ZOA’s Klein/Berney JNS Oped: Don’t Believe J Street’s Misleading Polls
News Op-Ed
November 10, 2020

J Street just released a new deceptive “push poll” that, like J Street’s previous “polls,” uses shady practices to grossly overstate Jewish community support for J Street’s anti-Israel agenda and for J Street’s endorsed presidential candidate Joe Biden.

J Street employed classic “sampling error” to distort its poll results in its favor: J Street surveyed a group that included a far lower percentage of Republican Jews than is present in the overall Jewish population. J Street’s sample group only included 11 percent strong Republicans, 3 percent weak Republicans and 5 percent Independents who lean Republican. However, the recent Gallup poll (2018-19), based on huge samples, estimates that 30 percent to 36 percent of Jews are Republican.

These distortions in J Street’s sample guaranteed false results on every one of J Street’s polling questions.

Based on its massively skewed-to-the-left sample, J Street thus misleadingly announced that “Jews favor[ed] Biden over Trump, 77-21.”

In fact, as The Algemeiner reported, “Biden’s share of the Jewish vote was the lowest for any Democratic presidential candidate since 1988, while Trump’s share of that demographic was the highest since that year.” The McLaughlin/Basswood Research poll showed that Trump received 30.5 percent of the Jewish vote, while Biden only got 60.6 percent.

Further, as The New York Times reported, the A.P. VoteCast survey, conducted for Associated Press by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC), found that in Florida, 43 percent of Jews voted for Trump and only 56 percent voted for Biden. Thus, the Florida Jewish vote, which helped Trump win Florida, was over double the ludicrously low percentage claimed by J Street.

J Street’s poll then asked its predominantly left wing survey audience “push poll” questions.

For instance, in order to fraudulently elicit (“push”) a show of support for re-entering the dangerous Iran deal, J Street embedded, against all polling rules, into its polling question the following false information: “This [Iran] agreement lifts economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran dismantling its nuclear weapons program and allowing international inspectors to monitor Iran’s facilities.

In fact, the 2015 Iran deal did not dismantle Iran’s nuclear program or permit adequate inspections.

The Iran deal permitted Iran to continue using thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium; develop advanced centrifuges; retain the deep underground Fordow facility; and maintain enriched uranium stockpiles.

The deal also denied inspectors access to Iran’s military facilities (key locations for nuclear weapons work); prohibited American inspectors; and established virtually insurmountable delays and roadblocks to inspecting Iran’s undeclared nuclear sites.

J Street’s question also misleadingly implied that the president withdrew from the Iran deal without cause. In fact, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained in 2018: “President Trump withdrew from the deal for a simple reason: It failed to guarantee the safety of the American people from the risk created by the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Pompeo then enumerated the deal’s “fatal flaws” and Iran’s violations, including: early sunset provisions that would leave Iran “free for a quick sprint to a bomb.”

Few respondents would wish to reenter the Iran deal if a poll truthfully asked:

President Trump withdrew from the Iran deal, after proof emerged of Iran’s continuing violations, and because the deal permitted Iran to continue to enrich uranium, did not permit inspections of key facilities, paved Iran’s way to a nuclear bomb, and enabled Iran to enrich terror organizations, fuel Middle East wars and develop missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Do you support reentering this deal?”

J Street’s poll also asked a series of questions that embedded the false premise that “Israeli concessions are necessary to achieve peace.”

In fact, Israeli concessions lead to more war, danger and death. Withdrawing from Gaza resulted in Hamas shooting thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians and four wars. The Oslo Accords resulted in the Palestinian Authority inciting and paying terrorists to murder and maim thousands of innocent Jews and Americans.

J Street’s deceptive polling is nothing new. We analyzed previous extremely deceptive J Street polls and misrepresentations of polling data in ZOA’s free online report: “J Street Sides With Israel’s Enemies and Works to Destroy Support for Israel” (pp. 115-118).

For instance, in 2015, as part of its pro-Iran deal lobbying campaign, J Street asked a polling question about a hypothetical Iran deal that included “intrusive” inspections that assured Iran was not developing nuclear weapons, and only modest, gradual sanctions relief after Iran met compliance benchmarks. J Street then cited the responses regarding this relatively favorable hypothetical deal to falsely claim that the majority of Jews supported the misbegotten, dangerous actual Iran deal and its $150 billion of immediate sanctions relief.

Notably, legitimate polls showed that American Jews and the general American public overwhelmingly opposed the Iran deal. And the more people learned about the deal, the more any support plummeted.

Similar to J Street’s 2015 deception, J Street’s latest poll is designed to gin up phony shows of Jewish support for anti-Israel moves by a new administration.

Therefore, let’s all remember: Don’t believe J Street’s misleading polls!

Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth A. Berney is ZOA’s director of special projects.

The original op-ed was published in JNS and can be found here.

Center for Law & Justice
We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.