Saturday, November 24, 2012

Solidarity rising from the ashes

Despite low margin of error claims, public opinion polls are tendentious things & not particularly reliable--unless of course, they agree with you. According to a poll taken in Israel by Maagar Mohot (a research institution), 49% of the 503 respondents think Israel should have continued the murderous attacks on Gaza, while 31% favored the ceasefire. The poll found 20% with no opinion but it’s unlikely Israel has such a large percentage of halfwits. By contrast, a Haaretz/Dialog poll reported 90% of Israeli Jews supported the siege, with only 12% opposing it. It would be useful to see how the questions in both polls were formulated since that often limits choices & willingness to respond. For example, were the questions about bombing Palestinians or Hamas? A CNN/ORC Int’l poll reported this week that 57% in the US support Israeli attacks on Gaza. Interesting, since at least 63% in the US oppose the Afghanistan war.

Whatever the margin of error or even the truth, it shows the educational & political work to be done is enormous both in the US which bankrolls & arms these atrocities & in Israel which conducts them. But it also shows the potential for building solidarity & opposition to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Whether the percentage in Israel open to dialogue is 12% or 31%, that’s a lot of people & a lot of potential. Whether the percentage in the US is 43% or less (discounting our halfwits), the work we do can make all the difference in getting out the truth. There was a time when support for Israeli aggression in both countries was nearly 100%. Polls are often a political weapon to intimidate; they are best taken as a political challenge.

This is a smoldering government building in Gaza destroyed in an Israeli air strike on Friday Nov. 24th. (Photo by Hatem Moussa/AP)

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