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Over There

A random poll of 100 passersby about the Lebanon-Israel conflict, taken on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, one of the most diverse streets in the city. Given the nature of the situation, we broke the responses down by faith.

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M=Muslim
J=Jewish
C=Christian
O=Others
T=Total

1. What is your religion?
M . . . 19
J. . . 18
C . . . 49
O . . . 14
T . . . 100

2. How closely are you following current events in the Middle East?
Obsessively
M . . . 5
J . . . 4
C . . . 6
O . . . 0
T . . . 15

Closely
M . . 12
J . . . 13
C . . . 32
O . . . 9
T . . . 66

Not too closely
M . . . 1
J . . . 1
C . . . 10
O . . . 4
T . . . 16

Not much at all
M . . . 0
J . . . 0
C . . . 1
O . . . 1
T . . . 2

Why? What's going on?
M . . . 1
J . . . 0
C . . . 0
O . . . 0
T . . . 1

3. What's your reaction to the Israeli bombing of Lebanon?
It makes me angry at Israel
M . . . 7
J . . . 1
C . . . 4
O . . . 2
T . . . 14

Hezbollah and the Lebanese government brought it on themselves
M . . . 2
J . . . 11
C . . . 8
O . . . 0
T . . . 21

It's upsetting, but this sort of thing is inevitable in that part of the world
M . . . 4
J . . . 0
C . . . 12
O . . . 1
T . . . 17

It's unfortuntate because it will make things worse in the Middle East
M . . . 6
J . . . 6
C . . . 22
O . . . 10
T . . . 44

No response
M . . . 0
J . . . 0
C . . . 3
O . . . 1
T . . . 4

4. Whom do you blame most for the crisis?
Israel
M . . . 12
J . . . 1
C . . . 4
O . . . 2
T . . . 19

Hezbollah
M . . . 0
J . . . 8
C . . . 11
O . . . 0
T . . . 19

Iran
M . . . 1
J . . . 6
C . . . 2
O . . . 0
T . . . 9

All sides equally to blame
M . . . 1
J . . . 3
C . . . 22
O . . . 11
T . . . 37

Don’t know
M . . . 5
J . . . 0
C . . . 10
O . . . 1
T . . . 16

5. Do you think this will touch off World War III?
Yes
M . . . 4
J . . . 13
C . . . 11
O . . . 1
T . . . 29

No
M . . . 5
J . . . 10
C . . . 17
O . . . 2
T . . . 34

I hope not, but maybe
M . . . 5
J . . . 4
C . . . 19
O . . . 11
T . . . 39

Don't have any idea or no response
M . . . 5
J . . . 1
C . . . 2
O . . . 0
T . . . 8

6. Does this increase the odds of New York’s being attacked?
Yes
M . . . 4
J . . . 2
C . . . 23
O . . . 4
T . . . 33

No
M . . . 9
J . . . 12
C . . . 16
O . . . 3
T. . . 40

Don’t know
M . . . 6
J . . . 4
C . . . 10
O . . . 7
T . . . 27

7. Is the U.S. too supportive of Israel?
Yes
M . . . 17
J . . . 3
C . . . 27
O . . . 10
T . . . 57

No
M . . . 0
J . . . 15
C . . . 13
O . . . 0
T . . . 28

Don’t know
M . . . 2
J . . . 0
C . . . 9
O . . . 4
T . . . 15

8. Does democracy in the Middle East lead to instability?
Yes
M . . . 6
J . . . 5
C . . . 17
O . . . 3
T . . . 31

No
M . . . 8
J . . . 9
C . . . 16
O . . . 7
T . . . 40

Don’t know/No answer
M . . . 5
J . . . 4
C . . . 16
O . . . 4
T . . . 29

9. At a time like this, whom would you rather see in the White House?
George W. Bush
M . . . 1
J . . . 5
C . . . 5
O . . . 1
T . . . 12

John Kerry
M . . . 3
J . . . 0
C . . . 0
O . . . 0
T . . . 3

Bill Clinton
M . . . 7
J . . . 6
C . . . 12
O . . . 5
T . . . 30

Hillary Clinton
M . . . 1
J . . . 2
C . . . 7
O . . . 0
T . . . 10

10. What should President Bush do now?
“Direct talks with Iran and Syria.” “Pull out of Iraq.” “Stay the course.” “Embrace Islam.” “Bush can do anything as long as he is 100 percent supporting Israel.” “Resign.” “Die.” “These things are over his head. He’s an imbecile.” “Pray more.”

11. If you had a magic wand, what would you change in the Middle East?
"Make Hezbollah/Hamas disappear." "Take Israel out of the map." "Democracy in all countries." "Get rid of religion." "Give everyone a job, a couch, free cable, and/or a six pack every night." "The inability of Jews and Arabs to realize they are essentially the same people." "I donąt believe in magic."

More on the Israel-Lebanon Conflict:
What Our Politicians Are Doing Wrong by Kurt Andersen
Life in Beirut Before Wartime

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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