Monday, April 21, 2008

21-Apr-08: What the Palestinian-Arab silent majority really thinks

An opinion poll of Palestinian-Arabs has reported that as of this month, April 2008, more than half of Palestinian Arabs are in favor of suicide bombings of Jews. What this means about the silent majority of Palestinian Arabs who secretly yearn for peace with their neighbors is anyone's guess.

We're speaking of a poll conducted by a respected Palestinian Arab organization, the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center. Its survey covers 1,190 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and was conducted between April 8 and 13, 2008.

There are no signs of the poll's findings in the English-language section of the JMCC's website. The news report of the survey comes via the invaluable Khaled Abu Toameh of the Jerusalem Post. As we've mentioned before, he's a courageous Palestinian Arab journalist who has a track record of shining bright lights on the things we need to know about terrorism among the Palestinian Arabs even when many consider them politically not correct. (Let's see how widely this latest report of his gets covered outside Israel. A Google News search just now shows the Jerusalem Post as the only source in the global media world that's reporting the story at present.)

Among other results of the survey:
  • The percentage of Palestinians who support "resistance operations" against Israeli targets rose from 43.1 percent in September 2006 to 49.5% at present.
  • Support for "resistance" is highest in the Gaza Strip, at 58.1%, with 24.5% in the West Bank agreeing.
  • Palestinian Arabs who support bombing attacks against Israeli civilians rose from 44.8% in June 2006 to 48% in September 2006. In April 2008, it stands at 50.7%. That is, a majority of the men, women and children walking the streets of the Palestinian-Arab villages, towns and cities are comfortable with one of the modern world's most barbaric activities. Something to keep in mind when their representatives appear on news and analysis programs in your community.
  • Support for suicide bombings is higher among Gazans (65.1%) than among the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank do (42.3%).
  • Regarding the thousands of rocket attacks delivered onto Israel in the past several years, 39.3% find them "useful" to Palestinian national interests. 35.7% see them as harmful.
  • Support for Mahmoud Abbas fell from 18.3% in November 2007 to 11.7% in April 2008. Remind us again why such enormous risks are being taken to prop up the Abbas regime?
  • Support for Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas dipped from 16.3% in November 2007 to 13.3% in April 2008. A catastrophic number for a politicians, but it still makes him more popular than Abbas.
  • Support for Marwan Barghouti (a convicted murderer serving his sentence in an Israeli prison) which stood at 14.3% in November 2007 has now descended to 12.8%. Makes us wonder yet again why such energetic efforts are being made by failed politicians on Israel's left including Amir Peretz, Joseph Beilin, Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Naomi Hazan and others to have him pardoned and released immediately. (What powers of insight and understanding do such politicians have that let them see things the rest of us somehow cannot?)
  • Fatah's support among Palestinian Arabs decreased from 40% in November '07 to 32.5% in April '08.
  • Hamas's popularity went down from 19.7% to 17.8%. (Reminder: When people speak about the allegedly-democratic decision of the Palestinian Arabs to elect a Hamas government, it's this 17.8% party they're referring to.)
There's little point in discussing whether any of this is good or bad for peace. It's reality, and it needs to be analyzed and understood. Unlikely that that will happen, based on past performance.

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