Only one in three Palestinians (34 percent) accepts two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to an intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip completed this week by American pollster Stanley Greenberg.This poll is completely at odds with the world's assumptions of a Palestinian Arab people who desire peace with Israel - assumptions that are shaped by media that reports what journalists want to be true rather than what actually is.
The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, was conducted in partnership with the Beit Sahour-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Israel Project, an international nonprofit organization that provides journalists and leaders with information about the Middle East.
Respondents were asked about US President Barack Obama’s statement that “there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people.”
Just 34% said they accepted that concept, while 61% rejected it.
Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state.
Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% said it should be the capital of Palestine, 1% said the capital of Israel, 3% the capital of both, and 4% a neutral international city.
Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.
When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.
But only 45% said they believed in the charter’s statement that the only solution to the Palestinian problem was jihad.
The survey’s more positive findings included that only 22% supported firing rockets at Israeli cities and citizens and that two-thirds preferred diplomatic engagement over violent “resistance.”
Among Palestinians in general 65% preferred talks and 20% violence. In the West Bank it was 69-28%, and in Gaza, 59- 32%.
If Western leaders understood this survey, they would know that the unilateral declaration of a state planned for September is anything but a peaceful move. They would know that real peace is literally impossible and that "compromise" is not in the Palestinian Arab vocabulary. They would know that any move at the UN makes war more likely, not less.
They would know that those right-wing Israeli extremists were exactly right.
The "two state solution" that other polls seem to find PalArab support for is a Trojan horse. Yet any Zionist who points that out is marginalized as an extremist in the media, while journalists fawn over those who have rosier, and ultimately false, interpretations. Only rarely do polls frame the questions in ways that expose the true feelings of the Palestinian Arab public.
Ha'aretz, one of the worst offenders of the myth that Palestinian Arabs want peaceful coexistence, buried the poll findings at the very end of an article about how little the Palestinian Arabs want a new intifada, and spun it appropriately:
In another measure of the Palestinian mood, an opinion poll commissioned by the group The Israel Project, which dispenses information to journalists and others about Israel and the Middle East, showed that about 65 percent of Palestinians polled said they thought now was the time for diplomatic contacts, while 30 percent saw the current period as the time for violent resistance. On the other hand, only 34 percent favored a two-state solution involving a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state. Furthermore, 66 percent favored a two-state solution as only a first step to be followed by a Palestinian state replacing Israel.Most of the media won't bother to spin this very important poll the way Ha'aretz does. They'll just ignore it altogether. After all, it is embarrassing to admit that your entire worldview is horribly wrong, and if there is a choice of avoiding embarrassment or telling the truth, the mainstream media does not have a good track record of doing the latter.
Don't expect to see a Thomas Friedman column about this story. After all, he personally spends time with handpicked Palestinian Arabs who speak perfect English when he visits the Middle East a couple of times a year. He knows the pulse of PalArab society better than any silly old Zionist-backed survey. Which is a better story - an interview with people you choose who might be in the minority but who you already know agree with your viewpoints, or boring numbers?
(h/t Zach N)