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Want Two States? Not the Palestinians
Commentary Magazine ^ | 06.25.2014 | Jonathan S. Tobin

Posted on 06/26/2014 5:32:25 AM PDT by SJackson

For more than 20 years since the Oslo process began, those urging Israel to make more and more concessions to the Palestinians have based their views on the belief that both peoples supported a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict. But a new poll of Palestinian public opinion shows that an overwhelming majority opposes any goal other than eliminating the State of Israel.

The poll, conducted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, showed some interesting and, in part, contradictory results. Only 27.3 percent of Palestinians support a two-state solution. By contrast, more than two-thirds see the restoration of all of historic Palestine to Arab control as the only legitimate national goal for their people. Interestingly, of those who back the elimination of Israel, only one out of seven and 10.1 percent overall think it ought to be replaced by a single democratic state in which Jews and Arabs would have equal rights. What the other 60.3 percent who say that “reclaiming” all land from the river to the sea for the Arabs would do with the six million Jews who live there is left unclear.

Just as interesting is the answer to the question as to what Palestinians should do if a two-state solution were somehow to be achieved by their leadership. Only 31.6 percent say that should mean the end of the conflict while 64 percent believe that even after that the struggle against Israel “should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.” Asked the same question in a slightly different way, 65.2 percent of the Palestinians think that if their leadership were to negotiate a two-state deal, “that would be part of a ‘program of stages’ to liberate all of historic Palestine later.”

However, just because the Palestinians don’t want to make peace with Israel or live beside it in a separate, independent state doesn’t mean that most of them want to fight it, at least not right now. More than 60 percent think that Hamas should maintain a cease-fire with Israel in the West Bank and Gaza. Although Gaza is home to the Islamist terror movement, not surprisingly more Gazans (70 percent) support the cease-fire than West Bankers (55 percent).

As to whether Hamas should abide by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s statement that it should recognize Israel and abide by past peace agreements (something that his own Fatah hasn’t done), opinion is divided. Overall, a bare majority—50.7 percent—agrees with that position. But there is a clear split between the West Bank and Gaza. Gazans, who clearly want an end to the violence, support the demand by a margin of 57.3 to 37.6 percent. But on the West Bank, where Abbas’s supposedly more moderate Fatah Party dominates, Palestinians are split down the middle with 46.8 percent opposing forcing Hamas to stand down while 45.7 percent support the idea.

Other questions show that while Palestinians are leery of another terrorist war of attrition against Israel, they want “popular resistance” against the Jewish state to continue. While that phrase might be interpreted as support for non-violent means of protest, in the Palestinian lexicon it appears to represent something different. In this context, popular resistance means mass protests conducted by violent means with rock throwing and firebombs rather than peaceful sit-ins or demonstrations.

One question that will get attention is the one the poll asked Palestinians about whom they believe should be leading them. While only 29.8 percent supported the current leader Mahmoud Abbas (who is currently in the tenth year of the four-year term that he was elected to in 2005), Hamas leaders did far worse with none breaking into double digits. But while the pollsters billed this section as having proved that Hamas “is not gaining ground” that may be slightly misleading. Hamas has no single dynamic leader, so comparing the ones they do have doesn’t tell us that much about whether the majority of Palestinians who, if the poll is to be believed, clearly share the Islamist group’s goals, actually want it to exercise power.

The irony here is that despite clinging to these intransigent beliefs, Palestinians not only wish to avoid open conflict with Israel; they want to work there. Over 80 percent want Israel to offer more job opportunities to Palestinians from the territories with a majority saying they would personally consider taking a job inside the same Jewish state most of them want to eliminate.

It isn’t hard to draw the obvious conclusion from this study. While a two-state solution would enable the Palestinians to achieve independence at the cost of being forced to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state next door, Israelis seem to desire such an outcome more than the Arabs. Even if the Palestinian leadership were to find the courage to sign a peace deal, their people would not be satisfied with accepting such a compromise. Under these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that the Palestinians have either turned down or walked away from opportunities to achieve statehood and peace four times in the last 15 years.

While Israel’s critics blame this failure on settlements or Israel’s leadership, the poll makes it clear that these are diversions from the real obstacle to peace: the Palestinian belief that any outcome other than the destruction of the Jewish state would amount to a historic betrayal. From its beginnings in the first half of the 20th century, Palestinian national identity has always been inextricably linked to the war against Zionism. This poll shows that despite the fact that they have little appetite for open war with the Jews, this is as true today as it was in 1947 when the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab and Muslim worlds rejected out of hand the United Nations partition resolution that would have created a Palestinian Arab state.

This poll tells us that Palestinians are torn between pragmatic desires for an end to violence and job opportunities inside Israel (an option that was eliminated by the second intifada’s wave of suicide bombings and other terror attacks) and a belief that nothing short of Israel’s elimination is the only proper national goal for their people. Until they resolve these conflicting trends in favor of a stance that would embrace real peace rather than a temporary cease-fire, all future attempts to negotiate a solution to the conflict will be futile. This is not what those who have made a career out of blaming Israel for every problem in the Middle East, if not the world, want to hear. But if they want to know what’s really going on, they should listen to the Palestinians. If they do, they will understand that there is nothing Israel can do to end this conflict so long as Palestinians are committed to their destruction.

TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: israel; palestinians; twostatesolution

1 posted on 06/26/2014 5:32:25 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.


2 posted on 06/26/2014 5:33:23 AM PDT by SJackson (wish I had known more firsthand about...problems of American businesspeople as a Senator G McGovern)
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To: SJackson

The Israelis want the two states, because they do not want all those Muslims inside just one state. It would overrun the Jews just on the demographics and there would no longer be an Israel that is a Jewish state with Jewish traditions and culture. Israel would then be an ARAB STATE with a minority of Jews in it!

The Palestinians on the other hand don’t really want those two states (as the Jews do) ... because ... those Muslims like the idea of just ONE STATE called Israel, in which ARABS are a majority and Jews are a minority.

It is quite peculiar that it’s the JEWS who want two states, while the so-called Palestinians do not! That’s why Israel can never get the Palestinians moving on a deal for their own state.

3 posted on 06/26/2014 5:45:24 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler
There is a Palestinian state already, called Jordan.
4 posted on 06/26/2014 5:47:09 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: SJackson
The Paleostinians could have had a state in 1917, 1937, 1947, 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1993-to present but as usual, they reject a VERY important word used throughout the world to settle disputes.
This magic word is known in ALL diplomatic circles and is commonly used in all forms in all societies for negotiations whether in business, economics and politics or even in personal relationships.
The Paleostinians and Muslims throughout the world are unfamiliar with this amazing word.
The word is...are you ready? Here we go Arabs, the word that encompasses everything is...


There it is, I said it, Compromise.

Due to the fact that PRIMITIVE, BACKWARD and ANIMALISTIC cultures (read: Muslim Arabs or others of similar ilk) are totally unfamiliar with this word or concept, they are incapable of understanding or implementing it. This is why they are INCAPABLE of making peace and are slaughtering each other all over the planet right now.

The former US Secretary of State Mad Albright asked the Israelis and Palestinians to make, “painful compromises for peace”. The Israelis did and then had 1,000 Israelis murdered by the PLO and HAMAS with 6,000 maimed and injured. At the same time, the PLO,oops, I mean PA made which compromises for peace??

5 posted on 06/26/2014 5:50:18 AM PDT by Netz
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To: SJackson
Over 80 percent want Israel to offer more job opportunities to Palestinians from the territories with a majority saying they would personally consider taking a job inside the same Jewish state most of them want to eliminate.

Sure we wanna slaughter you like dogs.....but could I get a job first?


6 posted on 06/26/2014 5:52:29 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: skeeter

There are already a whole lot of Arab States, however that doesn’t change anything for those people who happen to be living on the current land they are right now. They’re not going anywhere. They’ve got time on their side and the “demographic time bomb” in their pocket.

The Jews WILL NOT incorporate “that land” into Israel proper, because they do not want to be turned into an Arab state. It’s that simple.

And that’s why it’s the JEWS themselves who want two states, while the Palestinians don’t.

7 posted on 06/26/2014 5:58:55 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler
King Hussein kicked the Palestinians out of Jordan in 1970.

If they have a beef they should take it up with his successors.

Of course the main point is not to provide the Palistinians with a homeland. They are being used by Islam as a wedge to ultimately drive the Israelis out of the ME, it won't matter if they are granted their own state.

8 posted on 06/26/2014 6:45:06 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: skeeter

They don’t have to do anything ... neither about a beef or a state or anything. All they will do is simply SIT THERE and do nothing. Then they just wait for the time that Israel is forced to incorporate ALL that land into its borders, making it all “Israel”.

And then — BINGO — an instant ARAB STATE ... and the Palestinians have it all at that point.

It’s only Israel that “has to do something”. The Palestinians don’t have to do a single thing.

9 posted on 06/26/2014 6:49:55 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: skeeter

“King Hussein kicked the Palestinians out of Jordan in 1970.”

A Palestinian “extremist” assassinated his grandfather King Abdullah in 1951. And the boy who was to become King Hussein was there to witness the act. The assassination took place in Jerusalem. At a mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque.

10 posted on 06/26/2014 7:01:12 AM PDT by Montaignes Cat
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