Thursday, June 23, 2016

23-Jun-16: Terror in Palestinian Arab society? What terror?

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Here's a postscript to "15-Jun-16: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?".

Over on the Al-Monitor site, they put up an opinion piece a couple of days ago ["Poll: 65% of Palestinians want Abbas out"] that draws some conclusions from the same Palestinian Arab public opinion survey on which we based our comments. Only the conclusions they reached are quite different.

The Al-Monitor article, written by Ahmad Abu Amer ("a Palestinian writer and journalist who has been working in the field of journalism for nine years [with] a master’s degree from the Islamic University of Gaza"), focuses specifically on what the PSR poll, taken in the past month, says about Mahmoud Abbas' standing as president of the Palestinian Authority. The author gamely suggests the findings, that two-thirds of Palestinian Arabs want Abbas replaced "...were clear and surprising".

Clear, certainly. Surprising? Not so much. In its December 2014 poll, the same polling organization reported that the level of satisfaction with Abbas' performance had reached 35% (39% three months earlier). PSR produces polls about every three months, and Abbas' tanking support has been a factor for several years. Is this somehow related to his having been elected to a four year term of office as president in January 2005? Is the fact that no presidential elections have been called since then and don't seem to be on the horizon even now bothering the voters? We can only speculate.

But that's the less striking aspect of the Al-Monitor. By far more significant is what it says - correction, what it completely fails to say - about the deep attachment Palestinian Arabs have to terrorism. 

That prompted us to write this comment to the Al-Monitor editors earlier today:
The recent PSR poll says *much more* than this article describes. Yes, the Abbas leadership is overwhelmingly rejected by the electors as it has been for years. And clearly Abbas cannot possibly deliver the Palestinian Arabs a peace agreement of any kind - assuming he wanted to do that - because they don't accept his role as their negotiator. But what about *terror*? The PSR poll is filled with concrete data about Pal Arab enthusiasm for it. Yet there's not a single mention of that very central subject in the entire Al Monitor article. Why? The information is certainly available. You just have to want to look at it and understand what it means. Here's a taste:
As of 4:30 pm this afternoon, it had not been published. We remain optimistic.

Even worse than the passion Palestinian Arab society has for bigotry, violence and terror directed at Jews, particularly Israeli Jews, is their utter failure to face up to what this does to them. The fact that most observers, in the region and beyond, Arab and non-Arab, don't know of this blood-lust or deny that it exists ensures that it will continue to exact a heavy price in lives and well-being on all sides of the conflict.

UPDATE 4:40 pm: Our comment on the Al-Monitor site is published. Thank you, editors.

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