American Polls on Israel and the Palestinians

The report by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research on media polls of the American public's stance on the Israel/Palestine situation, Oct. 25, is slanted.An example of the report's bias is shown in the phrasing of questions it cites. One of the questions is prefaced with the explanatory remark that "Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip after its neighbors attacked Israel in 1967." This introductory history lesson is quite irrelevant to the question. It only serves to encourage an uninformed respondent to adopt an attitude of hostility toward the presumed aggressors: the Arab countries surrounding Israel. Further, the allegation is basically untrue. It has been established that, in light of a perceived mounting of Arab hostility during 1967, Israel found it advisable to launch an attack, which it considered a "preemptive defense." William Rogers, San Antonio, Texas

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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