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Saturday, June 13, 2009
IMRA Response to J Street blasts 'distorted' poll that says Israelis against settlement freeze

IMRA Response to J Street blasts 'distorted' poll that says Israelis against
settlement freeze
13 June 2009 Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA

"J Street's hysterical and inaccurate response (see below) to the poll is
indicative of its shallowness. The poll was commissioned by IMRA-
Independent Media Review and Analysis and not Ariel University Center. The
poll was carried out by Maagar Mohot Survey Institute headed by Professor
Yitzchak Katz, a top pollster in Israel.

J Street selectively cites the only poll out of 5 published polls that
indicated support for Obama's freeze. And anyone reading the Dahaf (Dr.
Mina Tzemach) poll for Yediot Ahronot would realize that there is a problem
with citing the headline making result.

When Dr. Tzemach asked Israelis "Should Netanyahu accept Obama's demands or
reject them even at the cost of sanctions" without citing what the demands
were she yielded the result of Yes 56% No 40%. But in the very same poll,
when she asked "Should construction for natural growth be permitted in the
settlements?" the results were Yes 54% No 42%.

So the poll J Street cites also finds that the Israeli public opposes
Obama's demands to freeze settlement construction for "natural growth"

As for the use of polls to promote a radical position, a week before
President Obama's inauguration, J Street used the device of a public
opinion poll of American Jews to promote sanctions against Israel if it
fails to heed their marching orders.

Here is what they promoted with their poll questions:

#1 Threaten sanctions against Israel to force it to accept their program.

Poll question: Below is a list of actions the United States could take to
try convincing the Palestinians and Israelis to accept this peace agreement
today. For each action, please mark whether you approve or disapprove that

- Publicly state which party is responsible for blocking the agreement from
being reached

- Reduce economic aid for any party that blocks the agreement from being

- Reduce military aid for Israel if it blocks the agreement from being

- Reduce American support for Israel in international institutions if it
blocks the agreement from being reached
#2 Suggest that American support for Israel promotes anti-Semitism

Poll question: I am concerned that other Americans will end up resenting
American Jews because of America's perceived favoritism toward Israel under
all circumstances.

##3 Promote arguments geared to erode support for Israel

Poll question: With Hamas launching rockets into southern Israel that killed
many Israeli civilians and Israel launching air and ground strikes that
killed many Palestinian civilians, neither side has a monopoly on who is
right and who is wrong.

Poll question: With hundreds of Palestinian civilian deaths and a
humanitarian crisis resulting from a month of no electricity and clean
water throughout Gaza, Israel's response to Hamas' attacks was

Poll question: Israeli military actions that target terrorists, but kill
Palestinian civilians create more terrorism instead of preventing terrorism

Poll question: Israel has the right to defend itself, but it must also take
into account humanitarian considerations and avoid collective punishment of
the entire Palestinian population by closing the borders and causing major
civilian hardship

J Street certainly has every right to express its support for and argue the
merits of what they consider to be an Arab Israeli "peace plan".

But its one thing to participate in the debate of ideas.

It is far another to promote sanctions against Israel to force it to adopt J
Street's ideas.

And it goes far beyond the issue of respecting the Israeli democratic

Shame on J Street.


J Street blasts 'distorted' poll that says Israelis against settlement

By Haaretz Service Last update - 21:15 12/06/2009

The pro-Israel group J Street on Friday blasted a poll released earlier this
week that said a majority of Israelis are against a settlement freeze,
calling the poll 'politically motivated and distorted'.

The poll, which was later picked up by the Associated Press and other news
outlets, said that 56% of Israelis support continued settlement

J Street's statement read: "Today's quasi-poll, sponsored by Ariel
University Center, the only settlement university, and published only in the
clear rightist Makor Rishon-Hatzofe newspaper and not in any mainstream
Hebrew press, is a good example of the half-truths and lies that will be
injected into the debate. The politically motivated and distorting wording
of the poll questions is clear to anyone who reads them."

According to J Street, the poll is an example of the 'trickery and deceit'
that settlers and their supporters will use "in an effort to mislead the
Obama Administration and the American public about Israeli sentiment
regarding settlements."

The J Street statement also mentions a recent poll by Dahaf and one by
Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot that found a majority of Israelis
support a settlement freeze and 'acquiescence by Prime Minister Netanyahu to
U.S. demands'.

IMRA analysis of the poll

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