This piece of research seems to have received very little attention. The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (website) headed by a respected figure, Prof. Khalil Shikaki, published a comprehensive 21 page report based on polling of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and across the disputed territories (West Bank). The 21-page document, is here.
Here are a few of the highlights (taken from This Ongoing War):
- Support for what the poll calls “an armed intifada” is high, as it has been for a long time. Three months ago, it stood at 54%. In this latest poll, it’s down all the way to at 48% – so every second Palestinian Arab favours a shooting/stabbing/ramming campaign against the Israelis.
- This past summer saw numerous news reports of water shortages in Palestinian Arab cities and towns. Parts of the activist new media knew whom to blame [for instance “Israel: Water as a tool to dominate Palestinians“, Aljazeera, June 23, 2016], because there’s rarely any downside in their circles to pointing the finger at Israel. The Israeli view is not surprisingly different [“Israel blames Palestinians for West Bank water shortage“, Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2016]. PSR found that 45% of Palestinian Arabs pin the responsibility for a shortage of water on Israel – but a larger percentage (49%) says the Palestinian side is to blame. (When did you last read or hear that in the mainstream news?)
- There is very little faith among Palestinian Arabs in their own government. How many of them believe the PA suffers from corruption? 79%.
- There is even less faith in the freedom of the news reporting media. On the Fatah/PA side, only 16% of respondents feel there is press freedom. In Gaza where Hamas rules the roost, faith in freedom of the local press is even lower: just 14%.
- A two-state solution to the Palestinian Arab versus Israel conflict has the support of just 49% of Palestinian Arabs. (A different poll conducted in August 2016 found that 59% of Israelis supported it and that 26% more would agree if a peace agreement included the other Arab states.)
- There’s strong support (55%) among Palestinian Arabs for abandoning the Oslo Accords of 1993-1995.
- Concerning the Temple Mount, on which UNESCO is going to be voting again today [Brian: while preparing this, UNESCO voted to continue denying Jewish history], more than half of all Palestinian Arabs believe (and this is a direct quote from the PSR report) that of “the long-term aspirations or plans of the Israeli government for al Haram al Sharif in Jerusalem“, the one considered most likely by most respondents by far is “Destroy Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock Mosques and build a synagogue in their place“. That’s the view of 52% of all Palestinian Arabs. And while it’s a view that only 33% of Gazans hold, in the Abbas-controlled West Bank, 62% believe it.
Will there then be mutual recognition of Israel as the state of “the Jewish people” and Palestine as the state of “the Palestinian people” (those are the terms the poll report uses)?
The answer of 59% of West Bank Palestinian Arabs is “no”. And that’s what the Arabs of the Gaza Strip also say: 63% of them.