Cutting through the bullshit.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Percent of what?

You may have come across a new poll that's doing the rounds.

According to to Yaniv Reich, reproduced at Information Clearing House ‘53% of Israelis think ethnic cleansing is the solution to the conflict’.

The actual question was ‘What's the best solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict?’, and the response options were
  • Two states for two peoples, 30.8%
  • Transfer of Palestinians to another Arab country, 53.2%
  • Maintain status quo, 1.3%
  • Give Palestinians Jordanian citizenship, 14.5%

As I’ve often pointed out before, if the response options don’t exhaust all the possibilities, if only by offering an ‘other’ option, it inevitably distorts the results. In most cases, as in this one, failure to include other possibilities, like extending Israeli citizenship to everyone in the area Israel currently controls, or federation with neighbouring countries, for example, means that the poll is actually more an exercise in propaganda than research —an attempt to form rather than to measure respondents’ views.

But in this case, that hardly matters. To his credit, Reich disclaims of Israel National News (Arutz 7) ‘its a right-wing rag’. As far as I’m aware, its principal audience is settlers, presumably, hard core English speaking olim. So the population ‘sampled’ is already heavily skewed to the extreme right.

At the same time, apparently picking up on Arutz 7’s claim of ‘more than 6,400 people surveyed’, he gives Arutz Sheva too much credit in describing the number of votes as ‘sample size “more than 6,400″’.  In reality, the poll was not a survey as usually understood, where respondents are selected at random from identified ‘strata’ of a population to ensure that the sample reflects demographic characteristics of the whole population, like sex, age, location, etc. The ‘sample’ was entirely self selecting. We have no way of knowing whether respondents corresponded in any way even with the population of Arutz Sheva readers, much less with Israeli Jews, much less with Israelis in general.

Based on this thoroughly bogus online vote, it is not possible to say, as Reich does, that ‘53.2% of surveyed Israelis say the “solution” to the conflict was the ethnic cleansing (”transfer”) of Palestinians out of occupied Palestine and into other neighboring Arab countries’. Because there was no proper sampling, we can’t calculate the ‘margin of error — for all we know, it’s 90%, or 3%.

As for the other results, Arutz Sheva is actually more honest than Reich in claiming, ‘The "two-states for two peoples" solution being pushed by the United States and the international community received 30.8 percent support’, where Reich writes, ‘only 30.8% of Israelis support the “two-states for two peoples” framework for peace’. It’s not 30.8% of Israelis — it’s just 30.8% of those who voted in the poll, since they don’t represent anyone else. Bear in mind that this was an online poll, so anyone at all can vote, Israeli or not, Jewish or not.

According to Tel Aviv University’s October War and Peace Index, however, which does purport to be based on a genuine sample of 514, with a margin of error of 4.5%,
...the distribution of views among the Jewish public is quite clear : the majority, about two-thirds (64%), favor the principle [of “two states for two peoples”] compared to a third who oppose it.

So it’s highly probable that the proportion of Israeli Jews who support ‘two states for two peoples’ is actually more than double what this poll claims.

It’s worth reiterating that for Israeli Jews, ‘two states for two peoples’ does not necessarily mean The International Consensus. As I pointed out in July, 60% of Israeli Jews say withdrawal to the Green Line is ‘unacceptable’, and 53% consider evacuation of the settlements unacceptable, while 45% insist that it’s ‘essential’ for all of Jerusalem with its expanded boundaries, to remain annexed to Israel, etc. October’s War and Peace Index found that 54% of the two state supporters ‘thinks continued construction in the settlements will not ultimately detract from the realization of the two-state solution’.

Real opinion polls, for all their legion faults, provide us with at least a gross indication of the level of unabashed and unalloyed racism among Israeli Jews, whether they support establishing a Palestinian bantustan, and what form they want it to take, among other things. And we can use that information in countering the perennial hasbara onslaught about ‘Israel’s quest for peace’, but wherever you may read about it, this Arutz Sheva poll tells us squat and it is self defeating to pretend that it does.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Save the Galillee!

 I don’t usually go for the low hanging fruit, but the other day, I received an advert proclaiming,

Jewish Galilee In Danger

Do you want to do something about it? Be A Partner in Saving The Galilee! Buy A Piece of Israel! "Because it's time to take our country back!"

It had never occurred to me that Jews could buy indulgences, but it transpires that

"One who purchases 4 cubits (amot) in the Land of Israel is assured a portion in the World to Come"
- Midrash Zuta on Megilat Ruth (4:5)

For US$100, you can not only buy a plot in the afterlife, but also 4 square metres ‘of Lower Galilee farming land for B'Ahavat Yisrael's Avoda Ivrit (Jewish Labor) youth farming project’. 

That’s right, Hebrew labour is back.

The land will be farmed exclusively by Jewish youths and the more land that is purchased and worked by Jews the better chance we have of ensuring Jewish sovereignty in the Galilee!

But wait, there’s more!

Special Offer: Dedicate your own section of 18 plots for only $1,500!

Not only that, but if you’re a US resident, your little investment in ethnic cleansing is tax deductible.

On his website, beneath the slogan ‘...because it is time to take our country back...’, B'Ahavat Yisrael’s founder and director, Yosef Ben Tzion (Joel Busner), writes,

If you read or see CNN or the BBC or even the more even handed FOX news, you may come away with the feeling that the government of Israel's settlement policy is an illegal impediment to Peace...

He is scandalised that,

...the Arabs are voting citizens...they receive more National Insurance per capita than Jews...they are causing more deadly car accidents per capita...the media, the Judiciary, and the overall control of the 'system' are controlled by self hating Jewish leftists...the Arabs are winning point after point as the base of a Jewish state dissolves with each point...Thanks to Israel's Extreme Leftist dominated Supreme Court the Israeli Land Authority can no longer develop a new community exclusively for Jews...Arabs can now buy homes in Jewish villages...The Negev is being taken over by blatant Bedouin land grabs and there are thousands upon thousands of illegal houses all over the Negev...

If have the stomach for more racist autoparody, follow the link.