Palestinians Like Iran, Believe Terror Can Achieve More than Talks

Is there hope for peace if most Palestinians back violence? Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Is there hope for peace if most Palestinians back violence? Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Almost six in ten of Palestinians polled support stabbing Israelis and even more—65%—say that an armed uprising “would serve Palestinian national interests in ways that negotiations could not.” That’s the dismal news from the latest survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) and posted to their website.

The poll actually has some good news—support for stabbings among Palestinians has gone down since a poll three months ago, while backing for a “two-state solution,” where presumptively one of those states is Israel, has gone up. But that’s only part of the picture: the above mentioned belief in an armed “intifada”—or uprising—is down just one percent since the last poll in December. The PSR press release explained the drop in stabbing support as “due, it seems, to a rising perception in its inefficacy, and a large majority continues to view an armed intifada as more effective than these attacks.”

While actual support for an armed intifada has gone down—still at 56%—almost two-thirds of those polled also oppose efforts by the Palestinian security forces to prevent anti-Israel terrorism. Just three out of ten Palestinians support the actions of the Palestinian Security Forces to “contain the violence” that has prevented attacks on Israelis.

The poll found, not surprisingly, that the Palestinians in the “West Bank” region that is governed by the less extreme Palestinian Authority generally trended to be less violent and more supportive of a two-state solution than those in terrorist-governed Gaza. Still, while stabbing support is down to 44% in the West Bank, 52% of West Bank Palestinians still back an armed intifada. It was at 60% three months ago.

Palestinians mostly like Iran—a whopping 69% view Iran positively after the Islamic Republic promised to pay the families of terrorists.

Similarly, Palestinians want to be led by the political leader of the terror group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, rather than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas—52% to 41%. Support for Haniyeh over Abbas has actually grown since the last poll, and more than six out of ten Palestinians want Abbas to resign.

Perhaps worst of all, the pollsters found that the group that most supported violence is the younger generation.

Said the PSR press release, “As we found in our previous two polls, in September and December 2015, the ‘Oslo generation’ of youth between the ages of 18 and 22 are the least supportive of the two-state solution, the most supportive of stabbing attacks, and the most likely to think that an armed intifada would help Palestinians achieve national rights in ways that negotiations could not.”

What’s definitely not helping the violence is that just 9% of all Palestinians polled believe Israel when they say they don’t want to change the worship “status quo” atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. By way of contrast, 52% believe that Israel plans to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock at the site and replace them with a Jewish Temple.

Israel has repeatedly said it has no intentions to change the status quo and has upheld the current “Muslim-only” worship system atop the Temple Mount for decades. It is believed that lies surrounding Israeli intentions there were at least partly a cause for the recent uptick in terrorism by Palestinians.

So while things may be getting a little better in the last three months in terms of attitudes about violence, there are plenty of doubts about the future in this extremist Palestinian population.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 21, 2016)



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