Global BBC Poll: “Public Narrowly Backs UN Recognition of Palestine”


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 2011

UPDATE: 70 PALESTINIANS ARRESTED IN CENTRAL AND NORTHERN ISRAEL THIS MORNING.

Some Israel supporters from a Project Restoration rally a few months ago

Some Israel supporters from a Project Restoration rally a few months ago

Reporting on a ‘worldwide’ poll that it had commissioned from the Globescan survey company, the BBC ran an article on its website yesterday entitled “More Countries Favor Palestinian State.” Other media outlets and organizations around the world picked up the story and copied the BBC headline.

The only problem is that Globescan described the information it found in a completely different way. Detailing its findings, Globescan headlined its report “Public Narrowly Backs UN Recognition of Palestine.”  This information is buried in a text link in the BBC article (click on this link to read it yourself). Obviously, the BBC was unhappy with both the results and the headline of its own poll.   

This is the question Globescan asked to 20,466 people in 19 countries (the countries are on the graph below):

“As you may know, the Palestinian Authority is planning to request that the UN General Assembly recognize the Palestinian Territories as a state and as a member of the UN. Do you think your country should vote for or against this request?

___ Should vote for it ___Should vote against it “

(No other choices were given though the methodology called for survey takers to write down if people said “It depends” or  “Should abstain”).

One obvious flaw in the study is that there were an apparently random number of people asked in each country; for example 2400 people were interviewed in Pakistan while only 1000 people were questioned in China (no reason is given for the discrepancy in numbers). More than this, in some countries the polling was done by telephone and in others by face to face questioning–a difference that would obviously influence the results. And who knows how interviewers or interviewees were chosen?

Nevertheless, here is the graph of results:

(Explanation: “DK” means “Don’t know”, “NA” means “No answer”.)

One is struck by the relatively low level of support for a Palestinian country in countries such as India, Russia, and Ghana and completely unsurprised by the high level of support in Egypt and Turkey. Other observations will be left to you, dear reader.

But while the number of people in every country that support a Palestinian state outnumber those who do not, your humble servant finds it amazing that after decades of media-biased reporting that has criticized Israel at every turn and attempted to drum up sympathy for the “poor suffering” Palestinians, only 49% of the people interviewed indicated that they wanted their government to vote for a Palestinian state at the U.N.

That number suggests that on an individual level the worldwide attempt to isolate Israel has utterly failed. Israel supporters abound in every country around the world and make a difference.

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