Update: J Street’s original statement on Friday failed to acknowledge that the news report on Israeli public opinion on settlements to which it was responding referred to two polls, not one. One poll was commissioned by the university in the settlement of Ariel. The other was commissioned by the right-wing Independent Media Review and Analysis. Today, J Street released the following statement in response to a recent poll sponsored by Ariel University Center and IMRA:
In the coming days and weeks, the settlers and their allies will engage in all manner of trickery and deceit in an effort to mislead the Obama Administration and the American public about Israeli sentiment regarding settlements. Today’s quasi-poll, sponsored by Ariel University Center, the only settlement university, and published only in the clear rightist Makor Rishon-Hatzofe newspaper and not in any mainstream Hebrew press, is a good example of the half-truths and lies that will be injected into the debate. The politically motivated and distorting wording of the poll questions is clear to anyone who reads them. A recent Dahaf poll in Yedioth Ahronoth found majority Israeli support for a settlement freeze and for acquiescence by Prime Minister Netanyahu to U.S. demands. It is a shame that the Associated Press and then other news outlets would pick up this distorted poll and report it without context or comment – or at least comparison to data that over the years has consistently demonstrated broad Israeli opposition to settlement expansion.