The Dish despairs… that Americans aren’t dishier about Israel

A Quinnipac poll disappoints Andrew, with him alluding to the plurality of respondents (42% vs. 34% — but 53% vs 20% for Democrats) who didn’t think Obama was a “strong supporter” of Israel. Well, then the poll must be skewed, almost absurdly so:

Yes, I found that Quinnipiac poll almost absurdly skewed. I regard myself as fervently pro-Israel as does, I believe, the president.

But the poll didn’t ask what Obama thinks about himself or how Obama feels about Israel.

Does the Dish think that the American citizens questioned are too too dumb to understand that distinction? … Actually, I hope Andrew understands that distinction.

But I believe that real pressure has to be placed to get a settlement for Israel’s and primarily America’s interests. Does that make me anti-Israel? (Please, God, let’s not have that debate again.)

So I guess we can’t debate about that little bait-&-switch, huh? The poll asked about whether Obama was “pro-Israel,” referring indirectly to a bilateral conflict where another side conveys its own insistence — gasp! — on various things. The poll did not ask about him being “fervently” pro-anything or whether he was “anti-Israel.”

Sorry, but there may be space in between pro-Israel and anti-Israel where an observer can weeble-wobble toward both directions, even if it doesn’t make an observer feel comfortable that he/she might be said to occupy that space.

The question about being “pro-Israel” does not seem to skew things “absurdly” or “almost absurdly.”

The poll we need is determining whether Israel should permanently occupy the West Bank and all of Jerusalem. And we have that poll, from Rasmussen no less, an outfit whose sample would be likely to provide a pro-Netanyahu result:

49 percent of Americans believe that “Israel (should) be required to stop building new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory,” while only 22 percent believe it should not. That represents a strong endorsement of the position taken by the Obama administration. An even-more overwhelming percentage of Americans — 75 percent — believe that “Palestinian leaders (should) be required to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” as part of a peace agreement.

So the American public supports Obama’s position.

Um, nice try. That is not Obama’s position, “to stop building new settlements.” If it was, Netanyahu would not be having these problems with his far right coalition members and Israeli citizens who vote for the Labor Party would not be having any problems with the recent actions of our administration. Obama’s position is actually “to stop building new settlements plus stop building in old ones,” and the Rasmussen poll did not raise that question.

Funny how that doesn’t get reported quite as much.

Yes, hilarious.

When Andrew Sullivan doesn’t like the answer the majority of his future fellow citizens give, he just ignores the polls, I guess — at least when it comes to Israel or something otherwise “neoconesque.”

This desire to create his own sense of what’s possible based on estimations of the power of the presidency and live in a world where he chooses the facts is familiar. Oh, that’s right, Andrew is a neo-neocon, and hates himself half the time.

But in fact, the whole argument of this Dish post is all one of Andrew’s straw babies. What I’m guessing he doesn’t like about the Quinnipac poll, since he doesn’t want to quote it, or allude to it in any way, is this question:

12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling – the situation between Israel and the Palestinians?

The pollsters tell us this question brought out an essential conclusion from the poll, but Andrew’s reading skills somehow didn’t pick it up:

The one negative area in voter appraisal of Obama’s foreign policy is that voters disapprove 44 – 35 percent of the way the President is handling the situation between Israel and the Palestinians. Jewish voters, generally supportive of Obama on other issues, turn 67 – 28 percent thumbs down on his handling of Israel and the Palestinians.

Now that’s “handling” which they didn’t agree with. That doesn’t mean they’re saying he’s “not pro-Israel enough,” or that he’s “too anti-Israel,” or doesn’t have good beliefs about Jewish settlement of the West Bank, or doesn’t have good beliefs about what to temporarily do about established settlements to start the peace process. It just means that they think the hockey dad’s kid may have done something wrong or wrongly — which happens to mean that they don’t like something the hockey dad yelled for the kid to do.

The Dish’s response to the Quinnipac poll, and perhaps the Rasmussen one also, seems a bit skewed to get his readership to share his opinions by hook or by crook … and yet I believe he regards himself as fervently pro-reader.

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