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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hamas popularity surges, 2 in 5 Gazans want to leave, 33% of Pals' top goal is destroying Israel

The latest PCPSR poll of Palestinian Arabs shows that the Gaza fighting has, predictably, boosted Hamas' popularity. But it also reveals some other interesting facts that don't get reported.

If a presidential election were to be held today, Hamas leader Haniyeh would defeat Mahmoud Abbas 48% to 45%. Parliamentary elections would be a virtual tie according to this poll, but usually Islamists are under-represented in these surveys (which is why Hamas' victory last time was such a surprise.)

Other interesting results:
Positive evaluation of conditions in the Gaza Strip rises sharply from 25% three months ago to 43% in this poll while 33% say conditions are bad or very bad.

Similarly, positive evaluation of conditions in the West Bank rises sharply from 19% three months ago to 35% in this poll while 36% say conditions are bad or very bad.
Nothng has changed on the ground - in fact, many buildings in Gaza were damaged in the fighting - so the people's perceptions are guided more by propaganda (Hamas' "victory" and Abbas' UN stunt) than by reality.

But even as people feel more positive, they report that freedom of expression has gone down!
35% of the Palestinian public say people in the West Bank can criticize the authority in the West Bank without fear. By contrast, 29% of the public say people in the Gaza Strip can criticize the authorities in Gaza without fear. These results indicate a decrease in the perception of freedom to criticize authorities in the West Bank compared to results obtained three months ago when it stood at 42%.
This next finding contradicts every piece of anti-Israel propaganda seen in the West:
Perception of safety and security in the West Bank stands at 60% and in the Gaza Strip at 70%. Three months ago these percentages stood at 64% in the Gaza Strip and 56% in the West Bank.
Most people who the UN says are under "occupation" feel quite safe. I don't think any UN art exhibits will show this, though.
Findings show that the percentage of Gazans who say they seek immigration to other countries stands at 41%; in the West Bank, the percentage stands at 22%.

In other words, if Arab countries would stop discrimination against Palestinian Arabs, one in five West Bankers and 2 in 5 Gazans would happily move elsewhere. They don't feel "Palestinian," they just want to have the freedom to emigrate.

Yet there are no "human rights" organizations that fight for this right. No one who claims to be "pro-Palestinian" demands that Arab countries open their doors to give citizenship to any of their Palestinian brethren who desire it.

And finally:
44% believe that the first most vital Palestinian goal should be to end Israeli occupation in the areas occupied in 1967 and build a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. By contrast, 33% believe the first most vital goal should be to obtain the right of return of refugees to their 1948 towns and villages, 14% believe that it should be to build a pious or moral individual and a religious society, one that applies all Islamic teachings, and 9% believe that the first and most vital goal should be to establish a democratic political system that respects freedoms and rights of Palestinians.
Think about this one. For one third of Palestinian Arabs, destroying Israel demographically with the "right to return" is more important than their own independent state! You can be sure that this is the second-most important goal for a large percentage of those who chose a different top goal, but the raw numbers are not released yet.