Friday, October 20, 2023

  • Friday, October 20, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Nathan French, Associate Professor of Religion at Miami University, conducts an analysis of Palestinian attitudes towards terror as viewed through surveys over the years. at The Conversation 

His conclusion: 
Support of armed resistance was not always present. When Hamas openly fought the Palestinian Authority – which governs the West Bank and questioned the legitimacy of Hamas’ victory – and seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, over 73% of Palestinians opposed that seizure and any further armed conflict.

At that time, fewer than one-third of Gazans supported any military action against Israel. Over 80% condemned kidnapping, arson and indiscriminate violence.

If read over time, polls of Gazans from 2007 to 2023 tell a story. They help make clear that Gazan support for armed resistance grew alongside increasing frustration, anger and a sense of hopelessness with any political solution to their suffering.
Either Nathan French does not know how to read polls or he is purposefully misinterpreting them.

The 73% in 2007 that he says "opposed any further armed conflict" were talking about between Hamas and Fatah. the question was not about Israel at all

The "over 80%" question was likewise not about Israel at all; the poll said the "Overwhelming majority (82%) describes acts such as kidnappings of foreigners and bombing of internet cafes and foreign schools [in Palestinian territories - EoZ] as criminal deserving condemnation and only 3% describe them as nationalist deserving support." That poll did not ask about support for terror attacks, the only question I could find that French might be referring to is "63% supported and 34% opposed the plan presented by PA president Abbas for a ceasefire with Israel that would start in the Gaza Strip and then extend to the West Bank"  appears to be about a plan where Hamas stopped rocket fire and Israel stopped retaliating - nothing to do with terror attacks. 

Now, why did he start his analysis in 2007? 2007 is not a representative year - it was the height of the Hamas-Fatah fighting and Palestinians were sick of that war. But if French's theory that Palestinian support for terror is correlated with ever increasing "hopelessness" then their support for terror should have been lower beforehand. 

But in 2001, 92% supported attacks against "settlers" and 58% supported terror attacks inside Israel, in the abstract. When asked about a specific murderous attack, over the years, Palestinians consistently overwhelmingly supported them. The pollster only rarely asked about specific attacks but in 2003, when asked about the Maxim restaurant suicide bombing in Haifa that murdered 21 including a two month old baby, 75% of Palestinians  - and 82% of Gazans - supported it. 

Let's go back further. The very first PCPSR poll was held in July 2000, at the height of the intensive Clinton negotiations for peace. If there was ever a time that Palestinians should have felt hopeful, it was around then. In that poll, 75% supported reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. 

But when asked about support for terror, even then, 52% supported "armed attacks against Israelis" - not just "settlers."

There is no correlation between Palestinian support for terror and generic "hopelessness." Support for terror in the abstract has always bounced between 45-60%; support for specific terror attacks have always been huge majorities of 3-1 or 4-1. And if polls come out about the Simchat Torah massacre, the results will almost certainly be overwhelmingly in support. 84% supported the Mercaz Harav massacre in 2008, 77% a 2008 suicide attack that killed a woman in Dimona, 80% supported the wave of stabbing attacks in 2014 including the murder of four rabbis in Har Nof.

I have not seen a single Palestinian newspaper say a single word against the October 7 slaughter. .And remember, it happened when things in Gaza were better than at any time since the Hamas takeover, not worse. 

The "hopelessness" theory has no evidence, unless you cherry pick and lie about actual surveys. 

One survey in 2011 asked questions no one had asked before, and the results were so disturbing and went so far against the theory that "most Palestinians want peace"  that the entire world ignored 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.
The Conversation's motto is "Academic rigor, journalistic flair."  This article might have the latter, but it sure doesn't reflect any academic rigor. It is more a reflection of wishful thinking - right thinking people do not want to believe that Palestinians simply hate Jews and want to see them all ethnically cleansed from the Middle East. 

And the people who refuse to admit reality are not the people who should be giving advice on how to respond to reality. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Blog Archive