Tuesday, April 3, 2012
http://www.haaretz.comSurvey shows most Jewish Americans favor diplomacy for peace over military action; 73% of respondents say Netanyahu represents Jewish values. Sixty-two percent of Jewish American voters would like to see U.S. President Barack Obama reelected in November, and only 4% define Israel as the most important issue influencing their vote. The results emerged as part of a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute based in Washington, D.C. According to the survey, while only 62% of Jewish voters in the U.S. would like to reelect Obama, 30% would prefer to see a Republican candidate take the upcoming elections. In the 2008 elections, 78% of Jewish Americans voted for Obama, but, according to the survey's authors, the figure reflects statistics measured at a similar point in the campaign that year. The current figure also shows that Jewish support for Obama is much higher than that of the general American population (44% for Obama and 37% for a Republican candidate). Of the Jews who voted for Obama in 2008, 86% would like to see him reelected, while 7% said they have switched sides and would prefer to see a Republican candidate win this time round. Fifty-eight percent of the Jewish voters approve of Obama's performance as president, 34% disapprove. Thirty-six percent said they are "not sure" about their opinion of how Obama is handling the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sixty-seven percent of Jewish voters hold "mostly" or "very" unfavorable opinions of Mitt Romney, but Jewish Republican supporters prefer the former Massachusetts Governor by a large margin of 58%, compared to his rivals. Trailing far behind are former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum with 15%, former Speaker Newt Gingrich with 13%, and Congressman Ron Paul, with 12%. Economy over Israel The survey gives a decisive answer as to how important Israel is for the Jewish voters this time round: Not very. Only 4% define it as "the most important issue" influencing their vote. The economy is the top issue for 51%, while for 15% of respondents, the most important issue is the "growing gap between the rich and poor." Nearly two-thirds of the American Jews think the government should do more to reduce this gap, and 81% support raising taxes on Americans earning more than 1 million dollars a year. Ten percent were more concerned about health care, 7% for the federal deficit. Only 4% are worried about national security issues and Israel, 2% are most concerned about Iran, and 1% the environment, immigration, same-sex marriage and abortion. While "Birthright" trips to Israel might make participants more connected to the Jewish state, the survey showed that, overall, Israel is far from being the issue that defines Jewish identity among Americans. When asked which qualities are most important to their Jewish identity, 46% mentioned a commitment to social equality, 20% spoke of their support for Israel, and 17% cited religious observance. To the question of what influenced their political beliefs, 87% mentioned the Holocaust, 85% the "opportunities for economic success" in America, and 66% referred to being a religious minority in America. Being Jewish was "very important" or "most important" for 42% of the Jewish Americans, while for 29% it was "somewhat important" and for 29% it was "not too important" or not important at all. Being Jewish was "very important" to 73% of synagogue-goers, but only to 22% of those who do not belong to an established Jewish community. It was important for 64% of Conservative Jews, 39% of Reform Jews, and 10% of Jews who do not affiliate themselves with any denomination. As for Middle East politics and the perception of U.S.-Israeli relations, while While Obama Administration officials like to say military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel is closer than ever before, only 54% of Jewish Americans perceive the relationship is the same as always, while 37% think the ties "are worse", and only 7% think they are better than in the past. Fifty-three percent of Jewish Americans said they would support the establishment of a Palestinian state, while 42% would oppose it. Sixty-three percent think that, in general, diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace, versus 24% who prefer military action. But when it comes to Iran, 59% of Jewish Americans think the U.S. should take military action to stop Iran's nuclear program should sanctions fail, while 37% oppose it. The vast majority of Jewish Americans define Israel's major problems in terms of external threats (90% cite the Israeli Palestinian conflict, 83% Iran). Fifty-three percent also mentioned ultra-Orthodox control of religious life as being a major problem and 38% cited social inequality in Israel. Interpreting the results According to the survey, 70% of the Jewish Americans are either registered democrats or leaning toward the Democratic party, and 29% identify themselves as Republicans or leaning toward the Republican party. Dr. Robert Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, told Haaretz that amid the speculations on the slipping Jewish support for the president, the results have shown "fairly solid support for President Obama - the numbers are virtually identical to the June 2008 Gallup poll that showed 62% for Obama and 32% for McCain. Today, it's 6% for Obama and 30% the Republican candidate." As for the low priority given to Israel, Dr. Jones stresses that it is important to note the statistic reflects how much weight Israel is given in terms of voting priorities, and does not reflect Jewish Americans' support for Israel. "As a voting priority it is low, [but] it doesn't mean it's not important," he said. Dr. Jones added that "we wanted to be sure on this issue and allowed people to mention their first and second most important voting issue, because it was clear the economy is swapping everything. But even as a second issue Israel didn't move up the list - it was still 5%." The survey also asked respondents to estimate how well eight public figures represent Jewish values. While questions could be raised about how the list of eight figures was compiled, the results were as follows: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came first (73%), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan second (66%), New-York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg third (65%), comedian Jon Stewart got 63%, Senator Joe Lieberman (60%), actress Natalie Portman (56%), the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (38%) and comedian Sarah Silverman (37%).
Bahraini protesters have taken to the streets in several towns and villages across the country to express solidarity with prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja held in prison, Press TV reports.
The Baloch Hal News
Three million school-aged children in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) are out of school and two million of these are girls, according to British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson. “This is really a state of education emergency,” said Thomson, while speaking at the launch of the ‘K-P school enrolment campaign 2012’ in Peshawar. The project, which aims to enrol over 800,000 children in school by 2015 in addition to building more than 2,000 classrooms, is being provided for by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID). “Education is the single most important factor that can transform this province’s future,” Thomson emphasised. The drive was formally launched by K-P Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti after he enrolled one Aurangzeb, son of Mohammad Hamza, in the Nasir Bagh Primary School. Hoti asked the donors to strictly monitor the efficacy of the programme so that projects are completed on time and in a transparent manner. ‘Foundation of enlightened societies’ Reflecting upon the importance of female literacy in the province, Hoti asserted that after peace had been restored in Swat, girls had been able to go back to schools that had earlier been destroyed by militants. “Educated mothers lead to enlightened societies,” he said. “We will utilise all resources to promote education in K-P. Opening 100 schools in partnership with private firms in areas that have no middle or high schools is also a goal,” he added. Speaking on the occasion, DFID Pakistan Chief George Turkington said that it was alarming that seven million people in the province were illiterate while children who should have been in primary school were not enrolled. A DFID statement said that the UK government will also build around 2,000 literacy centres to teach women how to read and write. In recent years, the UK has helped around 590,000 girls to continue with their education by granting cash stipends. Each girl receives Rs200 a month as well as a set of free textbooks in return for attending school for four days throughout the week. Published in The Express Tribune
The Express Tribune
Let Us Build Pakistan
On April 3, 1965, the ‘Sweetheart of Pakistan’ Nazia Hassan was born – a soon to be iconic figure of the Pakistani pop industry. If alive today, April 3, 2012 she would be celebrating her 47th birthday. Nazia’s first hit was a pop song “Aap Jaisa Koi” which she sang for an Indian film titled Qurbani at the age of 15. She won a Filmfare award for this song and paved the way for her debut album, Disco Deewane. The pop icon of the 70s soon became the striking beauty of the 80s and along with her brother produced audio and video hits, forever changing the Pakistani pop music industry. Even during the conservative era of General Ziaul Haq, Nazia persevered, not faltering in her passion for music and became a celebrity. Among her biggest hits were “Ankhen Milane Wale” and “Dum Dum Dede”. In 1995 she got married and had her son Arez in 1997. Sadly, Nazia passed away in 2000 after losing a battle with cancer. She however remains a celebrity in the hearts of the 80s’ generation and lives on through her fans and all those who showered her with their love. The Express Tribune
At least seven people were killed and 48 were injured as the situation turned violent in Gilgit.According to the reports, police had arrested some people allegedly involved in firing on a rally and situation turned violent when they were not released. The enraged mob blocked the road and burnt tyres.A large number of police and security forces arrived at the scene while people injured in different firing incidents were shifted to hospitals.On the other hand, residents of the city have confined to their homes due to violent incidents and tense situation.The local administration is trying to control the situation, while curfew has also been imposed in the city. DUNYA NEWS