Friday, April 01, 2011

The Linda Gradstein News

In a piece on the new study that purports to illustrate the move of Israeli youth the the "right", Linda Gradstein illustrates herself a special type of news-reporting.

Entitled Study: Young Israelis Leaning More Conservative ,  her readers learn that

"The study, on behalf of Germany's Friedrich Ebert Foundation in cooperation with the Macro Center for Political Economics, interviewed 1,600 Jewish and Arab youth, half between the ages of 15 and 18 and half 21 to 24, after their compulsory army service.  The report's authors said the study shows that nationalist beliefs among Jewish youths are strengthening, and liberal democratic values are weakening."

But is it possible that those two parameters, 'nationalist belief' and liberal democratic values' are not necessarily linked?  Could someone be nationalist and a liberal democrat, like yours truly and many of his friends)?  Should that not be investigated?

Secondly, seeking an 'expert's opinion', she turns to Yehuda Ben-Meir who she neglects to inform was a former MK for the National religious Party, dropped out and went dovish.  Anyway, here's his bit:

...some in Israel cautioned that youth all over the world tend to have more extreme attitudes that moderate over time.  "Younger people tend to have extremist attitudes whether it is to the right or the left," Yehuda Ben Meir of the INSS, a Tel Aviv think tank, told AOL News. "Look at the demonstrations and even the violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinians. Most of them are kids, under 18. Then you grow up, get married and have kids and your attitude changes."

...Ben Meir acknowledges that the Israeli public has shifted to the right.  "What's happened here is that the left has become the center and the center has become the right," he said. "We believe that it's because of the disappointment after the withdrawal from Gaza."
First of all, why only one expert?  Second, while noting that both left and right youngsters can be extreme, no left-wing violence, such as the Anarchists Against the Wall group or others that help Arabs throw stones, are mentioned.  A true, balanced picture is not presented to the public.  All it need was 2-3 more sentences.  Third, while high-profile, the anti-Arab violence is not at all representative and therefore, percentage-wise, would not even support as a sample for a poll of its owm on the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria.  And fourth, since rel;igious youth is a minority among the population of youngsters, the poll actually relates much more to the secular youth.  Why wasn't a secular 'expert' involved?
Oh, and why was the report devoted to Jewish youth only while the report dealt with Arab youngsters as well?

She adds at the end that

Today's study found that just 18 percent of young Israelis believe there is a real chance for Israel to live in peace with its Arab neighbors. Twelve years ago, some 28 percent believed there was a real chance for peace.

Does she do an analysis of the 'why' of that lessening of a belief in a chance for peace?  Is it the kids' fault, is it because of Israeli leaders or is it a logical and rational conclusion from Arab behavior and actions?  Can she not point a finger at the other side?

And what do the Arabs believe?


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