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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Many Fatah supporters not interested in peace

I'm sure you'll all be shocked - just shocked - to hear that a nine-week study commissioned by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies shows that Fatah supporters' attitudes toward peace with Israel are more negative than predicted.
While it is unclear how accurate social media are as a bellwether of Palestinian political sentiment, FDD believes the derived trends can contribute to a better understanding of Palestinians’ attitudes toward peace. Indeed, world leaders have repeatedly failed to gauge the extent of Palestinian anti-peace sentiments in recent years.

The results, published in a study titled “Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn from Palestinian Social Media,” suggest that attitudes toward peacemaking are more negative than polls project. The study (accessible at www.defenddemocracy.org/images/Palestinian–Pulse.pdf) may reveal other important insights into Palestinian society. The following highlights the study’s findings on the Fatah faction.


Broadly speaking, most Fatah members embraced the notion that Israel was an enemy, rather than a peace partner. Indeed, one particularly popular post during FDD’s study was a report that appeared on Fatah forums alleging that Israel seeks to “separate Gaza from the West Bank” and thereby “liquidate the Palestinian national project.”

At the same time, however, Fatah’s online supporters voiced their loyalty to the group’s leadership.

This is somewhat ironic, given that these leaders continue to negotiate with Israel.

In the end, the anecdotal evidence FDD has gleaned from online observation yields findings that are already well-known: Fatah’s members and supporters are, at best, ambivalent about the idea of peace.

The Obama administration must address this challenge before making additional commitments to the Palestinians, particularly in light of its indications that it could back the creation of a Palestinian state in 2011.
Read the whole thing.

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At 3:18 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

A Palestinian state is not going to happen. Forget about Fatah - does any one really think Hamas will agree to play second fiddle to Fatah? That's where there's the disconnection between what the Palestinians want and reality. The latter's not going to change in our generation.


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