Jewish World Review August 3, 2003 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5763

Dan Abrams

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How even the most pro-Saudi polls still make many of the Saudi people seem like enemies of America


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A new Zogby poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute was clearly designed to defend the Saudis, as is evidenced by the phrasing of the questions. But the answers? I think they're just the opposite.

The headline pronounces Saudis reject bin Laden and that tragedies of 9/11 and in Riyadh do not represent Saudi people or Islam. But when you read the numbers carefully, even this poll is pretty scary.

Six hundred Saudis questioned. You'd think some of these questions are gimmes, guaranteed to make them look good like "Osama bin Laden does not speak for me and my family?"

But only 62 percent or 370 strongly agreed with that statement. Meaning the other 38 percent or 230 were either unsure, disagreed or wavered.

Maybe even more shocking — the same number, only 62 percent strongly supported this statement: "Innocent citizens of the United States and other nations did not deserve to die in the attack on the World Trade Center."

Again, so 230 out of 600 are wavering unsure or disagree with that?

The only issue is where there was virtual unanimity, whether they have respect for human life-a throwaway question-and whether the terror attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in May were not consistent with the values of the Saudis or Islam.

For me the clincher, only 4.2 percent or 25 people out of 600 said they had a very favorable impression of the American people, not government. I think a more accurate headline would be: "Many Saudis still don't reject bin Laden or condemn 9/11, and very few really like Americans."

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 9-10 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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