Saturday, January 12, 2008

Positive Polling Out of Palestine

I've long thought that -- on the Palestinian side anyway -- the biggest barrier to progress in the peace process was the gap between the Palestinian people and their leadership. The Palestinians themselves probably were in favor of a reasonable settlement with the Israelis. But unfortunately, the political arena was firmly in control of a militant minority that, alas, controlled the guns.

Now, via David T at Harry's Place, some recent polling on the Palestinians' views on their situation and the conflict with Israel backs this hypothesis up:
Support or opposition to a peace settlement with Israel

Support 72%
Oppose 25.5%

Support or opposition to the Palestinian participation in the peace conference that will be held at the end of the month.

Support 71%
Oppose 26.5%

Should Hamas maintain its position on the elimination of the state of Israel?

Hamas should maintain its position on Israel 31%
Hamas should change its position regarding Israel 69%

Other interesting results here.

Main issue that makes you feel concerned

The economic hardship 31%
The absence of security 25%
The internal power struggle 29%
The Israeli occupation in general 6%
Family problems 3%

The security situation in the Gaza Strip now is better than before Hamas took over, worse, or it did not change?

Better 14%
Worse 79%
The Same 6%

Trust in Abu Mazen versus trust in Ismael Hanieh

Abu Mazen 78%
Ismael Hanieh 22%

Factional trust

Fatah 46%
Hamas 13%
Others 9%
None 32%

(Hamas trust was 41% in January 2006. Fatah v Hamas trust is 46% v 16% in the Gaza strip)

Support or opposition to early PLC elections

Support: 77%
Oppose: 23%

Voting preference if early PLC elections are held next week

Fateh 69%
Hamas 15%
Others 16%

Attitude about the nature of the state, refugees, and Jerusalem

Two states for two people 53%
A one bi-national state in historic Palestine 15%
A Palestinian state on all historic Palestine 32%

Return to their original place of residence 61%
Return back to the new Palestinian state 24%
Compensation 15%

Jerusalem as an international capital 19%
East Jerusalem for Palestine and West for Israel 29%
A unfiied capital for both states 14%
A capital only for Palestine 38%

As David puts it, "rejectionism rejected". Fantastic news.


Jeb Koogler said...

This is really interesting, David. Thanks for the post.


The probligo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The probligo said...

I agree, very interesting.

It would be equally revealing if the same questions, suitably modified of course, were to be asked in Israel.

What are the chances, David. Your analysis of the results would be equally interesting...

Cycle Cyril said...

You're delusional if you think this poll indicates that the Palestinians want a true peace.

Look at the last set of responses. 53% say they want 2 states for 2 people however 61% want refugees to return to their place of origin.

When combined with the clear refusal of the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a JEWISH state what this survey really indicates that they want two states. One will be Arab and the second bi-national and with the desired return of Arab refugees they expect it to be a another Arab nation.

PG said...

My understanding was that Israel is a Jewish state yet has had non-Jews living there all this time. Can you explain why allowing those refugees who want to return to their previous place of residence within Israel's borders will make it a non-Jewish state?

Cycle Cyril said...

The present population of Israel (excluding the West Bank and Gaza) is about 7.25 million, 75% of which is Jewish (5.47M) with 1.45 million Arab population.

There are about 4.6 million Arabs who could claim a "right of return". (For the purpose of keeping this entry as short as possible I will not get into such points of contentions as how many of the 500 - 700K Arabs who left Israel in 1948 should actually have any claims whatsoever or whether any of their descendants should have any claims.)

If all 4.6M returned then the total Arab population would be over 6 million.

Demographically Israel would no longer exist as a Jewish state and the scenario of the Arab Christian population of Bethlehem wherein the Christian population went from (all numbers are rough) 85% in 1948 to 50% in 1967 to 60% in 1994 to 12% in 2006 would occur to the Jews. As you might notice during the years of Arab rule ('48 to '67 and '94 to present) the Arab Christian population was decimated while under Israeli rule it remained about the same.

Unfortunately the Islamic world does not embrace diversity. This is also clearly seen in the conflict between Moslems and Hindus.