What the Guardian won’t report (AWRAD poll of Palestinians: Only 13.7% oppose violence)

The results of the latest poll of Palestinian views on the Middle East Peace Process, just prior to the upcoming peace talks in Washington, indicate attitudes that are, to put it mildly, alarming.  While these results seem to strongly contradict the conventional wisdom of the “Peace Process” narrative, don’t expect to see the disturbing political implications of this study reflected in the reporting by the mainstream media.

Here are the results from three of the more important questions posed by the pollsters, which was conducted by the Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD):

(Results of an Opinion Poll: Publication Date: 28 August 2010.  Field work: 8-14 August 2010. Sample Size: 3,001 Palestinians in the West Bank & Gaza.  Margin of error: +/-1.5 %)

1. With regards to rebuilding confidence in the peace process please indicate which of the following options you consider to be ‘Essential’, ‘Desirable’, ‘Acceptable’, ‘Tolerable’ or ‘Unacceptable’.

Resist occupation through violence to achieve a state:

Essential 36.7%; Desirable 18.7%; Acceptable 16.8%; Tolerable 14.0%; Unacceptable 13.7%

2.With regards to the final status of Palestine and Israel please indicate which of the following you consider to be Essential, Desirable, Acceptable, Tolerable or Unacceptable as part of a peace agreement.

Historic Palestine – from the Jordan River to the sea as a national homeland for Palestinians

Essential 78.2%; Desirable 12.5%; Acceptable 4.3%; Tolerable 3.1%; Unacceptable 2.0%

3. With regards to Jerusalem please indicate which of the following options you consider to be Essential, Desirable, Acceptable, Tolerable or Unacceptable as part of a peace agreement.

All of Jerusalem (East and West) should remain in Palestine

Essential 84.1%; Desirable 10.3%; Acceptable 2.2%; Tolerable 1.6%; Unacceptable 1.7%

See the entire poll results, here.

10 replies »

  1. Can’t say it’s a surprise, but then I wonder how many Israelis would answer questions 2 and 3 if they were about Israel. I for one would be in the “Desirable” or “Acceptable” camp on both, but I am definitely a 2 states for 2 peoples kind of guy really. However, give me the hypothetical position of a Jewish democratic majority from sea to river, without having to think the worst of how it occurred, and I’d vote for it!

  2. Adam Levick;
    I searched the AWRAD Poll and could not find the figures you record in your article: they seem to be very thoroughly buried. On the other hand the Highlights, presented near the beginning provide more interesting reading and essentially confirm what other polls have revealed, namely that the majority of Palestinians want a modus vivendi with Israel.

    Highlights: ( copied in toto from the website)
    • 65 percent of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza support direct negotiations based on a settlements freeze and international guarantees; only 8 percent support unconditional direct negotiations.

    • Palestinians blame American (inaction), Israeli (lack of recognition of Palestinian rights) and Palestinian (internal division) for lack of progress in the peace process.

    • 62 percent support, accept or tolerate a two-state solution.

    • 88 percent strongly believe that Palestinian refugees have the right for (return and compensation), but 64 percent could live with a solution where refugees return to the Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

    • 66 percent are willing to accept or tolerate an equivalent swap of land as part of a broader agreement.

    • Palestinians are equally split over the division of Jerusalem to East and West based on the 1967 boarders.

    • 95 percent consider a comprehensive peace agreement, if implemented, as the end of the conflict.

    • 56 percent believe that only peaceful means are the best means to end the occupation.

    • 58 percent believe that Palestinians and Israelis have a chance to coexist and live side by side.

  3. The real problem is not whether the Guardian would publish these figures, but whether the various countries pushing for a Palestinian state have ever seen them or understood them.

  4. I agree with Abtalyon. It is hard to see where Mr Levick’s figures come from while the Highlights seem extremely encouraging. If they are correct, many less Palestinians support Hamas’ genocidal dreams than I would have thought. I agree though that the Guardian is unlikely to report on the Highlights either.

  5. Greensleeves:
    You are mistaken. Click on to the AWRAD link given by Adam at the start of his article, click on to Opinion Polls, then on to that for the dates listed above and finally, under the Highlights, you will see two links in English, one to the Report, one to the poll results. Similar links to the Arabic versions are present.

    What is curious is that the Highlights include no reference to the particular poll results extracted by Adam from all the rest. I suggest a reading of the entire report and all the poll results in order to form an overall opinion.

  6. Abtalyon I see what you mean: curiouser and curiouser. They very carefully ignored results that they did not want to to have in the public eye.

    One of Netanyahu’s demands in his Ben Gurion University speech was a demilitarised Palestine. This demand was included in all previous peace presentations, including that of Barak that Arafat afterwards regretted not accepting according to Al Hayat.
    From the survey discussed
    Palestine should be demilitarized, including the disbanding of militias and
    the standing down of the military.

    Essential 7.8 Desirable 5.5 Acceptable 4.0
    Tolerable 7.6 Unacceptable 75.0

    With this sort of attitude prevalent among his constituency, how can Abu Mazen possibly agree with Netanyahu on a peace deal?

  7. Greensleeves:
    I think that in the end determined political will is the key to a deal. What is clear is that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians will accept a deal drawn up on the lines of those already mooted in 2001 and 2007-8 with additional features designed to smooth possible objections. The crucial item for Israelis is that any deal must signify the end of all further claims. Though there was 95% agreement on this among the Palestinians who took part in the poll itself most encouraging, experience has shown this to be a major sticking point for their negotiators. We need to wait and see, yet again.