On YouGov’s Survey About Israel

YouGov has a survey out about American’s attitudes to Israel and Jews. There are some items of interest. I beg those who cannot bear any criticism of this country to stick with this.

Accepting, of course, this is a not a push-poll, designed by intent or incompetence to provide pleasing answering to its masters. It’s growing harder to trust any official source these days. As partial and inconclusive evidence of that, in a list of left wing people, Bernie Sanders had the highest favorability numbers. On the other hand, given the company he’s in, he could easily be top man.

But, skipping over that, we come to the main results.

But in 2016, most Jewish voters did not support [Trump; 71% against by this source]. Many more identify as Democrats than Republicans. The partisan views of Israel are different: Democrats (24%) are far less likely than Republicans to say Israel is an ally (59%) of the United States. But among Republicans, religion matters. Republican born-again Christians are even more likely to see Israel as an ally (67%) of the United States.

YouGov posed a false dichotomy, asking only if Israel is an ally or enemy. Why not both, or neither? In any case, born-agains top the list of love, which is no surprise.

The meat is in the survey’s “top lines” (pdf).

A curious question starts the results: “The Holocaust is a myth”. Only 71% “strongly disagree” with that, meaning there is at least some room for doubt in the other 29%. Just 3% strongly agree, and 4% more tend to; 13% are neutral, and 10% tend to disagree. It makes sense, given the interpretation difficulties, to report negatively, i.e. by how many strongly disagree. By difficulties I mean, some will agree the Holocaust happened, but claim many fewer than six million were killed, for example. It’s not entirely clear how these folks would answer the question, but see the next question.

Only 60% strongly disagree that “The Holocaust has been exaggerated”. Exaggerated is a tough word, for it can mean anything from a numerical sense to “used too often as a metaphor”. The latter may be what many had in mind, for 38% strongly disagreed to “Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes”. It went down to 33% swapping in Israel for Jews. Many people do recognize politics when they see it.

An interesting question is “Jews have too much power in America”. Some 6% strongly agree, with another 9% tending to agree; 33% “neither agree nor disagree”, 20% “tend to disagree” and only 32% strongly disagreeing.

Also applicable is “An American Jew is just as American as any other American person”. Only 55% strongly agree, with most of the rest coming somewhere in the middle. The faint wind of dual loyalty?

Now the survey’s existence itself takes a side in the next two questions: “The interests of Jews in America are very different from the interests of the rest of the population” (23% strongly disagree) and “Israel has too much control over global affairs” (21%).

The reason the survey takes a side is there is no similar survey that asks, for instance, “Zambia has too much control over global affairs” or “India has too much control”. Swap in any other country you like, and except for USA and maybe China, or Russia to some on the left, the question wouldn’t make any sense. Say “England has too much control over global affairs” out loud to prove this to yourself.

Thus it is clear Israel has, given its size, at least outsized influence, or at least special importance. The survey numbers are relative to that.

The next most relevant Israel questions: “Israel is the cause of all the troubles in the Middle East” (32% strongly disagree), “Israel is an apartheid state” (18%), “Israel is deliberately trying to wipe out the Palestinian population” (21%), and “Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East” (7%).

Given apartheid means apartness, then by definition Israel is an apartheid state. Its own laws designate it as a “supremacist” state for Jews. This can hardly be controversial, except that what an apartheid state is is never defined in the survey, and it’s clear some would have taken the word in its worst sense.

As a definitive source for that contention, here is the Times of Israel: “Israel’s Rabbinical Courts Begin to Recognize DNA Tests, Potentially Opening Gateway to Proving Jewishness“. “‘Scientists are reluctant to deal with this since it’s reminiscent of what Nazis did,’ says researcher whose work paved path for use of DNA testing as proof of Jewish heritage.”

Not coincidentally, on the same day this survey was released, this headline also appeared in the Times of Israel, “Netanyahu says he will extend ‘Jewish sovereignty’ to all West Bank settlements.” Whether that counts as trying to “wipe out the Palestinian population” is, again, variable.

It’s also unclear what a “real democracy” is meant to be. There are none anywhere in the strictest sense. The survey writers must have thought that being in this club makes a nation worthy, regardless of the behavior of that country. “The entire population voted to grab some living room? Well, it is a real democracy; therefore, this is fine.”

There were also questions about “anti-Semitism”, the most interesting of which is “How serious a problem is anti-semitism in the United States?” Over half 58%, said “Somewhat serious” or “Very serious”.

There’s no escaping definitions here, either. Meaning there’s no way to tell what the term meant to survey takers. Just as a for instance. There is a growing segment which believes that being against Israel or opposing Israel is “anti-Semitic”, it being tacitly accepted that Israel is a Jewish state. Judea Pearl, a colleague, uses the word “Zionophobia”, which medicalizes opposition.

That’s a neat trick, because if one wants to avoid this scurrilous label, one has to agree with whatever Israel does. I don’t know any other nation that gets so wide a latitude.

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16 Thoughts

  1. Re: Holocaust denial
    There is no denying that millions of Jews, Gypsies, and other undesirables were rounded up into camps by Nazi Germany. What comes after is where opinions differ. It is odd, is it not, that not a single camp liberated by the western Allies was an extermination camp? Only camps ‘liberated’ by those wonderfully compassionate Soviets were declared to be ‘extermination camps’. How do we know this? Because the Soviets told us so, and they would never, ever lie to us. And the Soviets never, ever murdered tens of millions of their own people, and treated all foreigners with compassion and respect.

    #FreeEastPrussia

  2. Good one except Zionism/Zionists are followers of the Babylonian Talmud(in Hebrew thus unknown to most) instead of the old Testament. An English version exists(Socino) for over $1,000 which keeps it unread by most. In it, is any non-Jew that reads it is to be killed. Gordon C.

  3. Many curious things here, such as: the Right loves Jews and Jews despise them. The Left despises Jews and Jews love them. Conclusion: Jews love abuse.

  4. We can get a good idea of what kind of character Briggs is (and has) by the types of vermin that he consistently attracts to his side. Today one of his regular supporter refers to the

    ‘millions of Jews, Gypsies, and other undesirables were rounded up into camps’

    and proceeds to cast doubt on the historically established fact of the extermination of these “undesirables”.

    Yesterday, one of his cheering squad has this charming thought:

    ‘Imagine being a “woman” so ugly that you can’t even get a nigger to f*** you!’

    Now, you might say that Briggs is not responsible for these comments, nor for the types of people who are eager to associate with him. But he regularly deletes offensive comments, as he should. But that last one has been up for about 24 hours. And those who regularly and predictably offer up these obscenities are clearly welcome here, as Briggs has not banned them, and in fact pals around with them on these pages.

    He has every right to do so, of course. I would be the last to advocate for censorship. In fact, I’m glad he does. It makes it easy for new visitors here to see immediately the character of the site’s owner.

    Edited

  5. “the Right loves Jews and Jews despise them”

    The Right doesn’t “love” Jews. A lot of people who claim to be on the Right hate Jews. What is true is that a lot of Conservatives believe in treating Jews just like everyone else, while Leftists believe in persecuting Jews. In terms of Israel, that means Conservatives defend a relatively benign country surrounded by vicious barbarians that want to kill everyone who doesn’t join their religion, and because of this, Conservatives in effect support Jews more than the Jews’s political “allies” do, while Jews despise Conservatives.

    However, that’s not unique. Conservatives also believe blacks should be treated like everyone else, which means bringing them fully into society and the free-enterprise economy as respected and respectable adults, which would make them wealthier and happier. Conservatives want the same for blacks that they want for themselves, yet blacks despise Conservatives and love the Leftists who work to keep them as the perennial poor, always voting for Leftists.

    It isn’t at all unusual for people to prefer the empty compliments of their enemies to the critical admonition of their friends.

  6. Dean Ericson,

    The right don’t like the Jews, they like Israel and its link to biblical prophecies.

    The left doesn’t hate the Jews. The left doesn’t believe in the protocol of Zion. But the left doesn’t believe that the fact that the Jews suffered in the Holocaust is a justification to do the same to Palestinian who where present before the state of Israel was created.

    Christian American are the strongest supporter of Israel. More than almost all Jewish community combine.

  7. Vermin Phillips writes:

    ”We can get a good idea of what kind of character Briggs is (and has) by the types of vermin that he consistently attracts to his side. ”

    Since you are consistently attracted here.

  8. The basis for surveys such as this about perceptions about Jews is the expectation that the population holds perceptions about Jews. After a few millennia of staring at Jews isn’t it time yet for Jews to be considered as ordinary people.

  9. “Re: Holocaust denial
    There is no denying that millions of Jews, Gypsies, and other undesirables were rounded up into camps by Nazi Germany. ”

    No , No there isn’t..

    “What comes after is where opinions differ.”

    Pretty much only if you are a scumbag or a cretin.

    ” It is odd, is it not, that not a single camp liberated by the western Allies was an extermination camp?”

    No it isn’t odd, the Germans did that on purpose as their own archive and witness testimony shows.

    ” Only camps ‘liberated’ by those wonderfully compassionate Soviets were declared to be ‘extermination camps’.”

    Well if you build your extermination camps in the East and that’s where the Russians invade, who else is going to find them…

    ” How do we know this? Because the Soviets told us so, and they would never, ever lie to us”

    And the forensic evidence, and the perpetrator and survivor testimony and the Nazi’s own records and the Photo Recce evidence…… etc etc

    . And the Soviets never, ever murdered tens of millions of their own people, and treated all foreigners with compassion and respect.

    Non Sequitur… The Soviets being worse than the Nazi’s does not mean they are wrong about the Nazi’s being scum…

  10. Apartheid as a political concept was invented in South-Africa, and it was about having different laws for different human races. So, technically, Israel is only partially an apartheidsstate because lots of Jews are of the same race (Semites) as their neighbours.

    One can of course generalize the term to include differences in religion. Israel is then an apartheids state. But because there are different laws for Christians and Jews in Muslim states, most of their neighbours would be apartheids states too.

    This reminds me of the real estate notion that it is beter to have the worst house in a good neighborhood that to have the best house in an awful neighborhood.

    Regarding the extermination camps, the Sovjets were quite happy to rewrite history in all kinds of situations, the disappearance of people from photographs next to Stalin being the most well-known example. You would not trust any kind of evidence being presented by them at face value.

  11. ”You would not trust any kind of evidence being presented by them at face value.”

    Yet your idiot in chief takes the word of Putin over his own intelligence apparatus on the Russian involvement of their in the US election.

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