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Thursday, March 20, 2008

'Palestinians' overwhelmingly favor terror and Kassams, oppose negotiations

The New York Times today publishes the results of a poll of 'Palestinians' and discovers that an astounding 84% - the largest number to support a single terror attack - supported the murder of eight Jewish boys at the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva. Some 75% wish to terminate 'negotiations' with Israel and 64% support the launching of rockets on Sderot and Ashkelon. By a narrow margin, the 'Palestinians' also support Ismail Haniyeh over 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, to which the mainstream media ascribe great importance, but frankly there is little difference between them.
The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said he was shocked because the survey, taken last week, showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years in the Palestinian areas. Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel.

“There is real reason to be concerned,” Mr. Shikaki said in an interview at his West Bank office. His Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which conducts a survey every three months, is widely viewed as among the few independent and reliable gauges of Palestinian public opinion.

His explanation for the shift, one widely reflected in the Palestinian media, is that recent actions by Israel, especially attacks on Gaza that killed nearly 130 people, an undercover operation in Bethlehem that killed four militants and the announced expansion of several West Bank settlements, have led to despair and rage among average Palestinians who thirst for revenge.
Of course, the Times doesn't mention that those 'actions by Israel' were responses to a relentless barrage of Kassam attacks that were the most intense they have been since the attacks on southern Israel started in 2000. But then, you didn't really expect the Times to mention that, did you?

As to Shikaki's concern, I'm not quite sure what he's concerned about. We saw similar numbers to these during the 2000-2004 Oslo Terror War. The only thing that has changed now is that the 'Palestinians' are much more fractured than they were back then (is that what concerns him?) and that Israel is in a stronger position in Judea and Samaria, but thanks to the Olmert-Barak-Livni government (and the Sharon-Peres-Olmert predecessor) it is in a weaker position in Gaza. Somehow, I doubt Shikaki is concerned about Israel. And given the steady diet of shahada that the 'Palestinian Authority' feeds to its denizens, is the hatred for Israel really surprising? I think not.
Mr. Shikaki’s poll also showed that the militant Islamist group Hamas, which Israel and the United States have been trying to isolate, is gaining popularity in the West Bank while its American-backed rival, the more secular Fatah, is losing ground. Asked for whom they would vote for president, 46 percent chose Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, the current president, while 47 percent chose Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

Three months ago, Mr. Abbas was ahead 56 percent to 37 percent. After Hamas forces pushed Fatah forces out of Gaza last summer, Mr. Shikaki’s polls showed the Palestinian public to be disillusioned with Hamas, and in the subsequent months many argued that Mr. Abbas, with the support of Washington and Israel, had an opportunity to win public support by easing living conditions and advancing in negotiations. That has not happened.
And whose fault is it that has not happened? Obviously it's Abu Mazen who has once again missed an opportunity. Moreover, does it really matter? Hamas and Fatah have the same goals; they only differ on tactics.
The poll did show support for a two-state solution over the long term with 66 percent favoring normalized relations with Israel if it returned all land won in 1967 [This is a joke since almost no Israelis would support returning ALL land. CiJ] and a Palestinian state was established. But such a deal seems a long way off now.

“The anger that this poll is registering is about equal to that at the very height of the second intifada,” Mr. Shikaki said, referring to the years just after 2000 when suicide attacks on Israel and Israeli strikes on Palestinian forces reached new heights. “I am very worried about what is coming.”
Yes, just about equal. But hopefully this time Israel will be prepared and there won't be anymore suicide attacks. And if there aren't any suicide attacks, the 'Palestinians' will just seethe some more and continue to wish for them. God willing the 'Palestinians' will do lots of seething and little exploding - at least when Jews are around.


At 2:15 AM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Omigosh: I agree with the "Palestinians" on something. I, too, favor the breaking off of negotiations between Israel and Abbas.

Somehow, I don't think this agreement means as much as it appears to mean. :-)

More seriously, wouldn't it be great if they _did_ break off these "negotiations." They can lead only to harm for Israel.

At 3:19 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

How can one negotiate with folks who want you dead? What's the point? Israel's government is in deep denial about the mood on the Palestinian Street. Its not "moderate" at all. Quite the opposite.

At 11:22 PM, Blogger E.D. Kain said...

Seems to me that any attempt at negotiating with a people who polled at 80% in favor of the brutal slaying of Jewish boys in a seminary is beyond foolish.

It's time to end the talks. They are only a cover for Hamas rearmament.


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