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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘polls’

CNN Poll Shows Majority Support for Interim Iran Deal

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

A poll showed majority support for the Obama administration strategy of easing sanctions on Iran in exchange for a partial rollback of its nuclear program.

A CNN poll released Thursday and conducted by ORC international showed 56 percent of respondents favored “an interim deal that would ease some of those economic sanctions and in exchange require Iran to accept major restrictions on its nuclear program but not end it completely and submit to greater international inspection of its nuclear facilities” and 39 percent opposed.

The poll, based on phone interviews between Nov. 18-20 of 843 respondents, has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

A Washington Post-ABC poll published Nov. 19 showed 64 percent of respondents supporting a deal “in which the United States and other countries would lift some of their economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons” and 30 percent opposed.

Unlike the CNN poll, the Post-ABC poll did not specifically address the crux of the difference between the Obama administration and Israel: Whether Iran should suspend all or some of its nuclear activities in an interim deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, backed by some U.S. lawmakers, has insisted that Iran must totally dismantle its nuclear program and end all enrichment in exchange for any easing of sanctions.

A third round of talks between Iran and major powers is underway in Geneva this week.

The Post-ABC poll also showed that only 36 percent of respondents were confident that such a deal would stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while 61 percent were not confident.

This poll was conducted Nov. 14-17 over the phone and reaching 1,006 respondents. It too had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Poll: Though Favoring Israel, Americans Wary of Iran Entanglement

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Americans maintain a high opinion of the U.S.-Israel alliance but are wary of any involvement in a potential Iran conflict, according to an Anti-Defamation League poll.

Asked if Israel could be counted on “as a strong, loyal ally,” 76 percent of respondents agreed and 17 percent disagreed.

They also favored Israel over the Palestinians, 48 percent to 16 percent, and tended to regard Israel as a “close ally” by a much greater margin than other Middle East countries: 44 percent of respondents counted Israel as a close ally, with only 14 percent assigning that label to Turkey and 8 percent to Egypt.

On Iran, 81 percent of respondents said they did not trust the country and 74 percent labeled as “unlikely” Iran’s commitment not to develop nuclear weapons.

However, respondents were wary of any military engagement with Iran, with 50 percent favoring the inclusion of military force among options to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and 41 percent opposed.

Asked what the U.S. posture should be if Israel strikes Iran, 48 percent advocated neutrality, 40 percent favored support for Israel, and 9 percent said the United States should oppose any Israeli action.

“There are signs here as elsewhere that the American people want less U.S. involvement in the Middle East region, a position which has little to do with negative feelings toward Israel but that can have negative consequences for the Jewish state,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement.

Marttila Strategies conducted the survey for the ADL, polling 1,200 adults over the telephone Oct. 12-22. The survey has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Nate Silver: Quinn the Most Likely Democrat

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Take it from Nate. If there’s one pundit that has a record of predicting election outcomes accurately, it is Nate Silver of the NY Times Five Thirty Eight Blog. In the 2012 presidential elections, Silver was the only pundit who confidently predicted the election outcome, based on his analysis of public opinion polls.

In this year’s mayoral election, while it may be seen as a wide open race, Nate Silver already presumes City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn will very likely win the Democratic nomination in September, or in an October runoff. The early Democratic front-runner in recent New York City mayoral races has a near perfect record in going on to win the party’s nomination, according to an analysis of public opinion surveys conducted since 1989.

In five of the past six Democratic primaries for mayor, the candidate who led in an average of polls conducted in the first six months of the election year advanced to the general election, Silver writes. The only exception was in 2009, when Anthony Weiner led Bill Thompson Jr. by five percentage points but decided to quit the race.

In this year’s mayoral race, Ms. Quinn has a lead of 17 percentage points in an average of the seven primary polls conducted so far. Although her level of support has fallen 39% percent in January, to 24% in the most recent Marist poll, she has managed to maintain a lead over her opponents, including Mr. Weiner.

Based on historical precedent and poll analysis, Nate Silver predicts: “Ms. Quinn is likely to win the Democratic nomination, even if she has to face a runoff election first.”

Silver has one glimpse of hope for the top four candidates polling in double digits. “While the early front-runner virtually always secures the nomination, underdogs have leapfrogged over other candidates to finish in the top tier (although never to win). In 2005, Mr. Weiner was barely in double digits in the first 15 polls of the year, but secured 29 percent of the primary vote, finishing in second place. In 1997, early surveys showed the Rev. Al Sharpton with just 9 percent of the vote, but he, too, went on to finish second in the primary, winning 32 percent of the vote.”

Anthony Weiner Scores Number Two Position in Mayoralty Poll

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat who resigned his Congressional seat after he was caught sending lewd tweets, has emerged as the number two candidate for mayor in a new poll of Democratic party candidates.

Weiner has not stated whether he will throw his hat in the race, which so far has no Jewish candidates vying to be the party’s favorite to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Weiner is testing the political waters and released on Sunday a wide-range 64-point plan for New York City.

The latest Marist poll gave him 15 percent of the vote, with City Council speaker Christine Quinn remaining in the lead but with her first-place support down to 26 percent from nearly 40 percent previously. Behind Weiner in the poll are city comptroller John Liu, Bill de Blasio, and former comptroller Bill Thompson.

Weiner still is suffering a bad image from the tweet scandal, and 50 percent of Democrats said they would not vote for him.

While some numbers make him appear viable, he’s got a long way to go to establish credibility,” Marist polling director Lee Miringoff told Bloomberg News.

The Palestinian Terror Index: A Majority Support Terror

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

What do people actually think?

Until better mind-reading technology is developed, the one way to gauge the opinions people hold is to ask themand to use proven survey methods to measure and understand the answers. Perfect? No, but it’s hard to deny that professionally conducted surveys give us some insight.

The Palestinian Arabs have several active survey organizations that periodically test viewpoints and trends. One of the more prominent is the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), headed by Dr. Khalil Shikaki. His office put out a release on Sunday [online here] analyzing what it calls “Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No. 46″. It contains a wealth of insights which have gotten very little coverage in the news media. This is a shame because, being a Palestinian Arab analysis of Palestinian Arab opinion, it would appear to be saying something worth hearing.

The analysis, carried out with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah, covers a swathe of issues, and is certainly worth a few minutes of reading time. The old saying goes that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Even so, these findings, based on surveys done in December 2012 after the UN decision to make the Palestinians a non-member state, and following the ceasefire in Gaza, are real and well documented even if (as with all surveys) the analysis behind them is open to discussion.

We’ll jump to the terrorism question. Asked (via Question 61) whether they support armed attacks against Israelicivilians inside Israel (code terms to mean “we are not asking you about Israeli soldiers” and “we are not asking you about attacks in the so-called occupied territories, but inside the pre-1967 borders“) , responses fell into three groups reflecting each of the two Palestinian Arab regimes as well as both  taken together.

* Certainly support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel - and live in Gaza: 23.7%
* Certainly support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel - and live in West Bank: 10.5%
* Certainly support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel - both groups taken together: 15.5%

Let’s call them the hard core. And the masses?

* Support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel – and live in Gaza: 42.9
* Support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel – and live in West Bank: 30.8%
* Support armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel - both groups taken together: 35.3%

Add these together, and you get 66% of Gazan Palestinian Arabs, and 41.3% of West Bank Palestinian Arabs whosupport, or certainly support, armed attacks on civilians if they are Israelis and even if, presumably, they don’t live in the “occupied territories” and even if (it follows) those Israelis are opposed to Israel being in the “occupied territories”.

The report goes on to analyze Palestinian Arab support for terrorism – which is the plain meaning of deliberate, targeted armed attacks on innocent civilians - by various sub-groups. Palestinian Arab terrorism is

* more popular in the Gaza Strip (46%) than in the West Bank (39%)
preferred by more men (47%) than women (35%)
* the choice of those whose use the Internet daily  (46%) compared with those who use it once a month (24%)
* overwhelmingly the preferred option of Hamas supporters (63%) compared with supporters of Fatah (25%).

And here’s a show stopper for those who have still not absorbed one of the central lessons to be learned about terrorism and its proponents:

* Educated people, as measured by those who have a first degree from a university, give terrorism 47% support. Palestinian Arab illiterates give terrorism slightly less support: 39%
* Students support terrorism to exactly the same extent as bachelor degree holders do: 47%. But so-called simple folk - in this case, farmers, housewives, laborers, and retirees – give it less support: 30%, 34%, 35%, and 37% respectively.

That Israelis overwhelmingly prefer peace to fighting ought to be beyond doubt. Sadly it’s not, thanks to tendentious reporting and frequent distortions propagated in the media.

Sometimes these come from those who occupy the bedrock levels of terrorism’s support structure: the Iranians for instance. Their PressTV newsagency published a report on Sunday headlined ”Peace and Israel will never coexist“. And sometimes, far more thoughtful but often no less damaging or even more so, you have published viewpoints like that of one of Israel’s great contemporary cultural figures Amos Oz.

Two years ago, Oz famously wrote that “peace will come, because a majority of both peoples want it” though he almost certainly knew this was only half right. Now he’s quoted in The Guardian warning of Israel’s slide towards apartheid. It’s an analysis that makes a small amount of sense (not what he said but why he said it) when you see him as an activist for the beleagured, extreme-left Meretz Party and an advocate on their behalf in the current Knesset elections campaign. But in its content it’s a shamefully mischievous and wrong statement that, along with many others like it, serves as a fig-leaf for the deep and significant admiration of terrorism as a strategy we find consistently expressed in surveys of Palestinian Arab opinion.

Getting to peace would go smoother and faster if the deep, generations-long addiction of Arab society to terrorism were to be addressed honestly and directly instead of papered-over and denied.

(About the Palestinian Arab Terrorism Index we mentioned in the title: it doesn’t actually exist but perhaps it should.)

Visit This Ongoing War.

Channel 10 Poll: Likud-Beitenu Down to 32; Jewish Home 14; Power for Israel 2

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

While most polls in the last week have shown the Likud-Beitenu stabilizing at 34 mandates, a poll published tonight (Wednesday) by Channel 10 shows the Likud-Beitenu garnering only 32 mandates.

The Channel 10 report included the fact that none of the Likud’s district candidates would get in and even MK Carmel Shama could be on the chopping bloc. Not mentioned is the fact that current MK Ayoub Kara (number 39 on the joint list, but the 25th ranking Likud candidate) would also not get in the Knesset.

Also, apparently Gideon Sa’ar who chairs the campaign department (mateh behirot) and Gilad Erdan who chairs the public relations department (mateh hasbarah) are not even speaking.

As for the other parties, the poll shows the right-wing-religious bloc garnering 65 mandates. That includes Power for Israel which would pass the voting threshold and garner two mandates, but would not likely join nor be included in a coalition headed by Netanyahu.

The Jewish Home party would garner 14 seats, keeping with the 13-14 shown by other polls over the past week.

Shas would garner 11 mandates, and Torah Judaism six. Am Shalem would only garner one, not passing the voting threshold.

On the Left, Labor would only garner 16, Yesh Atid 11, the Movement nine, Meretz six. The three Arab parties would receive a total of 11 mandates. Kadima would pass the voting threshold with two mandates. The Green Leaf party and the New Country parties each would only receive one mandate and would fail to pass the voting threshold by only tens of thousands of votes each.

The poll was conducted by the Dahaf Institute. Seven-hundred and sixty five people were interviewed by phone, including cell phone. (Many Israeli polling firms interview only 500 potential voters).

Poll: More Israelis Against the Two-State Solution than For it

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

In a poll commissioned by Israel’s Reshet B, 45.4 percent of Israelis said they were against the view that “two-states for two peoples is the desired solution for a peace agreement with the Palestinians,” while only 40.6 percent said they were in favor.

Fourteen percent had no answer.

The poll of 500 potential voters was conducted by Geocartographia by telephone yesterday and had a 4.2 percent margin of error.

That showing of only 40.6 percent in favor of the two-state solution comes on the heels of another set of polls which claimed that Israelis supported the two-state solution by a margin of 67-68 percent.

The wording of those polls was criticized for presenting a fantasy scenario in which, according to Ha’aretz, the Palestinians would give up their claim to the “right of return” to the State of Israel and ”[t]he Palestinian state would be demilitarized and its boundaries would be based on the 1967 lines with exchanges of equal-sized territory” which “would take into consideration Israel’s security needs and would retain the large settlement blocs in Israeli hands.”

The Geocarographia poll also asked Israelis for whom they were planning to vote, and gave the Jewish Home party 17.5 seats and the Strength to Israel party 6 seats, both of the parties’ best showings yet.

For full results relating to the Knesset elections click here.

Polls and Flying Pigs

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Two new polls are being widely quoted in the media as showing that Israelis — even voters for  right-wing parties — want to make a two-state deal with the Palestinians. For example, Barak Ravid writes in Ha’aretz [subscription],

Two opinion surveys conducted by different Israeli pollsters in December show that most Likud-Beiteinu and the further-right Habayit Hayehudi voters would support a peace agreement establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, Israel’s retention of major settlement blocs and a division of Jerusalem. The two polls also revealed that two thirds of all Israelis support such an agreement…

The Abraham Center commissioned parallel polls from Mina Tzemach’s Dahaf and from pollster Rafi Smith on the Israeli public’s views about peace with the Palestinians. The firms were aware of each other’s polls. Each poll asked one question: If the government of Israel presented a public referendum on a peace agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be implemented only after the Palestinians held up all the obligations at their end, especially the war on terror, and the United States approved of the agreement, would you support it or not?

The principles of the agreement as presented to respondents were for two states – Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinians, with Palestinian refugees having the right to return only to their new country. The Palestinian state would be demilitarized and its boundaries would be based on the 1967 lines with exchanges of equal-sized territory. Those exchanges would take into consideration Israel’s security needs and would retain the large settlement blocs in Israeli hands…

When it came to the general public, Mina Tzemach’s poll revealed that 67 percent supported such an agreement and 21 percent opposed it, while Rafi Smith’s poll showed 68 percent in favor and 25 percent against. The surveys found that the general public’s support for the agreement rose to 75 percent (Dahaf ) and 80 percent (Rafi Smith ) when augmented by various other “improvements” such as a defense alliance with the United Sates, disarmament of Hamas and an end to its rule in Gaza, and Arab states’ willingness to enact full diplomatic relations with Israel.

Does this mean, as the Left suggests, that it is the intransigence of the Netanyahu government that is holding Israel back from making peace? Does it mean that with a little more pressure from the US, such an agreement is possible?

Of course not. What it means is that Israelis really, really want peace and most would give up territory in return, if peace were attainable by doing so.

The poll question presumes that the PLO state would be demilitarized and the Palestinians would “hold up all their obligations [first].” How demilitarization could be enforced and how the Palestinians could be prevented from violating the agreement — as they have violated almost every agreement they made with Israel since 1993 — are not specified. As for the idea that Hamas would disarm and give up control of Gaza, it’s far more likely that Hamas will end up in control of Judea and Samaria too.

In addition to the practical issues above, the question assumes that the Palestinians would sincerely agree to Israel retaining the settlement blocs, to demilitarization, to abandoning their demand for ‘right of return’, to recognizing Israel as the state of the Jewish people, etc., when they have consistently rejected these ideas when presented as concrete peace proposals. Polls among Palestiniansconsistently show that they support violent ‘resistance’ until Israel has been replaced by an Arab state.

An acquaintance called this an “if pigs could fly poll.” There is as little chance of the conditions being fulfilled as there being a porcine airlift, so it has no real-world application, except insofar as it shows that even right-wing Israelis dream of peace. But we knew that.

Yet another recent poll, also conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach, showed that 83% of Israelis believe that withdrawal to pre-1967 boundaries wouldn’t bring peace. That is why they vote for the Likud and rightward.

So why the flying pigs? The Ha’aretz article linked above helps us understand:

The polls were commissioned by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington D.C. Abraham, who made his fortune with Slim-Fast diet products, is considered a major contributor and close to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is also known to be close to President Shimon Peres and to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. However, Abraham has met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on almost every visit to Israel over the past four years.

The Abraham Center is headed by former Congressman Robert Wexler, who is close to President Barack Obama and was very active in the latter’s recent presidential campaign. According to one assessment, Wexler may be appointed to a senior position in the Obama administration in the coming months.

It tells us that the Obama Administration has not given up on its plan to create a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and to divide Jerusalem. Just wait: the poll will be presented as ‘proof’ that the majority of Israelis want it to!

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