A new major survey of youth in Arab countries found that the Palestinian issue didn't even make the top five concerns they had about their region.
In answering the question "What do you believe is the greatest obstacle facing the Middle East?' the youths cited the rise of ISIS, the threat of terrorism, unemployment, civil unrest and the rising cost of living as their top concerns.
Number six is the lack of a strong political leadership, and only after that comes the Palestinian Israel conflict, in a statistical tie with lack of Arab unity and lack of Arab democracy.
Last year the Palestinian conflict was in fourth place but also with only 23% choosing it as one of their top concerns.
This has been the truth that I've noticed as well. The Palestinians have been trying to raise their profile in the West because they have been losing ground steadily with their own Arab people. But in international forums, Arab states will pay lip service to the Palestinian cause because of pride. In reality,
They don't really care much.
For their part, Palestinian youths - together with those in Iraq and Lebanon - were far more likely to describe the US as their enemy and Iran as their ally, compared to other Arabs. That disconnect between Palestinian attitudes and those of Gulf and Maghreb states could also account for some of the apathy towards the Palestinians that the majority of Arab countries show.
The survey prominently trumpets that an overwhelming majority of Arab youth reject the Islamic State's ideas. That's great, but 13% said that they could be sympathetic to ISIS under some circumstances. That is still over 20 million people!
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