Monday, January 26, 2009

‘They are all Hamas’

Norm has posted on an opinion poll that is reported thus:

Sixty percent of Americans in the nationwide survey said they were sympathetic toward the Israelis, compared with 17 percent who supported the Palestinians

And that made me wonder: “the Israelis” and “the Palestinians” is hardly a good way to describe the combatants. What’s more, why should members of foreign publics have to “support” one side rather than the other?

But it turns out that the question was: “In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” So I guess that reporting was fair – although the question itself was clearly designed to spur the picking of sides.

But a more significant finding comes from another poll, conducted about a fortnight ago and reported just down the page from this latest one. People in the USA were asked: “Do you personally make a distinction between Hamas and the Palestinian people, or not?”

37% did and 53% did not.

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