Real ‘impediments to peace’ vs those imagined by the Guardian: Maps, facts & figures

Conventional wisdom – as advanced by the mainstream media (MSM) including the Guardian – regarding the factors representing the main obstacles to ending the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict rarely faces much critical scrutiny. Indeed, assumptions regarding the primacy of issues such as “settlements” and “the occupation” are often impervious to contradictory evidence. 

The Guardian’s coverage of the region is constantly colored by such assumptions.

Here are a few facts which, if more widely disseminated, would at least allow for a more honest debate about the conflict.


Percentage of West Bank land inhabited by Israeli “settlers”, per even Palestinian sources: 1.1 %.


Percentage of Palestinians in West Bank under Palestinian civilian rule: Between 96 and 98%.

Palestinian’s want peace?

Percentage of Palestinians who accept Israel’s right to exist: 23%.

Palestinian support for terrorism

Percentage of Palestinians who support suicide bombing: 68% (Highest percentage of any nation/polity in the Arab world).

Palestinian antisemitism

Percentage of Palestinians who openly express an unfavorable view of Jews (and not merely Israelis): 97%.

“Expansionist” Israel 

Percentage of land from which Israel withdrew in the 45 years since the Six Day War: More than two-thirds. (Sinai, Gaza, South Lebanon and much of the West Bank)

Logic of land for peace:

Israel withdrew from 100% of South Lebanon in 2000, 100% of Gaza in 2005 and 40% of the West Bank under the Oslo Accords.  

Contrary to expectations, Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon dramatically strengthened the political influence and military capacity of Hezbollah and arguably led to the Second Lebanon War.  

Similarly, Israeli withdrawal from Gaza resulted in the territory being taken over by Hamas, more than 8,000 rockets fired at Israeli communities and, ultimately, the Gaza War.  

Israel’s military pullout from much of the West Bank created a vacuum which was filled by Palestinian terrorists, thus creating the dynamics which prepared the ground for the 2nd Intifada. 

Lessons learned:

Finally, whilst none of these facts should necessarily preclude negotiations between the two parties, it is vital that the clichés, distortions and outright lies about what truly prevents a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian (and Israeli-Arab) Conflict be abandoned and a more sober, and factual, understanding of the moral and political dynamics embraced.

13 replies »

  1. What led to the 2nd Lebanon war was Barak’s withdrawl without concrete negotiation with a Lebanese govt to take over the vacum.

    Similar scenario happened in 2005 in Gaza.

    One would think Mr. Sharon almost certainly knew it will happen…

  2. Adam, the problems with these numbers (regarding Palestinian opinions) is that you are less likely to get a straight answer.

    The fear factor to speak out their mind in public if it is against the main mentra and the double talk of some makes it hard to estimate if these figures are true.

    It is safe to say that many arabs turned to aid Jews in times of riots even by risking their own lives.

    Statistics do not work in the Arab world.

    • Statistics do not work in the Arab world.

      Some truth there. Arabs are very ‘tribal’ and can be led like sheep when the name of the Prophet is invoked. They would probably be extremely suspicious of any promises of anonymity too. There are many recorded incidents of Palestinians helping Jews who have strayed into Palestinian controlled areas in the West Bank. It is not just BLACK. Just that the WHITE is difficult to see because of all the BLACK.

  3. “Percentage of West Bank land inhabited by Israeli “settlers”, per even Palestinian sources: 1.1 %.”

    Percentage of West Bank land over which Israel exercises ‘full civil and security control’ (Area C): 61%

    • Not all of it is “settled”, you know…
      And the Oslo accords, were signed by the Pals., last I checked…
      Though thing that, reality.

      • Yes. But to be credible to free thinkers, the figure of 61% land over which Israel exercises ‘full civil and security control’ (Area C) should have been displayed in the post whether ‘settled’ or not.

    • sencar I asked you the following question yesterday.
      “So as you accept the Resolution, can you advise me where you have called for the Palestinian Authority to remove themselves from Bethlehem and other places specified in the Resolution?
      If you have, can you tell me what their response was?”

      I’m still waiting for you to answer the question. Of course with verifiable details of where you asked the PA to abide by the Resolution and what their response was.
      Please don’t waste my time, or yours, by trying to dodge or divert the question.

  4. Oh Adam come onnnnnnnnnn……The PA rule NOTHING. The PA is sovereign over NOTHING. ( Personally I think this is a good thing). The PA is merely an Israel sub contractor., and this sub contract can be revoked at any time and is good only so far as and so long as the PA are ” good boys “. You can’t even get into the place except on Israel’s say so.

    The PA is no more sovereign than Buckinghamshire County Council. The reality is that there is one state between the river and the sea.

    • Thus speaketh a “realzionist”…
      Tell us, do you draw these pearls of wisdom from drugs, alcohol abuse, or both?
      Perhaps you most of your chases of Hoffman are relegated to your “trips”? 😀
      By the way… Since the PA is so powerless, I guess they’re *not* building Rawabi, in Area A, without Israeli approval(and actually, against Israeli better judgement?)
      You need help.

  5. The Arabs must stop teaching hate in their schools, mosques and tv stations about killing the Jews to please Allah.
    The Arabs are consumed by such hate that killing the Jews is the highest order for the Muslims. .