16 November 09
A page three large font headline in Ha'aretz yesterday informs readers:
Mofaz supporters: Haaretz poll shows Israelis are willing to talk with Hamas
The article, by Mazal Mualem, begins:
A Haaretz poll showing 57 percent support for Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz's peace plan "proves the Israeli public is almost always a step ahead of its leadership," sources close to Mofaz said yesterday.
Mofaz's plan includes negotiations with Hamas and an interim Palestinian state on 60 percent of the West Bank in a year.
"The survey results speak for themselves, and here's proof for all to see the Israeli public isn't shocked or appalled by the idea of negotiating with Hamas," one Mofaz associate said.
Not once does the 11 paragraph article by Mualem note that Mofaz's proposal endorses dialogue with Hamas only if the group relinquishes terrorism and recognizes Israel, a fact pointed out in the second paragraph of Friday's front-page article by Yossi Verter, also in Ha'aretz.
Moreover, this would not be the first time a Dialog poll was cited to claim that a majority of Israelis support negotiations with Hamas. And it would not be the first time that poll results from Tami Steinmetz Center of Tel Aviv University contradict the Dialog results. The September 2009 Tami Steinmetz War and Peace Index states:
As to the question of whether Hamas can or cannot be a side to negotiations on a peace agreement with the Palestinians, a clear majority of the Jewish public (71%) says no, while a 53% majority of the Arab public says yes.