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The Gantseh Megillah

Reading and Writing Polls and the Magic of Words
April-18-10
Issue:
11.04

You get your answer according to how you word your question. Words have such power. Veteran readers of this blog know how riled I get by misuse of words. The mother of all Holocaust museums, Yad Vashem does all the Nazi victims a disservice by saying they "perished" rather than that they were murdered. People perish in floods, epidemics and earthquakes, but the Nazis murdered six million Jews and millions of others, whether directly with bullets, gas, poison or indirectly by creating these disease-filled camps, ghettos and other deadly conditions.

Another example of the power of words is the Obama campaign theme of "change." It's brilliant. It says nothing, because it means something else to each person. Almost everyone wants change, but they don't want the same things to change, nor do they want the same changes.

Israeli governments consistently get us into "hotter water" by trying to answer the unsubstantiated and anti-Semitic accusations against us. Obviously they're unfamiliar with Disraeli's wise advice, "Never complain and never explain." We've seen how when we act contrite, apologize and explain, it just legitimizes and increases the accusations. Sometimes you must make your own Teflon. I remember learning that the ancient walls surrounding Biblical Shiloh had a substance that stopped invaders from climbing them to protect the city. Israel's Hasbara Information Campaign must develop a modern version of it, and I'd start with Disraeli's instructions.

Opinion polls have too much power over the public and politicians. There are politicians who resemble cats chasing their tails in their attempts to modify their policies after opinion polls, rather than showing integrity, leadership and vision.

I got started on this rant after reading how Israel's extreme leftist Haaretz newspaper distorted poll results.

Haaretz misled readers to give the impression that an overwhelming majority of Israelis see US President Barack Obama as “fair and friendly” toward the country, the newspaper’s pollster, Tel Aviv University professor Camil Fuchs, said on Sunday.

No matter who writes his speeches and what they say, United States President Barack Hussein Obama is ironically incapable of change. He is too inyani, focused on his own narrow interests.

Yes, you can read in the result of that poll, if you know how to interpret the words and numbers. The bulk of the "fair and friendly" is from "51% defined Obama’s approach to Israel using the Hebrew word “inyani,” which can be translated as “matter-of-fact” or “businesslike,” but not as fair." Actually, "inyani" is a much too ambiguous word to be used in a poll. It means different things to different people. You can also explain/define it as focused, even myopic, closed-minded and short-sighted when it comes to a politician like Obama. He has his policies and nobody should dare get in the way. That's not very diplomatic, davka, the exact opposite. There's no empathy, neither genuine nor fake. I guess that's the key to understanding Obama.


Batya
Shiloh Musings
me-ander The Eye of the Storm

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