JN Editorial Hits Mark, But ...

The JN’s Feb. 2 editorial, “The New Pew Study,” characterizes the findings of a recent Pew Research Center report that examines public opinion toward Israel and the Palestinians.

Overall, the editorial correctly summarizes the data in the survey. However, it suggests that “there is reason to question some of its conclusions” and that other research indicates that “a vast majority of Americans still support Israel.” Throughout this report, we were careful to note that one of the questions in the survey asked, regarding the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side the respondent sympathized with more — Israel or the Palestinians. It did not explicitly measure support for Israel (or the Palestinians). In the report, we note that Democrats were divided: 27 percent said they sympathized more with Israel; 25 percent said they sympathized more with the Palestinians; another 23 percent said they sympathized with neither or both sides; and 25 percent said they didn’t know. We also report that, over the past year, the share of Democrats saying they didn’t know had increased from 17 percent to 25 percent and the share saying they sympathized with both or neither side had ticked up from 19 percent to 23 percent.

We understand that this forced-choice question about sympathies for Israel and the Palestinians alone does not provide a complete picture of opinions about Israel or the Palestinians. For that reason, we have asked about “sympathy” for Israel and the Palestinians in separate questions, most recently in March 2015. In that survey, majorities in both parties said they sympathized “a lot” or “some” with Israel, though Republicans were more likely to say this than Democrats.

Carroll Doherty

Director of Political Research, Pew Research Center

Supporting #MeToo

I read, with great interest, Rhonda Abrams’ commentary in the Feb. 2 issue of the Jewish News. The commentary describes what occurred during her meeting with a potential large donor during a meeting at a breakfast buffet.

Contrary to the reactions of most women in similar circumstances, as revealed by their stories in the past several years, Miss Abrams had the guts to speak up during the meeting and to suffer the consequences of losing a substantial donor to Hillel. As it turned out, Hillel’s national office helped her make up the money potentially lost and Hillel’s local chapter is now launching community discussions regarding how to handle sexual harassment. Congratulations Rhonda. The Greater Portland Chapter is lucky to have you as the director of Hillel.

David R. Frazer

Scottsdale

Arpaio has respect

Regarding the story “Jewish leaders troubled by Arpaio’s interviews with anti-Semitic magazine,” published Feb. 14, 2018: As was stated in the article, a tweet was sent out from Arpaio which made it clear he was unaware of the anti-Semitism views. Sheriff Joe Arpaio doesn’t support the anti-Semitic viewpoint. Arpaio, who is known for always being available to all media, does not investigate previous articles written by reporters or the publications. Arpaio has a deep respect for all people of all races and that includes the Jewish community where he has support.

Chris Hegstrom

Fountain Hills

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