What do Palestinians want?? 2/3 say Rockets must stop. 3/5 say Hamas should recognize Israel

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 12 Comments

Sky Redoubt writes:

This is rather interesting:
I am translating more or less verbatim from a lefty blog in Hebrew. A post from 01/28/09 by Eyal Niv entitled "What do the Palestinians Want?".

What do the Palestinians want? It's best to ask them. The main article in today's (Wed) "Al Quds" (a Palestinian newspaper printed in Jerusalem; the most widely read in the territories) is about a survey of the residents of the territories, which brings forth the following interesting data:
1. Decline in support of political movements

Who do you think is the representative of the Palestinians? Fatah 47% (stronger in the WB), the Palestinian Authority 33%, Hamas 20%

To which movement do you belong? Fatah 24%, Hamas 14%, Other 7%, None 55% (the trend is a bit stringer in the WB)

Should Abbas stay in office? Half-half (no actual numbers were reported)

Whom do you trust? 23% Abbas, 18% Haniya, 59% none of the two

This is the continuation of the trend of weakening of the political movements and frustration with politics.

2. Feelings of insecurity, depression, anxiety

Don't feel secure about themselves, their families and property 76%

How do you feel? 89% depressed because of the current situation. 90% feel anxiety

The main reason for anxiety: Lack of security 34%, Occupation 27%, Internecine struggle 18%, Economic distress 14%

3. Clear majority wants peace

59% Support the Egyptian initiative

67%: The rockets must stop
33% Supports the rockets

65% support signing peace agreement with Israel (in the WB 62%, in Gaza 70%)

59% think that Hamas should change its stance refusing to recognize Israel (66% in Gaza, 55% in the WB)

How to stop the conflict with Israel? 42% Peace negotiations, 25% armed struggle, 10% popular struggle [I guess this refers to civil rights struggle – Sky] 23% all of the above

This data weakens the claim that the war will never be forgiven, as I wondered in the past (a link to another post.) It doesn't mean that the war did not strengthen the extremists, or the lack of trust, since they were not asked whether the war strengthened/weakened their desire for peace, or the chances to achieve peace. However, it does weaken the claim that the Palestinians want to destroy the State of Israel.

4.The war's goal was to bring the Palestinians to their knees

What was the goal of the war?
60% To humiliate/subdue the Palestinians
33% To weaken Hamas

What is the priority for the Palestinians right now? 77% Unity
The data also points that 53% (67% in Gaza) are poor, 25% very poor. Full unemployment 24% (in Gaza 36%), part-time employment 14%

1030 participated in the survey, 3.4% margin of error. The survey took place between 18 and 22 of January 2009 and administered by Near East Consulting.

12 Responses

  1. Rowan
    February 1, 2009, 11:09 am

    I don't buy these figures at all. al Quds is a 'Palestinian Authority' paper, isn't it? No wonder two thirds say they are against rockets.

  2. chris berel
    February 1, 2009, 12:14 pm

    The figures are in black and white yet Rowan believes they are red all over.

    Please, keep your tiny head in your tiny sandbox and continue to post nonsensical prose.

  3. Nick Rowan
    February 1, 2009, 1:20 pm

    I too fimnd it disturbing to be forced to ceontemplate with a Jew base din New York citing a Jerusalem newspaper, and on this basis think he is able to judge what the 'palestinians ' think.

    It is important allways to bear in mind, that there is only so much New york based individuals are able to grasp of the world. We have all met them, while traveling abroad, and thay always strikes one as insular and out of touch with what the ret of the world feels.

    It is important that Phil Waiss repeat after me:
    "Please forgive me, I am American, I simply am no wiser than this. I was brought up tin New York, so of course there are limits, as to how much I am able to grasp."

  4. A blogger from Lebanon
    February 1, 2009, 2:18 pm

    "I don't buy these figures at all. al Quds is a 'Palestinian Authority' paper, isn't it? No wonder two thirds say they are against rockets."

    Hit the nail right on the head.
    If the numbers are as al-Quds says they are, the Palestinian non-Authority puppets would have wanted, nay, demanded, elections right this minute.

  5. Mohammad
    February 1, 2009, 2:50 pm

    Sorry but I don't trust these numbers either. The rockets are a defensive mechanism not an aggressive one. Palestinians understand this clearly that if Israel allows food and medicine and construction material inside Gaza, there would be no rockets. The siege already even before war has been responsible for over 300 civilian deaths. Siege is war guys. Siege is not only war, but war crimes much larger than the use of rockets are. I am not saying we should support the rockets attacks or Hamas, but we need to be clear about things. Did anyone ask Palestinians in this survey what do they feel about the siege?

    Based on my own direct contacts with Gazans, the support for Hamas' position has grown since 2006 Israeli war with Lebanon. People who would normally not endorse Hamas, are now working with Hamas. And no Philip, there is no limit to how much you or any other person can grasp. And we are here to expand and exchange the dialogue so we can all grasp more. I certainly am grasping much more ever since I became aware of this valuable blog.

  6. Peter D
    February 1, 2009, 3:53 pm

    I think that all the skeptics problem is that they think that since the rockets are justified (in their view), it is unreasonable to expect the Palestinians to reject them. This is not necessarily the case: the Palestinians may still think the rockets are justified, but at the same time think they are counterproductive.
    I myself have no idea whether these numbers are true. And even though they are reported in Al Quds, the survey itself was done by Near East Consulting, which, I believe, is an independent institution (I could be terribly wrong on this, of course).

  7. Rowan
    February 1, 2009, 4:19 pm

    these people are living under a sort of iraq-like hybrid of martial law and gang rule, and you talk anout 'independent institutions'. such liberal naivete, it's breathtaking, some would prolly say admirable….

  8. chris berel
    February 1, 2009, 5:24 pm

    Indeed, Peter, just as Israelis have considered, from time to time, that counter violence may be unproductive.

    But then they remember that Israel did not retaliate over the murder of so many teenagers at a disco, and it did not stop the Palestinians from committing more murders.

  9. Suzanne
    February 1, 2009, 6:26 pm

    This is really good news! A lot of the opinion items in that survey have been reported before in recent years…but it seems the percentage supporting a peace initiative keeps going up, and support of Hamas keeps going down.

    It would be interesting to get some factual analysis as to what is contributing to the gradual change in attitude.

  10. Sam
    February 1, 2009, 7:18 pm

    Hmmm, I wonder why people would refuse to admit they are pro-Hamas to a Fatah survey? See:

    link to dailymail.co.uk

    The horrific torture of hundreds of people by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank is being funded by British taxpayers.

    An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found that the forces responsible get £20million a year from the UK.

    The victims – some left maimed – are rounded up for alleged involvement with the militant Islamic group Hamas, yet many have nothing to do with it.

    Crackdown: Palestinian forces seize a man on the West Bank

    They are targeted because the Fatah party, which runs the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority (PA) on the West Bank, is the bitter rival of Hamas, which controls the war-torn Gaza strip.

    Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) gave £76million in all to the PA last year for ‘security sector reform’ and fostering the rule of law.

    About £3million goes directly to the PA police. Another £17million pays the salaries of the PA’s array of security organisations – including the Presidential Guard intelligence service and the feared Preventive Security Organisation.

    Not only are PA forces carrying out torture, the authority ignores judges’ orders to release political detainees. Last month at least 30 journalists, teachers and students were arrested – as the crackdown on Hamas was praised by a senior Israeli defence official as a necessary ‘iron fist policy’.

    Not only are Palestinian Authority forces carrying out torture but are ignoring judges' orders to release political detainees

    But Professor Raid Neuerat, who teaches political science at the West Bank’s Nablus University, told how PA security men handcuffed him at gunpoint in front of his wife and four children, pulled a thick, soiled hood over his head then bundled him into their car. It is a five-minute drive from his house to the local Jenaid prison – but it lasted four hours.

    ‘Most of that time they beat me,’ said Prof Neuerat, 39. ‘They were hitting my head and spine with their rifle butts. By the time I arrived I had lost my sight in both eyes and could not move my legs.’

    Prof Neuerat, like five other victims interviewed by The Mail on Sunday, said he has never been in Hamas.

    ‘I was lucky,’ he said. ‘The damage to my central nervous system was reparable. I was told my crime was something I said on television – that I had called the Hamas takeover of Gaza just that, a takeover, instead of a “coup”.’


  11. chris berel
    February 2, 2009, 9:14 am

    There are similar stories on both sides of the palestinian fence. I've read where Hamas used the Israeli retaliation as a cloak to murder fatah members in Gaza, using the excuse that they were colaborators or some other such junk. All bereft of judge and jury, as is their MO.

  12. Suzanne
    February 2, 2009, 9:38 am

    The pro-Hamas sentiment here is touching. lol!

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