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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Todd Gitlin and Steven M. Cohen, "On the Iran deal, American Jewish ‘leaders’ don’t speak for most Jews": Check the Question That Was Asked!

Yes or no, have you stopped beating your wife? Indeed, it's all about how questions are asked.

In a risible Washington Post guest opinion piece entitled "On the Iran deal, American Jewish ‘leaders’ don’t speak for most Jews," Todd Gitlin and Steven M. Cohen tell us:

"One of us (Cohen) conducted a poll last month for the Jewish Journal on the Iran accord. This is the only poll of American Jews on the subject to explicitly include Jews with no religion — those who said that, 'aside from religion,' they 'consider themselves Jewish.' They were asked their opinion of 'an agreement . . . in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons.' Of the three-quarters who said they knew enough to offer an opinion on the deal, 63 percent supported it."

But now concentrate on the premise of the question asked of American Jews: ". . . in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons." Or in other words, Cohen was premising his question upon a supposition which is very much in doubt.

Imagine that instead of the question that he used, Cohen had asked American Jews to express their opinion upon Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, using language from Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a quote from US Energy Secretary Moniz:

What is your opinion of an agreement . . . in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, if "[a]fter 15 years, all physical restraints on enrichment are removed, including numbers and types of centrifuge machines, enrichment levels, locations for enrichment facilities, and stocks of enriched uranium"? When answering this question, consider that "[f]or years, Iran has sought to evade sanctions against its nuclear program by hiding transactions under layers of front companies and false end-users." When answering this question, also consider that the agreement only "maintains restrictions on trade in conventional weapons for 5 years and on ballistic missile-related technologies for 8 years." And finally, when answering this question, consider that US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who negotiated this deal for the US, recently acknowledged that as a consequence of the deal, "We are concerned about some possible escalation in [Iran's] support for terrorism, meddling in the region in terms of stability."

Do you think the response of American Jews would have been different? Care to respond, Messrs. Gitlin and Cohen?


  1. transnational oneworldism Ideologues, like arguing with slabs of granite.

    "My generation of the New Left — a generation that grew as the [Vietnam] war went on — relinquished any title to patriotism without much sense of loss. All that was left to the Left was to unearth righteous traditions and cultivate them in universities. The much-mocked political correctness of the next academic generations was a consolation prize. We lost — we squandered the politics — but won the textbooks. ”

    ~ from "Varieties of Patriotic Experience", by Todd Gitlin

  2. THIS is outrageous:


    "...The Rev. Al Sharpton plans to call on black churches to organize support for the nuclear agreement with Iran as early as Saturday, he told The Huffington Post
    Sharpton has reached out to Booker, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and other New York Democrats but decided he wanted to take the movement national, he told HuffPost.

    "There needs to be a balance in this. Clearly lobbyists and others like AIPAC are pushing on their side and there needs to be an organized effort on the other side. And we're kicking it off tomorrow morning," Sharpton said. "A lot of Democrats, I think, should have to consider how their voters will feel in their base vote."


  3. [two generations of Gitlinized American education = clueless electorate]

    According to the poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, only 8 percent of Americans say they know a lot about the agreement, 32 percent say “a fair amount,” while 59 percent know little or nothing at all about it.
    When the same group was asked what they thought the agreement is intended to do, just 25 percent said it was intended to prevent Iran from getting any nuclear weapons. The rest said the intent of the agreement was either to authorize Iran to produce a limited number of nuclear weapons (11%), or to allow Iran to share U.S. nuclear technology to build nuclear power plants (9%) – or they didn’t know what the agreement is intended to accomplish (55%).


    “The problem with educating respondents is that once the respondents are given information, they no longer represent the general public, which has not been given such information,” said David Moore, iMediaEthics polling director."