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March 9, 2016 2:50 pm

Mideast Analyst Punches Holes in Pew Survey Indicating Half of All Israeli Jews Favor Expulsion, Transfer of Arabs

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Zion Square, Jerusalem. Photo: Wikipedia.

Zion Square, Jerusalem. Photo: Wikipedia.

Following Tuesday’s release of a Pew poll indicating that half of all Israeli Jews favor expelling or transferring Arabs, a Mideast reporter and analyst took issue with its findings and methodology.

Writing in the UK’s Jewish Chronicle on Wednesday, Nathan Jeffay expressed skepticism about the veracity of the data, based on the question posed to respondents to the survey.

“There is a worrying strain in Israeli society that believes in forcing Arabs to leave,” he wrote. “But one in two Jewish citizens — seriously? This is off the chart compared to past surveys on similar topics. What, exactly, were people asked?”

If they were asked whether “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel,” he posited, they were left “defin[ing] for themselves” what this meant.

“Did they respond in relation to all Arabs, as one would gather from the way results have been presented?” he wondered. “Or were they thinking about specific cases, such as Arabs who sympathize with terror or — as-per the policy that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently having checked by state lawyers — to move the families of terrorists who carry out attacks out of Israel?”

Jeffay went on to explain that, in Hebrew, the absence of the article before the word “Arabs” makes all the difference. “If Pew was interested in what Israeli Jews think about the presence of Arabs, it should have asked about ‘the Arabs’ not ‘Arabs,’” he wrote, going on to quote renowned Haifa University sociologist Sammy Smooha, who regularly surveys Jewish attitudes towards Israeli Arabs and vice-versa, calling the question “misleading and vague.”

Jeffay then cited leading Israeli pollster Camil Fuchs, who regularly contributes polls to the daily newspaper Haaretz, where his findings often reveal “hard truths” about Israeli society. Fuchs, noted Jeffay, said he believed that respondents hearing the word used in the Pew survey for “transfer” more likely interpreted it as “land swaps,” which Jeffay described as “a mainstream Israeli doctrine, based on the premise that if a peace deal ever happens, Israel will give up parts of Israel to the Palestinians in return for holding on to some settlements. US President Barack Obama has advocated land swaps as a way to make a peace deal realistic.”

Fuchs, added Jeffay, said that “Pew’s sky-high figure resulted from that no-no of polling known as ‘double barreling,’ where a question touches on two issues but allows just one answer — and often creates a single impression about people who respond positively.”

Jeffay then pointed to Fuchs’ own conclusion: “I don’t presume that all or a great many of the people who answered ‘yes’ want to move all the Arabs.”

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  • Hila Berger

    As an Israeli I can say that the questions are not clear at all and I couldn’t find the original questions in Hebrew as well.

  • Whitefish_LES

    Reading these comments is it any wonder that western democracies, like the US, who foot so much of Israeli’s finances and support it in the UN unconditionally are increasingly cynical about Israeli Jews? Not only are a majority of you hateful bigots, you’re proud of it.

  • brenrod

    why try to avoid the conclusion on the muslim arabs? It is a sane and rational people who do not want jew killers and those that teach their children that jews are sons of apes and pigs in their home and homeland. Only a deluded moron thinks there is something wrong with that conclusion. What disturbs me is that so many Jews DONT subscribe to that rational conclusion. Instead, as usual, they are instead concerned with the interests of those lunatics and criminals rather than their own children. Islam is an intolerant and violent ideological political military cult which is an existential danger to non muslims. DUH??? Only fools want such people near them…. such folks belong in asylums and prisons. As usual, Jews are their own worst enemy.

    • Jeff Kane

      I fully agree with your comment. This is just a left-wing critic trying to ameliorate the survey finding to perpetuate the fantasy that a two state solution is still feasible (assuming it ever was). I happen to be a survey expert myself (Ph.D., 40 plus years of experience) and I can tell you that Fuchs’ tortured dissection of the meaning of transfer in this context and Jeffay’s attributing significance to the absence of the definite article “the” cross the border of silliness.

    • ted weiss

      Jew killers – you the arabs are teaching your children to hate
      to kill , dont accept a jewish state a pursue the inaulation of jews .
      you will love to see them at auchfitz borders won you killer?

  • There is nothing worse than being intellectually dishonest. The question was perfectly clear and the results are troubling. I do not think that Netanyahu , Lieberman, Bennett would not have answered yes to this question.At least I hope they would not have.
    As the ‘Bard’ said ‘there is something rotten in Denmark (Eretz Ha’tvi)’

  • Robert Geller

    Whatever the actual answer to the question, in reality, how does this compare to the 100% of “Arabs” and Palestinians that want the Jews to leave?

    • This well-known cliché intrigues me since I am presently living in Nablus, where I am most welcome. The rational propositions actually come from the Palestinians who do agree to live with the Israelis, but on an equal basis.

      • ted weiss

        should puzzle you as the israeli arabs have plestinian alegiance are looking in any other way to undermine the jewish state

      • dante

        you’re a fool. you demand nothing. you get nothing. it’s easy to tolerate an obsequious toad like you. but, it tells one nothing about the tolerance of a community for others, outsiders, another community, a minority or, perhaps, a majority, people who are actually different and who are unwilling to sublimate those differences, who, in fact, demand respect for those differences. that’s not you. you demand nothing. you get nothing.

        if one is empty, vacant of insight, one cannot understand; it’s not surprising that one destitute of insight licenses himself to revel is his supposed virtue and dismisses other, lesser humans, who are not as noble as this precious soul. like you, fool.


    Israeli pollster Camil Fuchs, who regularly contributes polls to the daily newspaper Haaretz
    Haaretz is a noted left wing publication which STILL promotes peace with the Muslims/Arabs/Palis, despite the FACT that, of the five MAJOR agreements (just) since 1993, they have honored not a single word of them.
    So, anything that Haaretz or its writers would promote is (at least) equally suspect.

    • ted weiss

      I wouldnr wrap my fish with Haaretz

  • Sam Harris

    A knife in the front or back can change your liberal mind.

  • Jack

    I once knew a man who was in the small executive group that vetted statistical data for a western federal government.
    He told me, essentially, that it is harder to get the statistics to be honest than to let than lie. That is, his intent was to express the fact that few have developed cognizance statistically to know what is right or wrong. And then to throw in a language barrier?!

  • Emma C.

    In a true poll, every Torah observant Jew would vote to rid the Land of Israel of all THE Arabs. It is the leftist that wants to keep Arabs around in Israel. Most likely as a false sense of superiority over some type of creature or being. But all normal beings know that the leftist is the lowest form of life on Earth. In fact, even a piece of cheese has more common sense than a leftist.

    • I once read of a Jew who wondered why he was being sent East. The Holocaust took him over as it did 6,000,000 Jews of Europe. Intolerance sent that Jew to his Death and Indifference allowed that to happen! If Israel seeks to label all Arabs as Terrorists, that is an intolerance Israel can ill afford. If Israel is to remain Tolerant, it cannot be indifferent to the claims of innocent Arabs to live in peace, wherever it is they wish to live. We looked the other way when the Jews sought our assistance? Can we deny Israeli Arabs anything less than Tolerance?

  • Isaac brajtman

    Well,nobody seem fussed about probably 100% of Arabs would like ALL Jews moved out of all Arab countries !

  • Richard E Sherwin

    obviously. if they’d asked if jewish israelis believed in transferring jews they could have gotten some thinking its time to get rid of the jews who dont think like me or transferring jews into israel from the settlements or vice versa or versa vice. we even got jews in favor of transferring israel to canada and arabs to the moon…and vice versa… most of these polls have unclear subjects verbs and qualifiers, like the so called ‘american exams’ — one or more or all of the above as possible answers are usual. as pointed out here, only one answer’s allowed. and none of them a right one.

    • ted weiss

      I am for that you are a having enema loyalty get out !!1

  • Pinchas Baram

    this poll was taken in 2015, months before all the stabbings we’ve been reading about. my conclusion: many more Jews than 50% want the Arabs, however defined, TO GO, TO GO TO HELL AND NOT COME BACK. is this racist and bigoted? yes, so what? further, it’s normal to want the mad barking, biting dog next door to your home REMOVED.

  • Jay

    I believe the pole. They are walking around not sure if they or their fellow citizen will get stabbed in the back. What’s not to believe? Nathan Jeffay doesn’t get that maybe because he is bleeding hart liberal in dreamworld.

  • Martin

    Any smart alack can poke holes on the survey and if 50 percent of Israelis don’t believe in transferring “the” Arabs, they should! It should be 100 percent! Transfer and be done with it! How much longer will this phony farce go on? There is not enough Jewish blood to bleed forever.