Following Israel Hayom's usual practice of publishing opinion polls representing the point of view of Hebrew-speaking Jews only, and in view of its usual habit of presenting those results as the "public's" opinion, we sent two question to the paper's editorial board.
The first question was, why doesn't Israel Hayom publish opinion polls conducted among all citizens, or residents, of Israel? And the second, why don't the paper's reporters attempt to be more accurate by refraining from presenting the results as if they reflected the views of "the public" as a whole, when about a fifth of it is not counted?
Israel Hayom refused to answer. Had this been an opinion survey, it would have been possible to classify the editor, the Hebrew-speaking Jew Amos Regev's, answer as "no response". Since this is not an opinion poll, one cannot assume that Regev doesn't have an opinion. Certainly not on the basis of past surveys published by the editor of Israel Hayom, but also in light of the survey published in his paper this morning.
"75 percent say we'll inoculate our children," reads the front page banner headline in Israel Hayom today. The leading double-page spread is devoted to the Ministry of Education's decision to vaccinate all Israeli children: Jews, Muslims, Christians and others against polio. The item includes the results of an opinion poll conducted among a random sample of 500 respondents representing Jewish Hebrew-speaking population aged 18 and over. The headline above the survey results says: "73.8 percent of the public: we're worried about the polio virus."
The Polio virus is incapable of distinguishing between Hebrew and Arabic speakers or between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but polling company Hagal Hachadash (New Wave) is smarter, and provides Israel Hayom with the viewpoints of only four-fifths of the adult populations in Israel. Such discrimination, accompanied by deception ("public" instead of "the Jewish portion of the public") is an ongoing journalistic scandal regardless of the survey's topic. The case of vaccines against polio is just a typical example.
"Israel is a single epidemiological zone," that's the quote from the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, Prof Ronni Gamzu, in Israel Hayom's leading news item. "There has never been a situation in the past where we vaccinated in one region and didn't vaccinate in others. Kids from the south spend time in the centre, and vice versa, southern Bedouins have families in the north and in the Sharon region. There is no choice but to expand the vaccination to the whole country."
According to another news item news in the same leading double-page spread, by Meital Yasur-Beit-Or, since 11 July the polio virus has been found only in sewerage in Ramle and Lod, and it seems that it has been eliminated in those localities where it had been have found in previous weeks - Ashdod, Qalansuwa, Jaljulia and Kafr Bara. While the vaccination rate is highest in [the Jewish town of] Yeruham (31 percent Immunisation), in the [Bedouin city of] Rahat only 12 percent of the children have been vaccinated. "I find the low vaccination rate in Rahat troublesome", Gamzu is quoted in the item.
As you can see, even from an ethnocentric point of view, which is only interested in the health of the Jewish public which regards non-Jews dangerous disease spreaders (maybe it's time to take away their right to move around the country freely, for the sake of the "the public's" health), it would have made sense to ask non-Jews about their intention vaccinate their children. Israel Hayom does not bother doing so.
Yedioth Aharonot also devotes its main headline to the vaccination ("Israel Immunises") and the next two pages. While Israel Hayom presents a united front supporting the vaccine, Yedioth Acharonoth provides space on page 4 for its opponents, publishing the pros and cons, side by side.
Instead of a normal survey, the leading double-page carries a "Family Survey" conducted by Lior El-Hai and Yaron Kellner. Instead of a random representative sample of 500 Jews aged 18 and above, Yedioth Aharonot's survey includes the viewpoints of three Jewish families: the Rafer family from Kiryat Yam, the Merom-Zohars from Nahariya and the Raz family from Ramat Hasharon. The first refuses to vaccinate their son, the second one is undecided, and third one is in favour.
According to a commentary article by Dan Even published in Haaretz, "the Ministry of Health surmises that the virus came from Egypt to Israel. Or as Health Minister Yael German has described it, a description that became an Israel Hayom headline: "An enemy has penetrated our territory."