Here’s the big news – expect to see it on CNN, ABC News, MSNBC, Fox and in banner headlines across all the major newspapers tomorrow – as well as hearing all about it as the hot topic on the campaign trails as Obama and McCain share their thoughts on the issue – or not…
71% of Americans polled oppose the United States taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Let’s phrase that another way: the overwhelming majority of Americans favor an even-handed approach to the Mideast conflict.
If Barak Obama and John McCain are more interested in the views of the American people than they are in pleasing AIPAC, then they will duly take note: they are currently both seriously out of line with the common sense of ordinary Americans.
If the press has any interest in speaking truth to power, then they will be drawing attention to the significant results of the new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 18 countries that found that in 14 of them people mostly say their government should not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Journalists of conscience and responsible news organizations will give this issue the serious attention it deserves.
But if, in the coming days, you hear little to nothing about this poll — either on TV, in the press, or on the blogosphere — then it’s time to reflect on whether you’re living in a free society.
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On the other hand, setting aside the idea that the Fourth Estate has a vital role to play in protecting our political freedom, there is a fascinating wrinkle to this poll’s findings on American public opinion: If most Americans think that the US should adopt an even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they sure as hell didn’t pick up that idea from watching TV!
So much for the idea that this uniformed citizenry is made up of empty vessels ready to be filled with whatever ideas Rupert Murdoch might wish them to hold.
Update: Wondering how wide the coverage on this poll finding has been? So far, not one US newspaper has bothered covering it.
Even Americans overwhelmingly said their government should not take sides.
In a finding that goes against the common assumption that Americans overwhelmingly support Israel, seven out of ten Americans said they thought their country should not take sides in the conflict.
In other words, the public in the Middle East just learnt — much to their surprise — that most Americans are not as rabidly pro-Israeli as Arabs have been led to assume we are. But apparently that’s something that’s of no interest to the US media.