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Israel’s actions ‘unjustified’ in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy’s, and those under 50 — Gallup

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On its surface, the new Gallup poll suggests that Americans are as supportive of Israel in its Gaza attack as they were when Israel entered the West Bank in 2002 with widespread civilian casualties. Attitudes toward Israel remain positive, Gallup says.

Americans are divided in their views of whether Israel’s actions against the Palestinian group Hamas is “mostly justified” or “mostly unjustified,” but they widely view Hamas’ actions as mostly unjustified. Those results are similar to what Gallup measured 12 years ago

But scratch the surface and you find broad pools of opposition to Israeli conduct. Gallup:

51% of Americans 18-29 years old think the Israeli attack is unjustified. Most support from Israel comes from ages 50 and up

…the majority of Republican identifiers back what Israel is doing. Meanwhile, Democrats take the opposing view, with nearly half saying Israel’s actions are unjustified.

Here are some of the numbers:

(Image: Gallup)

(Image: Gallup)

By 47 to 31 percent, Democrats say that the Israeli actions are “unjustified.”

Independents are similar: 46 to 36 percent.

But Republicans are Israel’s public firewall: 65 to 21 percent say, justified. Maybe this is why Democrats are beginning to mumble some criticisms of Israel? And maybe these numbers will facilitate liberal Zionists migration to the Republican Party? Shibley Telhami asks, “Is Obama out of touch with his base on #Gaza?”

Other groups that regard Israel’s actions as unjustified:

Women by 44 to 33 percent.

Nonwhite, by 49 to 25 percent. That’s two-to-one, reflecting the attitudes of the young.

Oh, and whites support Israel, by 50 to 34. (This makes me a futurist, pining for the majority-non-white nation).

And look at the age break:

18 to 29-year-olds regard Israel’s actions as “unjustified” by 51 to 25 percent.
Among 30-49 year olds, the same attitude by and large: 43 to 36 percent.

But get above 50 and the attitudes swing sharply the other way. So Joe “just but bloody war” Klein is emblematic of old white guys, I’m not.

Oh and those with a postgraduate education also support Israel by a large margin. I believe that’s about The Elites.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz.

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75 Responses

  1. just
    just on July 25, 2014, 11:08 am

    “Oh and those with a postgraduate education also support Israel by a large margin. I believe that’s about The Elites.”

    Education wasted. Just goes to show that brainwashing and selfishness can continue well beyond the age of 21.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 25, 2014, 2:38 pm

      @ just
      Yeah, it seems those Americans who get post undergrad higher education, i.e., lawyers, doctors, MA & PHD types–mostly all follow the Hasbara 101 talking points. Why is that? Is it part of a de facto professional career litmus test? Is it because they all want to joint the 1%? My brother and I, being lawyers, and over age 50, support the Palestinians–I guess we’re an aberration? I wonder why.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 25, 2014, 2:43 pm

        I suspect a lot of it is a fear of being ostracized. So much for higher education promoting independence of thought.

        It’s shocking how many SS officers had advanced degrees.

      • just
        just on July 25, 2014, 2:45 pm

        Because your humanity and soul is intact, and your eyes are wide open.

      • American
        American on July 25, 2014, 5:19 pm

        I would take these polls with a grain of salt if I were you.

    • Clif Brown
      Clif Brown on July 25, 2014, 2:54 pm

      This is a particularly interesting statistic. While it is true that in the world of post graduates, networking is everything and the good opinion of powerful people, particularly in business, is essential, this poll gathers opinions of people who remain anonymous, allowing anyone to air an opinion freely, not constrained by any fear that their identity will be discovered. So the poll should reveal true beliefs.

      This leads me to the conclusion that the post-grads are expressing views taken from their immersion in a group of people who overwhelmingly support Israel unconditionally. In other words, it isn’t that post-grads are afraid to express pro-Palestinian opinions, it is that they have been swimming in the society of pro-Israeli opinion and have quite naturally taken it on for themselves.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on July 25, 2014, 4:35 pm

        Right, Cliff.

        The first time I was exposed to Israeli nationalism was when I went to a summer camp for a few weeks at Johns Hopkins while in elementary school. The instructors were Israeli-Americans- or Americans who had lived there, and they said that when the Israeli state fought Egypt, the “road to Cairo was open”, and it was only the American government who stopped them from conquering it. They said this with a sense of disappointment.

      • on July 26, 2014, 9:38 am

        “In other words, it isn’t that post-grads are afraid to express pro-Palestinian opinions,”

        Come on. You have to know that many people in the white collar world are certainly afraid to “express pro-Palestinian opinions,”.

    • Spring Renouncer
      Spring Renouncer on July 25, 2014, 3:32 pm

      Yep, higher education is a real waste. The elite simply learn to justify the unjustifiable, to suppress the cognitive dissonance that erupts from the moral contradictions of their privileged lives.

    • piotr
      piotr on July 25, 2014, 6:36 pm

      One may quip that creating conformism, citizens deferential to leaders and mass media is precisely one of the goals of education. But that is done mostly in K-12. I suspect that something else is going on here.

      12 years ago it was much harder to make the case for Palestinians, with suicide bombings of the Second Intifada. I know because I have tried with my immediate acquaintances. Now it is totally different. However, people absorb new facts with big difficulty if it contradicts their convictions.

      Educated Americans (I say Americans, because I have most contact with them) are not particularly well educated in geography, history and so on, but they are probably more confident in what they know. Uneducated Americans are not better educated, but less confident.

      And of course there is the question of elite perspective. America becomes a broken society in that respect, with elite having scant empathy for non-elite. A member of “riff-raff” can be clubbed to death by police working hard for several minutes for the classic “riff-raff” crime of sleeping on the sidewalk (Anatole France would advise to sleep under a bridge), and does it concern the media? Just one aspect, that police confiscated cell phones of the witnesses. But the death of the miscreant (nobody disputes that he slept on that sidewalk) did not. And he was not “cooperative”, like punching the police dog that bit him. How is a person supposed to cooperate with a police dog? Perhaps I am weird, but that puzzled me. Did it concern the law? Yes, and the coroner duly reported the death to be natural, basically, a healthier person would survive (even emaciated Afghan taxi driver survived several days of beating by US troops). Is it a normal standard for culpability for death?

      Thus to the middle and upper class, if the authority abuses the lower classes that it is as it should be. Death for “peddling cigarettes”? He knew the risks when he broke the law. The ideas of “proportionality” are more natural in the minds of people on the receiving side.

      If we accept that one can be killed for sleeping on a sidewalk or “suspicion of peddling cigarettes”, “crushing Hamas” together with everybody in the vicinity does not strike as wrong.

  2. lysias
    lysias on July 25, 2014, 11:19 am

    Those with a postgraduate education have upper-middle-class incomes and thus a stake in the maintenance of the status quo. Piketty has quite a bit to say about them in his bestseller.

    It would be interesting to know to what extent Jews are overrepresented in that group.

  3. Donald
    Donald on July 25, 2014, 11:22 am

    You’re a glass half-full kind of guy, Phil. So if the Palestinians wait long enough, the US may shift.

    • philweiss
      philweiss on July 25, 2014, 12:08 pm

      But that’s why there was floor demonstration against Jerusalem as Israeli capital at Democratic convention in 9/2012. The young Dems are knowledgeable.

      • dbroncos
        dbroncos on July 26, 2014, 12:37 am


        “But that’s why there was floor demonstration against Jerusalem as Israeli capital…”

        Exactly right. Will the Democratic nominee have the gall to call in another thumbs up vote if delegates are clearly saying no – even more than last time? Not sure that’s gonna fly next time around.

  4. seafoid
    seafoid on July 25, 2014, 11:52 am

    Israeli society is slowly putrefying as the rotten fruit of the russian/settler/orthodox majority matures. AIPAC has its work cut out as Dersh and Co prepare to exit stage left.There is no need for anyone to do anything as Israelis will self de legitimise. Loads of rubber necking to come.

    • just
      just on July 25, 2014, 11:55 am

      nicely put.

    • bilal a
      bilal a on July 25, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I’m curious if the non settler religious are 1) NOT contemptuous of the russians whom they consider non -Jewish , and 2) actually support an aggressive expansionist Israel since many refuse to serve in the IDF.

      They seem at total odds with the settler religious , many of whom are immigrants to Israel from the diaspora, eg Baruch Goldstein Kahanists


      How much of the psychopathology in Israel is Brooklyn Kahanist in origin?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on July 25, 2014, 6:28 pm

        bilal- there must be a decent article somewhere delineating the different groups of Orthodox, but I will try to delineate. There is something which is called modern Orthodox in the US and in Israel it is called dati lite. (In the US the modern Orthodox named themselves in Israel this group is named by Israeli society, which needs a label for such a large group. American does not need a label for such a small group, so the group gets to label itself.) These people vote for Jewish Home, which is a pro settler party. Then there are those called ultra Orthodox. (Recently- a few months ago, Avi Shafran wrote to the Forward objecting to the the term ultra Orthodox, for the prefix ultra implies extremism and he felt that his group is not ultra but solidly authentic Orthodox, but Eisner felt that the term was the best one that existed, especially since the Israeli alternative haredi (which means devout or literally fearful) is not a word that has much future in the english language Forward. This is the group that refuses to serve in the army and the group that Yair Lapid wants to draft. I think there is much anti Arab racism in both groups, but I would not refer to them as psychopaths. The psychopaths are a much smaller percentage. I don’t think Kahane brought psychopathology to Israel, but instead the psychopaths like the JDL flag and the attitude Kahane expressed towards Arabs. Many settlers particularly in the more ideological settlements are American or of American parentage. (About half or so.) (there are settlements that are primarily bedroom communities, as in people live there because it’s cheaper to buy an apartment there than in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem where they would prefer to buy if they could afford it. Bedroom communities are primarily Israeli or nonAmerican (Ariel in particular) and some of the ultra orthodox settlements are really bedroom communities for those who cannot afford apartments within the green line.) but the ideological settlements have a much larger American population.

  5. wondering jew
    wondering jew on July 25, 2014, 12:06 pm

    All education categories other than just high school justify Israel’s actions.

    I wonder, will the FAA shutdown of 48 hours be a wedge issue between the president and the democrats running for reelection this fall?

    • chocopie
      chocopie on July 25, 2014, 12:16 pm

      Let’s hope so. Would love to see the Dems duking it out over anything related to Israel.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on July 25, 2014, 3:06 pm

        Hillary just professed her love for the terror state, no help from her.
        She is a mother, and seems to be unable to relate to the children being brutally massacred in Gaza. Cold.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 25, 2014, 3:07 pm

        The only thing she loves is her career.

      • dbroncos
        dbroncos on July 26, 2014, 12:52 am

        @ yonah fredman
        No. It’ll be forgotten. It might have risen to the level of a wedge issue if Obama had the spine to make the perfectly reasonable and safe decision to say that, in the interest of American safety, all flights will be suspended untill hostilities have ceased.

        With Planes flying again Israel has an ouside chance of scoring its biggest PR coup since 9/11 if a plane full of Americans is hit by a Hamas missile.

    • Cliff
      Cliff on July 25, 2014, 2:42 pm


      College is where this conflict becomes political.

      I never knew about this issue until college.

      The ‘education’ polling reflects the politically charged climate of upper level academia.

      High school is irrelevant.

  6. seafoid
    seafoid on July 25, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Oren’s successor is hopeless. Even worse than hophmi. They have to appear civilised and reasonable . It is not Hebrew.

  7. mijj
    mijj on July 25, 2014, 12:14 pm

    rule of thumb:

    Anyone who feels they could be, or are, helpless victims of the abuse of power feels empathy for Palestinians.

    Those who feel they’re safe from the abuse of power, have no empathy for Palestinians.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 25, 2014, 2:43 pm

      @ jijj
      I think you have a good point–same as all those who think Snowden is a traitor, not an honest whistleblower acting in behalf Americans’ best interests; they say, “What do you have to worry about if you’re not doing something wrong?” So they impliedly say it’s ok for Big Bro to dragnet en masse our privacy so Big Bro can use peruse the metadata content at whim to blackmail dissenters. I’m sure if they had lived in Germany back in the day they’d think it was good The White Rose was murdered by the government.

      • Donald
        Donald on July 25, 2014, 3:58 pm

        Both you and mijj make good points. The “what do you have to worry about” argument drives me nuts. It’s an attitude that says we don’t need whistleblowers or investigative journalists–the government is always right, has our interests at heart, and only bad people with something bad to hide would care if they spy on us.

        Though on the Germany comparison the more apt one would be to communist Germany and Stasi.

  8. Rational Zionist
    Rational Zionist on July 25, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Based on the data you provided, it would be interested to see what news source each group uses. There is a “media bias” claim made by both sides.
    So who uses MSNBC, CNN, FOX, the internet/social media?
    My bet is that the information is in direct proportion to those outlets.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 25, 2014, 2:54 pm

      @ Rational Zionist
      I think you have a good point. All the Cable TV & Infotainment shows are Pro Israel and render endless hasbara talking points with very little counter talking heads. Chris Hayes on MSNBC bucks that trend a little bit. And of course the younger folks get their news from the internet where pros and cons can actually be sorted out since both are easily available. Women generally are empathic to children–Gaza’s average age is 17. African Americans don’t trust the government, for good reason. The result of all this mainstream media POV is it puts PEP Jews in the same seat as Hagee’s dupes & the GOP, starting with McCain, Krauthammer, and Kristol. You’d think they would closer at that pattern, eh?

  9. Paldi5
    Paldi5 on July 25, 2014, 12:23 pm

    I’m white, Presbyterian, 65, Democrat usually, have my MBA. I should be pro-Israel, but find myself pro Palestinian and pro Iran. Have been for 10 years or more. I’m sure there are more old-ish and educated white males who feel like me, or would if they read or viewed the right news.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 25, 2014, 2:56 pm

      @ Paldi5
      Yes, I and my brother are two like you, though we are both voluntary Catholic rejects and default agnostics.

    • piotr
      piotr on July 25, 2014, 6:46 pm

      So you are an odd-ball, but at 27%, you are in a better shape than a “leftist” in Israel.

      There is also a chance that “against your better judgement” you have learned more than your MBA required. People accept as “truth” a lot of tidbits that are easy to verify as false.

      • lysias
        lysias on July 25, 2014, 6:56 pm

        Piketty in his bestseller and Paul Craig Roberts (another highly trained economist, and one who has served in high government positions) in his recent book The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism both discuss at great length the falsehoods that have been taught for several years now by academic economics departments.

      • piotr
        piotr on July 25, 2014, 8:33 pm

        But those falsehoods are not THAT easy to verify as false. By the way of contrast, Zionists like to repeat that “Arabs already have 22 countries”. But the list of 22, which everyone can check on Wikipedia, includes Somalia, Djibuti, Comoros and … drum roll … Palestine. Is there a Zionist pedant carping that “Arabs already have 18 countries”? No.

        Yesterday I have seen a list compiled by a Zionist of “non-democratic countries that voted to investigate human rights violation” currently being committed by IDF. The list starts with Argentina, which is correct in the sense that this county was alphabetically first among the members of UN Commission on Human Rights, but it is actually a democratic country with a decent human rights situation. Unlike Israel.

        More seriously, typical arguments say “everybody would do it” without any examples. Sure, everybody would shell hospitals for hours. So who did it and when?

      • just
        just on July 25, 2014, 8:44 pm

        I don’t give a hoot how many countries Arabs have– it is Ziospeak! Those countries are not “home” to Palestinians.

        Palestine is home to the Palestinians– or wherever they CHOOSE to live.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on July 25, 2014, 11:19 pm

        ” Is there a Zionist pedant carping that “Arabs already have 18 countries”? No.”

        Are there no Zionists pedants? I know Zionism is monstrous, corrupting, and an offense to human decency, but I did not think it was so bad as to eliminate pedants.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on July 26, 2014, 4:07 pm

        Most of the Americans I know are sympathetic to the Palestinians.

  10. Vikram
    Vikram on July 25, 2014, 12:29 pm

    It seems a sad reflection on US education, the higher the level of education people have more likely they are support what effectively are war crimes.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 25, 2014, 2:57 pm

      @ Vikram
      Americans are no different than Germans back in the Nazi era; the White Rose was the exception.

  11. joer
    joer on July 25, 2014, 12:57 pm

    The two most interesting numbers in the poll are the 51% disapproval rating among young people and the 49% disapproval rating among non-whites, because those young people are going to be around for a long time and their numbers will be growing, while the older Israel-firsters will be dying off…and America is becoming less and less white and more and more brown and black. Both trends speak to hard times for Israel PR in the future….also I found the fact post-graduate respondents were most approving of the slaughter pretty interesting. Could it be they are smarter and know best? Or could this number speak to the fact that the slaughter is driven by elites who see the Zionist model of crowd control as something that could work here?

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 25, 2014, 2:59 pm

      I think the post-grad educated mostly seek to join the 1% & they know the litmus test in professional careers is to at least be silent about what Israel does. The really ambitious loudly rubber-stamp Israel. I’m speaking about the Goy portion of this group.

      • joer
        joer on July 25, 2014, 3:43 pm

        Perhaps, but I think there is also an element of the “shared values and interests” we hear that Israel has in common with the US, at least the affluent among us. Look who went to show his support in Israel’s time of need: Ol’ Stop and Frisk Bloomberg. Although Israel has shown mixed results in actual battles, it has become the go to guy when it comes to controlling large unruly civilian populations. And I think that firmness appeals to many of our suburbanite and yuppie friends-and I think that sentiment is reflected in the poll.

  12. Sycamores
    Sycamores on July 25, 2014, 1:33 pm

    what i find interesting is the wording

    Gallup poll for April 3, 2002
    was Israel’s actions against the Palestinians justified 44% and unjustified 34%

    Gallup poll for July 22-23, 2014
    was Israel’s actions against the Hamas justified 42% and unjustified 39%

    Hamas class as terrorist group by the US has more sympathy from the US public today then all the Palestinians had from the US in 2002

    • tree
      tree on July 25, 2014, 2:47 pm

      Yes, I noted that as well. It seems like a purposeful fudging of the question between 2002 and 2014. You can’t really compare the two poll results of those two years because Gallup changed the question. I suspect that the numbers would have been even higher for Israel “unjustified” if Gallup had used “Palestinians” instead of “Hamas” in the 2014 survey as they did in 2002.

      • Sycamores
        Sycamores on July 25, 2014, 3:05 pm

        I suspect that the numbers would have been even higher for Israel “unjustified” if Gallup had used “Palestinians” instead of “Hamas” in the 2014 survey as they did in 2002.

        excellent point Tree there does seem to be deliberately fudging of the question to present a more favorable pro-Israel outcome. i’m surprise this is going unnotice.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on July 25, 2014, 7:02 pm

      Great catch, Sycamores. Gallup has always (at least in my 8 years of awareness) been a media effectiveness poll. They used to have an Iran question a few years ago that was prefaced with: “Based upon what you have heard or read…[question]?”

      This use of Hamas strikes me as the same manipulation. Subtext: Is the message getting out that “Hamas is a violent terror organization?”

      Agree with your and tree’s observations too.

  13. Palikari
    Palikari on July 25, 2014, 1:45 pm

    I see educated people support Israel more than non-educated people.

    Not surprising.

  14. adele
    adele on July 25, 2014, 2:25 pm

    can you elaborate on your statement, because I am not understanding what conclusion you are trying to make, re: educated vs. uneducated.

    (PS: my great-grandmother was a barely literate farmer who was vociferously against Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia and made it known to the “educated” officials at the municipality who were cheering on the war and recruiting effort. Her reasoning was that it is a sin to steal another people’s land because they earn their food and living from it. Maybe she missed something by not going to school that would have changed her views?)

    • ritzl
      ritzl on July 25, 2014, 7:17 pm

      Bingo, adele. Palikari has no point and may even be an illustration of The Problem.

  15. James Canning
    James Canning on July 25, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Many Republicans somehow have the idea that Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians somehow makes them safer. Lunacy.

  16. DaBakr
    DaBakr on July 25, 2014, 2:34 pm

    “I see educated people support Israel more than non-educated people.”

    yes, but this is not one of the ‘itches’ people here want to ‘scratch’ at with this poll.

    • adele
      adele on July 25, 2014, 3:30 pm

      dbkr – see my reply to Pk and feel free to “scratch” that “itch” and comment.

    • Donald
      Donald on July 25, 2014, 4:06 pm

      It does support the old Chomsky claim that education is about indoctrination.

      I think I’ve seen polls that link higher degrees to conservative views, but that’s something that stuck in the back of my head and not something I can document offhand. A lot of higher degrees are things like MBA’s or are intended to be, in effect, professional certifications and are what people need to have if they want to have high salaries. It’s not about critical thinking on moral issues. One needs educated people to run corporations or fill government slots.

      • Donald
        Donald on July 25, 2014, 4:11 pm

        I’ll leave that up rather than edit it, but I looked it up and I’m wrong–there’s a slight tendency for higher ed to shift people to the left. I suspect, though, that there’s a progressive except for Palestine effect among those who are educated. They think they have to support Israel or be seen as antisemitic.

      • Jon66
        Jon66 on July 25, 2014, 4:42 pm

        Or……., they support Israel because they believe it’s the right thing. Like marriage equality, evolution, global warming, ending Apartheid, etc. Sometimes, educated and thoughtful people can come up with different answers to the same problems. You don’t have to agree with them, but your search for an irrational reason for their opinions disparages them. I don’t agree with most of the commenters here, but I usually understand their logic.

        I know the answer would be easier to accept the support for Israel if everyone is brainwashed, rather than they have looked at the facts and arrived at another answer.

      • Donald
        Donald on July 25, 2014, 6:36 pm

        ” You don’t have to agree with them, but your search for an irrational reason for their opinions disparages them. ”

        I mean to disparage them. You mention apartheid–anyone who sides with Israel is not very different from someone who sided with apartheid South Africa. Not all the opponents of apartheid were nice people either–the ANC youth in the townships would sometimes put a piece of gasoline soaked material around an opponent’s neck and set it on fire. “Necklacing”, as it was called. Winnie Mandela seemed to endorse the practice at one point. Yet intelligent people recognize that the serious human rights flaws of apartheid’s opponents, whether we are talking about the ANC or various Palestinian factions, doesn’t mean we should side with the oppressor.

        I also grew up (after age 8) in the American south right after Jim Crow had ended. A good friend of mine had a highly educated father–he was a doctor and before that, a commander in the Navy. Obviously a very intelligent man. His 12 year old son (my friend) was also very smart. And racist as hell. Obviously he got that from his father.

        Sorry, but no–anyone who supports Israel’s behavior is either misled by the press or social pressure, or there is something wrong with their ethical compass.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on July 25, 2014, 10:39 pm

        Donald- If one assumes that Israel has a right to exist, then Israel has a right to react to rockets. Granted that this specific reaction causes too many deaths, but please specify what reaction Israel IS allowed to take in reaction to rockets. (I know this is asking too much because even an over reaction might not solve the rockets, but the reaction that you specify should be serious enough that it might conceivably be construed as having a chance of resulting in some kind of a cessation of the rockets.)

        (I will specify what I mean as a right to exist: that it has a right to exist without freely allowing the refugees of 48 to return, that it has a right to exist on the 67 borders with minor negotiated land swaps, that it has a right to insist that the Quartet’s basis for negotiations should be accepted by all parties, that it has a right to consider Hamas an enemy, because of its charter and because of its refusal to accept the Quartet’s basic rules.)

        I think that a deeper analysis of the Palestinian Israeli conflict and the specifics of the siege would reveal the possibility that risks must be taken for peace and I agree that the path away from war is a preferable path, but I don’t think that you can argue that the basic (unspecified, but some type of useful) reaction to rockets is a reasonable thing for those who are not searching for deeper solutions, but are looking at the situation as if history began rather fair and square on July 8th.

        (By the way the two events of the last week: the discovery of the tunnels, for which nefarious intent is not proven, but certainly is not a farfetched possibility, and therefore is a natural suspicion of the israeli public, plus the cancellation of flights to Ben Gurion, which kind of says, Hamas is allowed to threaten the viability of Israel, these two events point out that reasonableness of Netanyahu and the need to do something about Hamas controlling Gaza. I prefer the path of Gush Shalom which is oriented towards peace, but I do not see that those who wish to crush Hamas are being essentially as unreasonable as supporters of apartheid. I don’t see that one equals the other. Unless in fact you assert that Israel has no right to exist and then the mere existence of Israel is the sin and no reaction would change the fact that Israel must be eliminated and therefore the mere fact of Israel is equal to apartheid.)

      • talknic
        talknic on July 26, 2014, 12:28 am

        @ yonah fredman ” If one assumes that Israel has a right to exist “

        ….within the actual legal extent of its proclaimed and recognized sovereignty…

        Alas, the Jewish state has exceeded it’s sovereign extent for 66 yrs, illegally acquiring territory the Israeli Government said was “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        ” then Israel has a right to react to rockets”

        Israel DESERVES rockets for exceeding its sovereign extent….. It’s that simple pal!

      • James Canning
        James Canning on July 26, 2014, 2:22 pm

        Core problem is simply this: illegal colonisation of the West Bank, year in and year out.

      • nlovric
        nlovric on July 26, 2014, 4:02 pm

        Jonah, surely you do not mean to imply that Israel has ‘a right to exist’ IN ITS PRESENT FORM as a colonial apartheid state. Not any more than S. Africa had ‘a right to exist’ before apartheid was abolished.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield on July 25, 2014, 5:36 pm

        We are dealing here with two variables both of which have a strong impact on people’s views and that are also quite strongly correlated with one another — i.e., formal educational level and class privilege (as reflected in wealth, income, status, etc.). In this situation an assessment of the impact of one of the variables is valid only if some way is found to compensate for the confounding influence of the other variable. In other words, in order to assess the impact of one variable (education) it is necessary to disentangle it from the other (class privilege).

        One way to do this is to compare people at different educational levels separately for each level of class privilege. My guess is that if that were done it would show education as having a positive impact even on the I-P issue. Much depends on the content and style of education — some types of education encourage independent thinking, others discourage it. But in general highly educated people tend to have access to more information and are therefore less vulnerable to manipulation by the mass media. People who combine a high level of education with poverty and low social status, such as graduates who remain unemployed for a long period or have to accept menial jobs, tend to be the most radical social group.

      • ritzl
        ritzl on July 25, 2014, 7:26 pm

        Great perspective, Stephen Schenfield.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on July 25, 2014, 11:30 pm

        “Much depends on the content and style of education — some types of education encourage independent thinking, others discourage it.”

        We should distinguish between people who have received classical education (mathematics, philosophy, science, literature) and the unfortunates who have been condemned to modern “education” (business studies, communications, and the incoherent mish-mash of the social “sciences”).

        If we count the second group of people as “educated”, the outlook is dire indeed.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on July 26, 2014, 4:29 pm

        nlovric makes an important point!

    • Sycamores
      Sycamores on July 25, 2014, 4:17 pm


      what your itch?

      women, nonwhites or 18 to 49 year olds?

  17. Jon66
    Jon66 on July 25, 2014, 3:53 pm

    The same trend of approval of Israel’s actions can be seen in other polls on other issues. For example, the belief in evolution trends higher in those with more formal education.

    I don’t have the poll at the tip of my fingers, but the belief in global warming also follows similar trends.

    I think we all mourn the loss of life, including those innocents caught in the crossfire, but perhaps those with more formal education understand that Israel can’t wait idly while rockets are fired at her.

    • Donald
      Donald on July 25, 2014, 6:57 pm

      “perhaps those with more formal education understand that Israel can’t wait idly while rockets are fired at her.”

      Evidently these highly educated people don’t realize that even during ceasefires most of the civilian victims are Palestinians shot by members of the Israeli armed forces.

      I mentioned Chomsky above and I think he’s right–education and exposure to the elite press is often a form of indoctrination. “Israel can’t wait idly while rockets are fired at her” is exactly the sort of endlessly repeated slogan that can persuade people unless they spend time examining the subject.

      I have a friend who is smart, and used to think that the NYT editorial page was the epitome of wisdom. He actually cited Madelaine Albright (I think) when she said that she didn’t think bulldozing homes was the moral equivalent of suicide bombing. My friend had no clue about the Nabka, no knowledge of the shelling of Qana (Qana has been hit more than once), had never read any book that presented the brutal behavior of Israel in Lebanon on several occasions and had no notion that Israel was capable of mass murder. He got his views mainly from the NYT. He once told me with some shock that one of his brothers-in-law thought we supported Israel because Congress was pressured by a Lobby–to him this was antisemitic. He actually said that he thought we supported them because they are a democracy. This was all back in the 90’s, but I don’t doubt that the average person, educated or not, gets his or her info from the press and they don’t go to Human Rights Watch websites or B’Tselem or Amnesty International and peruse what they mind find there. At that time the option wasn’t even available–you only got the other side of the story if you went to a good library or a very good bookstore where you might–might–find something that presented a view other than the Zionist one. Now you can go online and examine what the human rights groups say, but I see no evidence that most people do this.

      Educated people believe in global warming not because they do a careful study of the subject in most cases, but because they are told that this is what most experts say is happening and they quite rationally believe it. Most educated people don’t have any detailed knowledge of evolutionary theory–they accept it, quite rationally, because they are told this is what experts say is correct. And so on. So if the NYT and other media outlets give a slanted view of the I/P conflict, unless someone takes a serious interest in the subject, they have no reason to doubt it.

      • piotr
        piotr on July 25, 2014, 7:12 pm

        “Israel can’t wait idly while rockets are fired at her”

        But that only scratches the surface of the threats that Israel faces daily! Since you really cannot remove the “rocket threat”, the goal is to remove the threat from “handcuffs and tranquilizers” that can emerge from the dreaded terrorist tunnels. If removing those tunnels requires some slaughter, that is something that Israeli leaders sadly have to do.

        Uneducated person like me would think that the tunnels can be detected, and if they really approach close to the border fence they can be destroyed with very little violence. But that would be second guessing out of ignorance.

    • talknic
      talknic on July 26, 2014, 12:38 am

      @ Jon66
      “perhaps those with more formal education understand that Israel can’t wait idly while rockets are fired at her.”

      Israel could have withdrawn from ALL non-Israeli territory as required by law decades ago. Decades before Hamas was founded in response to Israeli aggression. Decades before there were any rockets

      • James Canning
        James Canning on July 26, 2014, 2:20 pm

        Britain’s ambassador to the UN in 1967 wanted Israel out of all territories occupied in June 1967 war asap. Colossal blunder by LBJ in failing to back UK on this.

  18. pulaski
    pulaski on July 25, 2014, 3:59 pm

    @duBakr: I would love to scratch that itch. I found that one of the most telling parts of the survey. I think Clif Brown hit it on the head

  19. Donald
    Donald on July 25, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I knew I had seen something about education and political biases and found it. On climate change, if you are a Democrat the more educated you are the more likely you are to believe the climate scientists who say it is a threat. (Which is most of them)

    If you are a Republican studies vary, but show that either there is no correlation with educational levels or the correlation is actually negative.

    pdf file

    There were other similar sites when I googled this.

    Here is the relevant quote–

    “Another finding from our research may startle observers who assume that citizens with higher levels of education are automatically more likely to accept scientific findings than citizens with less education. Among Americans who call themselves liberals or Democrats, more education is indeed associated with higher levels of belief in the reality of global warming and greater personal concern about it. But the opposite is true among self-described Republicans and conservatives, where education is either very weakly related or negatively related to belief in global warming. In short, for liberals and Democrats, holding a college degree increases the likelihood of accepting the scientific consensus about global warming; but for conservatives and Republicans, holding a college degree often decreases this likelihood.”

  20. PeterAttwood
    PeterAttwood on July 26, 2014, 1:45 am

    Let’s remember that Vietnam War polling was similar. Support for the war went up with educational level. This is wholly unsurprising.

  21. nlovric
    nlovric on July 26, 2014, 3:40 pm

    I’ve read all the attempts at explaining this college graduate/postgraduate statistic, but i still find it quite shocking, frankly. Could it be that Jews comprise a considerably larger than average proportion in this particular segment of the population? And that perhaps a large portion of them are PEP? I don’t know… Maybe I don’t get it because I’m European. :-)

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