Friday, July 30, 2021

  • Friday, July 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Shibley Telhami at the Brookings Institution has released another poll that shows that loaded questions can prompt the anti-Israel responses he wants.

Only a few questions were published but their wording shows the bias of the pollsters:

Q67. Several members of Congress suggested withholding possible sale of arms to Israel, after its bombings of Gaza resulted in the death of over 250 people, mostly civilians, during intense fighting that also saw 12 Israelis, mostly civilians, killed by Hamas rockets.
In general, do you support linking American arms supplies to Israel to Israel’s actions toward
Palestinians?
The question starts off implying that the Congressional desire to withhold sales of arms to Israel is far more widespread than it is. The point is to make the subject primed to want to agree with what the experts in Congress believe.

The fighting is described as Israel massively bombing Gaza civilians for no reason. Israel's bombing is mentioned before Hamas rockets, making the people surveyed think that Israel started the fighting. 

The "scorecard" (>250-12) is designed to make it look like Israel's response was disproportionate. 

The "more than 250" was adding up deaths on both sides (Gaza's Ministry of Health counted 248, and they included those killed by Gaza rockets that fell short.), but implies that all deaths were Israel's fault, even the Israelis.

The "mostly civilians" is again meant to bias the respondents - the question could have accurately said that the effectiveness of Israeli airstrikes was unprecedented in urban warfare despite Hamas hiding among civilians. 

The question is designed to prime people to hate Israel - and then answer the question accordingly.

Another question clearly meant to bias the responses:

Considering the high level of civilian casualties and destruction, how would you evaluate President Biden’s effort to end the fighting?
The question says there was a high level of civilian casualties and destruction - compared to what? How many civilians killed by the US in Iraq or Afghanistan? The number killed in Syria? The amount of damage I saw was less than half a billion dollars - is that a high number? The question again pre-supposes the answer, "Biden didn't do enough" - and of course, the only side he could have pressured to end the fighting is Israel, since Hamas wouldn't listen to him. 

There really should be an independent institute to rate polls and publicize how poorly the surveys commissioned by partisans are constructed.









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