Ha’aretz reports “Support among Palestinians for suicide bombings has dropped sharply in the past six months, from 77 percent to 29 percent, according to a poll published Monday”.
The report was conducted by controversial pollster Khalil Shikaki (point, counterpoint)
However, “The poll also found that support for Hamas, which is competing in local elections in May and parliamentary elections in July, increased from 18 percent in December to 25 percent in March”.
So they support one of the primary organizations that DOES suicide bombings, but not the bombings themselves. I’m sort of confused. But hey, I’ll take what good news we can get on this front.
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Oh, that makes sense to me. Think of how many people vote Repub/Dem in the States without agreeing with all the policies.
By the way, Khalil Shakaki was hired by our dear friends, Israel Experts, to speak with one of the groups I had the privelege to help out with last summer. Very interesting man — enjoyed the talk very much.
I recently met with Shikaki as well. Here’s a portion of the post I wrote, following the meeting:
Hamas is becoming an increasingly democratic institution. With the eradication of its leadership by the Israeli military, Hamas no longer holds by the strict “river to the sea” ideology to which it adhered under the likes of Sheikh Yassin and al-Rantisi. With the end of the Arafat era and the exposure of Fatah’s corruption, the Palestinian population is increasingly finding Hamas to be a viable alternative to Arafat’s former party. Hence, during the recent local elections, Hamas made incredible gains at the polls, and this is expected to continue in the upcoming parliamentary elections as well.
Is this because Palestinians favor terrorism? Not precisely, and I’ll return to this shortly. It would appear Hamas’ success is due to the fact that Palestinians genuinely favor sorting out the rank corruption in the Palestinian Authority, making peace with Israel, and gaining lasting economic viability (as is reflected in Shikaki’s recently published polls). Thus, in order to maintain the support it’s receiving, Hamas is responding to its newfound constituents by changing its platform to cater to the majority view amongst Palestinians. Recently Hamas announced that it would accept a two-state solution â€” a total deviation from its previous position, but again, one which resonates strongly with the majority of Palestinian voters. Further, Hamas is seeking out the most esteemed, respected, and non-corrupt members of the Palestinian community to run on the Hamas ticket â€” even those who have expressed displeasure and disagreement with Hamas’ positions in the past. This is not a political ploy, Shikaki argues. Rather, Hamas seems to be making a genuine attempt at representing the interests of the Palestinian people in a true and arguably noble fashion. This is what Shikaki views as the basis for their recent electoral success, and not, as some anti-Palestinian commentators have regarded as fevered support for Hamas’ terrorism.
Hmm, that post reminds of Abbas’ remark that “now it’s not the time for bombings”. Maybe later, mind you.