Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 27 April 2018

In Australia, Jewish Pollsters Promote the NIF

There are about 120,000 Jews in Australia, roughly 85,000 of them adults.  The results of a poll, known as the "Gen17" Australian Jewish community survey, taken between February and May last year and attracting 8621  replies, have been released to much fanfare.

Note that I don't say "by 8621 respondents".  And for good reason: there were no safeguards in place to prevent those with a particular axe to grind filling out the questionnaire more than once. (At least one prominent, left-leaning, communal figure has made no secret of participating in the survey several times.)

Never mind that the poll's methodology has been called into question, with pollsters desperately touting for responses among various constituencies, online and in person, including approaching parents of Jewish day school children as they waited to pick up their kids, and offering them coffee while they filled the questionnaires out.

Here, retired professor Bill Rubinstein, who during the 1980s and 1990s was involved in conducting polls on behalf of Isi Leibler's Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs, declares the survey "deeply flawed" and pulls few punches:
'The only proper way to conduct such a survey is to obtain a comprehensive master list of all Jews in the communities being surveyed  ̶  in this case, Melbourne and Sydney  ̶  and then draw up a random sample of names on these lists, a genuinely random list obtained from a table of random numbers or generated by a computer. This is, of course, the method adopted in all surveys of voting intentions, and is the reason why a truly random sample of only 1500-2000 registered voters, drawn from the millions of registered voters, will produce a result normally within a few per cent of the actual outcome....
Using a random sample ... is not, however, what the “Gen17” survey has done. Apparently, it has simply requested that all local Jews answer its online questionnaire, and reported on the responses of those who did.... Simply reporting on the replies of voluntary respondents is exactly what was done in probably the most notoriously inaccurate poll in history, that conducted by the American weekly The Literary Digest during the 1936 presidential election. A popular magazine of the time, it succeeded in obtaining no fewer than 2.4 million responses as to voting intentions at that election, and confidently predicted that Republican candidate Alfred M. Landon would easily defeat President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was running for re-election.  Of course, the very opposite happened: FDR trounced Landon, and was re-elected with a record majority.  At the same election, the newly founded Gallup Poll employed the valid method of surveying voters, and predicted that Roosevelt would win decisively.  Largely because of The Literary Digest fiasco, that journal’s method of conducting surveys was abandoned.
Unfortunately, however, the Gen17 survey has used The Literary Digest technique.  While its 8600 respondents are superficially a very impressive number, its results are reliable only insofar as they represent a truly random sample of the Jewish community, without any biases. “Appropriately weighting” its results will not correct the absence of randomness, and almost nothing can be inferred about background or attitudes of those it has not polled.  Any adjustment by assuming that those it has polled will be similar to those it has not polled will be valid only if these two samples are similar, for which it has no evidence....'
He goes on:
'The major problem with the survey ... is that the background and attitudes of those who did not participate in the survey  ̶  90 per cent of the community  ̶  are unknown, and simply cannot be inferred  from the responses of those who actually did vote. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that those who did participate represent anything like a random sample of the whole community, but is a group hallmarked by clear biases.... 
Several of the findings in the survey strike me as being, frankly, unbelievable. Thirty-two per cent of respondents stated that the Israeli government should negotiate with Hamas, officially regarded as a terrorist body by all Western governments, with which no one in the Israeli mainstream would negotiate until it changes its charter that calls for the destruction of Israel. Similarly, 37 per cent of respondents  stated that non-Jewish people suffer from discrimination in Israel, a position here associated only with the extreme left. The sheer implausibility of both of these “findings” strongly suggest either that their respondents are a deeply unrepresentative sample of the Jewish community, or that the poll has been abused by multiple votes from a minority....'  [Emphasis added]
It's extremely concerning to see the poll's organisers snuggling up with the local supporters of that highly questionable, indeed dangerous, organisation, the New Israel Fund, who seem to be going all out to reap as much political capital out of the survey's ostensible results as they can.

A particularly brazen and egregious instance of this propagandistic drive occurred last Sunday evening in Melbourne, when, under the aegis of the survey's organisers, a panel convened to discuss the results of the survey and its implications.

Alarmingly, the panel included (why, if not solely for partisan purposes?) Professor Emerita Ilana Snyder, representing the NIF Australia and touting that organisation at length. She especially recommended it to Jewish young people keen to participate in communal affairs.

Learn more about this lamentable state of affairs from decidedly non-leftist communal broadcasters Alan Freedman, Michael Burd and their guest Professor Rubinstein on this J-Air "Nothing Left" podcast.  It's the first topic in that podcast, and fear not: although contact is lost during Freedman and Burd's interview with the professor, it's soon restored.


  1. Let's say the survey is entirely correct. So what? They're not Israelis, they're Australian Jews. If they want a substantial voice in Israeli affairs they can be Israelis. Otherwise their voice is no more significant than Nigerian goat farmers. It's like if you have to clean out a dead relative's house. And everyone comes by to give you tons of advice. Well grab a mop or shut up and go away.

  2. “Leaders of NIF and J-Street strenuously claim to be pro-Israel yet they never say anything nice about Israel or defend it from its more strident critics.”




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