural adherence to
The assumption that American Jews, who have never shown much interest in bringing their ‘leaders’ to heel, are now suddenly going to ‘exert pressure’ on officials who are not and never have been accountable to anybody in part precisely because nobody has ever elected them, and that they’re going to do this on the basis that they voted overwhelmingly for Obama, is decidedly not reasonable.
But you get used to that kind of pollyannaism.
What sticks out like dogs’ balls is not the imagined conflict ‘between their government and their natural adherence to
But what’s so natural about that? He can’t be suggesting that American Jews are inherently hardwired to adhere to the Zionist state. After all, the 23% who feel distant from
Since I’ve raised the AJC survey, I might as well provide a little more detail. Back in December 2007, I posted an analysis of the 2007 iteration. Unsurprisingly, the release of the report last September went right by me even though it was the first item in the AJC’s 3 October News update. Better late than never.
The 2008 Survey, carried out in mid September, once again by polling firm Synovate, only asked 15 questions, less than half the 38 asked in 2007, and with a focus on the US presidential election – three (20%) specifically asked about candidates. The sample in 2008 was also nearly 9% smaller than the 1000 ‘self-identifying Jewish respondents’ surveyed in 2007, although they claim the same 3 percentage point margin of error.
Bearing the margin of error in mind, as well as my critique of the question in ‘Who pays the piper’, in 2008, the proportion describing themselves as ‘Extremely liberal’, ‘Liberal’, or ‘Slightly liberal’ increased by a probably insignificant one percentage point, from 43% to 44%, while those claiming to be ‘Extremely conservative, ‘Conservative’, or ‘Slightly conservative’ correspondingly declined from 24% to 23%. It’s not clear where the thousands of hasbara-addled fanatics shrieking for blood on the streets of
Thirty-eight percent ‘think there will come a time when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace’, one percentage point more than in 2007, while the proportion who don’t think so also rose by the same amount to 56%. More significantly, 22% now ‘think that
Perhaps the most telling among the fifteen questions asks whether respondents support or oppose ‘...the
J Street, the ‘liberal’ Jewish lobby, commissioned an internet survey of ‘800 self-identified adult American Jews’ that was designed by Gerstein | Agne Strategic Communications and conducted by YouGovPolimetrix between 29 June and 3 July last year. If Synovate asks leading questions that beg all kinds of assumptions, Gerstein | Agne have certainly outdone them. Each of the 91 questions are so long and complex that it’s hard to make any sense out of National Survey of American Jews, even if you believe that respondents followed the questions. One question (Q51), however, although not collecting the same concept as the AJC survey’s, may provide a comparative measure.
A plurality of 48% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate enunciating the following position:
I haven’t seen any polling of US Jews since 27 December, but in a Rasmussen telephone survey of ‘1,000 Likely Voters’ – not just Jews – on 9-10 January, more than two weeks into the slaughter, 56% blamed ‘the Palestinians’ for ‘the current situation’, as Rasmussen so delicately put it. A plurality of 45% said