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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Public Opinion Polls as Propaganda at HaArets

Israel's HaArets daily newspaper fancies itself the Israeli counterpart of The New York Times. I and others would not see such a resemblance as a source of pride. Yet there is something to it, although the NYT commits many more crimes against the trees than the thinner HaArets does. But both pretentiously high-brow rags distort and even falsify the news. HaArets does it through public opinion polls, among other ways. Political scientists and sociologists are well aware that one can usually obtain the answer that best serves one's interests and policy preferences by framing the questions in a suitable manner --or even by eliminating possible choices. That's a good reason to always be wary of public opinion polls. You have to ask, What questions did the poll ask, What alternative choices were supplied, etc. Here's an example from the Israel correspondent of the Economist, not exactly a friend of Israel or of truth.

The correspondent, one Gideon Lichfield, wondered at the apparently contradictory results of two public opinion polls taken in Israel. A poll published in HaArets asserted that most Israelis wanted negotiations with Hamas. A poll by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University showed that a solid majority of Israelis preferred to deal with Hamas by military means. This percentage [circa 64%] is even higher if we look only at the answers of the Israeli Jews.

The pollster for HaArets, one Camil Fuchs, frankly admitted his dishonest, unscientific polling method to Lichfield. His poll presented only two options, Should Israel negotiate with Hamas, Yes or No, plus a Don't Know option. On the other hand, The Steinmetz Center poll contained several operational options, plus Other & Don't Know. Lichfield asked:
So which poll is “right”? What does the Israeli public actually think about talks with Hamas? I [Lichfield] asked Fuchs.
“When you include other options, you’re cognitively giving legitimacy to them,” he [Fuchs] says. “What you’re doing is hinting to the person that there are other people who prefer these options.”
So what Fuchs does is to foreclose certain options from his poll in order to obtain the answers that he wants. Lichfield points out: "When there’s only one option on the table, on the other hand, you’re asking them to choose between doing that and doing nothing." Lichfield concludes:
In short, what the two polls taken together say is that if the people could run the government, and had a range of options for dealing with Gaza, more of them would go with a military option. However, if the government says it’s going to talk to Hamas, 64% of the public would support it (though Fuchs thinks the number now would be a little lower than three weeks ago)
The trick that Fuchs used to skew his poll is common and widespread throughout the world. Before accepting the results of any public opinion poll as genuine or meaningful, you have to know what questions were asked or what options were supplied. If you know the questions asked and the options supplied, then you also know what questions were not asked and what options not supplied. What do you do if you are queried by a poll which supplies several options but not any option that you agree with?? What do you do if you disagree with the premises of a poll's question?? This has often happened to me. It is especially annoying if no Other or Don't Know option is supplied. For an example of disagreeing with the very premises of a question, suppose you are asked, as an Israeli, Should Israel negotiate with "the palestinians"?? I and many others reject the very notion of a "palestinian people" [as do many Arabs]. But the poll does not allow us to assert that disagreement. Furthermore, suppose someone agrees that there is a "palestinian people." Then the issue arises, staying with the same poll question, Which "palestinians" do you think fit or unfit to negotiate with? The answer could be "the palestinians" [Arabs] living in the "West Bank" [Judea-Samaria] and their elected representatives [this answer could have been relevant before the Oslo accords and the subsequent establishment of the "palestinian authority"]. Today, one might choose between Fatah or Hamas or both or "palestinians who are not part of any terrorist group such as Fatah or Hamas." By not allowing disagreement with the premises of a question, the pollster is obtaining agreement to those premises from those who answer the question, even if in fact the questioned person does not accept the premises.

As to Hamas, there are good reasons for not negotiating with it but rather destroying it as an organization. This is because the Hamas charter is genocidally anti-Jewish in character [consider Article 7 in particular, which advocates killing off the Jews as such, albeit not until Judgement Day, which in practice encourages killing Jews at any time and place]. What is there to negotiate with such an organization?? It is ridiculous to claim, as many hypocritical Western politicians do, such as Tony Blair, that negotiating with Hamas would "moderate" its actions and its goals. Neville Chamberlain claimed, after pressuring Czechoslovakia to concede territory to the Nazi Germans, to Hitler, that he had brought to Britain, "peace in our time. . . peace with honor." In fact, he brought neither peace nor honor. Tony seems cut from the same cloth.

Negotiating with a genocidal outfit like Hamas gives it undesirable acceptance and prestige in world public opinion. Indeed, such negotiation gives genocide in principle a certain acceptance and legitimacy.
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Coming: English prof who writes for the Nation, lies on Obama's behalf, and looks to the State Dept for authority; more on Jews in Jerusalem & Hebron; archeology in Israel; peace follies; propaganda, etc.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Scholar of Arabic, Yehoshu`a Porat: The Arabs Don't Want a "palestinian state."

The weakly argued claim by the White House-State Department crowd that what they call a "palestinian state" will bring peace between Israel and the Arab world, is belied by Professor Yehoshu`a Porat, one of the outstanding Israeli specialists on the Arab world, Arab culture, and Arab politics. Porat discussed this issue with Haggai Segal of Maqor Rishon [14 III 2008].

Porat was a leader of the "leftist" Merets party until he learned about the 1993 Oslo Accord, an agreement made with Norwegian mediation, by the way [I add parenthetically that Norwegian involvement is usually disastrous, as Sri Lanka has also learned]. Porat did not trust the PLO leadership nor did he like the terms of the Oslo Accord. He belonged to Merets because of his arch-secularist views, not because he believed in "peace" with the PLO. Responding to the interviewer's question, he laughed at those Israeli politicians, particularly ministers in the present government, who believe that the PLO and/or Hamas and the palestinian Arabs generally really want a "palestinian state," as George Bush, Condoleezza Rice [riso amaro], Tony Blair & the Washington & London gangs repeatedly claim.
I don't believe that there is a chance --or that there ever was a chance-- that a palestinian state will arise.
The interviewer adds that Porat thinks that the "palestinians" don't want a separate state so much. Porat asserts:
There is no palestinian identity in itself. Their identity is Palestinian-Arab. Above all, they want the country to be Arab. Therefore, they are attached to the Arabic literary language which, like Latin, is not a living language but rather a symbol of the unity of the Arab nation. If you would propose to them that Palestine be a part of Syria, and if they believed that thereby they would get rid of us --they would not refuse. Not one of them would be opposed [to that proposal].
Of course, this is obvious to anyone who has carefully read the PLO Charter. Its first article goes:
Article I: Palestine is the watan [homeland, fatherland] of the Palestinian Arab people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
It is obvious from this article and the rest of the PLO charter or covenant that the PLO is a pan-Arabist body. It really does not represent an aspiration to a separate state, as Porat points out. Moreover, PLO and Hamas spokesman have pointed out clearly that they do not aspire to political independence separate from the Arab world as a whole. Zuhayr Muhsayn [Zuheir Muhsein] stated this in 1977 in an interview published in the American weekly Seven Days and the Dutch paper Trouw. Mahmud al-Zahhar, a Hamas leader, stated this quite recently to the Economist, not exactly a pro-Israel publication. So when Bush & Condi & Tony & Javier Solana and any other politicians or diplomats rant on about a "two-state solution" or a "palestinian state," then they are either fooling themselves or --more likely-- fooling those who listen to them.

By the way, when Yehoshu`a Porat compared literary Arabic to Latin he was making a historical-political argument. Latin was spoken in the many parts of the Roman empire in Europe. These places included Dacia [Romania] in the east, the Iberian peninsula [Spain & Portugal] in the southwest, Gaul [France] in the northwest, and Italy in the south. When the empire collapsed, the Latin language developed into what is called Romance and many Romance dialects. Several of these dialects developed into national languages that became identified with nation-states [French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, etc.]. Classical Arabic also broke down into dialects, that is, spoken vernaculars, such as Iraqi, Syro-Palestinian, Egyptian, Mughrabi [North African]. However, most Arab states insist on the primacy of classical, literary Arabic. And that's the form of the language that they teach in their schools, although this teaching of a language that the pupils do not speak retards the pupils' development of command of any written language, leaving many kids semi-literate [as in Algeria]. The refusal of the PLO & Hamas leadership to give up the classical, literary language is an assertion of a desire for political unity, for pan-Arabism, a pan-Arabist single Arab state. Anyhow, the palestinian Arabs are said to speak the same dialect as the Syrians, so developing a form of language separate from the Syrian form/dialect would be artificial. The PLO & Hamas insist on the pan-Arab identity of the palestinian Arabs.

Porat is the author of the definitive history of modern palestinian Arab politics, The Palestinian Arab National Movement [or similar title].
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Coming: English prof who writes for the Nation, lies on Obama's behalf, and looks to the State Dept for authority; more on Jews in Jerusalem & Hebron; archeology in Israel; peace follies; propaganda, etc.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hamas Mouthpiece Denies Arab Guilt in Holocaust

UPDATED reference links 7-24-2008

Denial of Arab Holocaust guilt has been around since the late 1940s, at least. Both Arabs and their Western sympathizers, as well as Communists of various stripes, propagate this big lie. Arab spokesmen repeat the lie in a very touching and extremely hypocritical manner that poorly matches their usual brutal cynicism and lies. Why should we pay for Europe's sins against the Jews of Europe?? they whine. But the Arab nationalist movement as a whole was pro-Nazi and pro-fascist. The chief leader of the palestinian Arabs, Haj Amin el-Husseini [al-Husayni], British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, took an active part in the Holocaust and in Nazi Germany's war effort. He urged the Germans to murder more Jews, including Jewish children. Although during WW2 itself, the Nazis gave much publicity to Husseini's collaboration with them, and it was never a secret, the pro-Arab nationalist lie machines in Europe, the Communist bloc, and the West [including the USA] have worked to have this history forgotten. Several links below go to articles and sites that document Arab collaboration in the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis.

This pseudo-innocent whining and self-justification by Arab spokesmen also comprises the remarks of Hamas spokesmen. Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London had the following to say recently on an Iranian TV station:
Are we, the Palestinians, made to pay for the crimes of the Nazis? If the Nazis killed the Jews in Europe, why should the Jews come and live in my mother's house, on my father's land? Is that extremism? If that is extremism, then I am an extremist. If that is terrorism, then I am a terrorist. We are freedom fighters, we are not extremists," he added. [quoted in Jerusalem Post, 3 February 2008].
Not only did Arabs collaborate in the mass murder of Jews in Europe, but they oppressed, persecuted, exploited and humiliated Jews in Arab/Muslim-ruled countries for more than a thousand years --including in Israel. Jews were "tolerated" in the subjugated state of dhimmis. And when the Arab/Muslim fancy turned to thoughts of plunder and persecution, then they did not tolerate the Jews who were subject to them. Nor did they always tolerate Christians who were subject to the dhimmi status too. Naturally, several massacres of Jews took place at the hands of Arab nationalists in Arab-ruled lands in harmony with the Holocaust. Most notable was the Farhud in Baghdad in the Spring of 1941 on the Jewish holiday of Shavu`ot [Pentecost], in which estimates of Jews murdered range from 179 to 600.
Tamimi also said:
Zionists from Europe, helped by the leaders of this country in order to rape my country and turn them into refugees," he said.
It also seems that Tamimi has had very good coaching in psywar and propaganda. However, it is not certain whether this coaching was provided by British experts or by experts who were fellow Arabs. The very claim or imposture that the Hamas fights for freedom is so absurd that only someone schooled in psywar and propaganda techniques could utter it. The Hamas charter makes it clear that it fights for Islam, that it fights a jihad, that it believes in imposing Islam and Muslim law [shari`ah] on non-Muslims worldwide, who will perforce become dhimmis. The Hamas Charter, in its Article 7, includes the medieval Muslim fable that at the End of Days, the Muslims will fight the Jews. The Jews will hide behind rocks and trees. The rocks and trees will cry out: O Muslim, a Jew is hiding me. Come kill him. This demonstrates that Muslim Judeophobia goes way back to the early days of Islam. And Hamas identifies with that medieval Judeophobia, which is indeed genocidal Judeophobia. Earlier posts on this blog report on the Muslim traditions [hadiths] about Muhammad himself massacring Jews.

Here are links on Arab-Nazi collaboration:
Bibliotheque Proche-Orientale (contemporary photos & documents in French & English concerning the Mufti Husseini)
Haj Amin el-Husseini and other Arab nationalists as Nazi collaborators -- an overview
Arab Chemical warfare against Israel -- in 1944
Husseini gets political asylum in France after the Nazi collapse
Arab forces used German-Nazi mercenaries against Israel in 1948
Syria shelters Holocaust criminals
Post-World War 2 Arab-Nazi collaboration
Nazi ideology & Arab/Islamist ideology
Arab attitudes towards the Holocaust
Arab intellectuals smear Israel as "Nazi"
New book about the Mufti [link added 7-24-2008]
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Coming: More lies of the "peace process," peace follies, propaganda, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, the Land of Israel, etc.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Israel's Social Left Supports Suppressing Murderous Hamas Rockets

Outsiders must get a confused picture of Israeli domestic public opinion. The minority that agrees with the views on Israel of foreign powers get a disproportionate amount of coverage on foreign TV & radio and in the foreign press. This impression is challenged by several prominent Leftist Israeli intellectuals. Of course, Eliyahu m'Tsiyon rejects the whole notion of a "left-right" political spectrum, seeing political views, opinions, conceptions, as much more of a three-dimensional matter that does not fit into the traditional, long-outmoded "left-right" concept, that is superficial and misleading at best.

Nevertheless, a group of intellectuals defining themselves as the Social Left has issued a joint statement calling for a military operation to protect the people in Sderot and nearby locations that have been the victims of more than 7,000 rockets fired at them by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and other terrorist gangs since early 2001.
We, writers and editors of journals who do not support right-wing parties or the idea of The Whole Land of Israel, and see ourselves as men of the Social Left, think that our public, moral, and intellectual duties --and especially a duty of social solidarity with the people of Sderot-- require us to warn against the impotence of the prime minister in everything having to do with the defense of Sderot and its surroundings from murderous terrorism.

It is clear to us that this failure expresses, among other things, the abandonment of the social periphery. We are astonished at the lack of massive, concrete action against the neo-Islamist terrorism regime in the Gaza Strip. Indeed, this failure is reminiscent of all the flaws of the flight from Lebanon several years ago, [performed] while leaving the Hizbullah on our northern border, the unilateral disengagement that led to the present situation in the south, and the unfortunate hesitancy in the Second Lebanon War.

We want to express our dissociation from the position of a considerable part of the media and the arts & culture community in Israel and throughout the world, which in effect grants immunity to terrorism cadres under the guise of human rights.

We hope that by the time our letter is published, the government will reconsider and decide on concrete action.

Prof Gabriel [Gavriel] Moqed [Moked], editor of the journal Akhshav
Arik Eisenberg & Ran Yagil, editors of `Emdah
Yehudah Vizen, editor of Ketem
`Oded Karmeli
[letter published in Maqor Rishon, 15 February 2008]
This group of intellectuals define themselves as belonging to the Social Left in order to distinguish themselves from what we might call the foreign policy Left or Arab-policy Left or pro-Arab Left or anti-National Left, which is almost always uncritical of Arab abuses. Note that they assert that the peripheral areas of the country, that is, peripheral when the Tel Aviv area is considered the center, have been long neglected --in many ways-- by the dominant forces in Israeli society that are centered in Tel Aviv. One of the ways in which the periphery is neglected is its physical security from rocket bombardment. I would add that the now dominant school of thought among the Tel Aviv-ocentric crowd likes to follow the concepts, terminology and nomenclature used by foreign powers and empires that are often hostile to Israel, such as the EU, UK, etc. For instance, the pro-Arab Nazi newspaper, HaArets, uses the terms "militants" or "activists" when referring to Arab terrorists. Just like the British pro-Nazi press.
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Coming: more lies of the "peace process," peace follies, propaganda, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, and elsewhere, etc.