Most Palestinians do not want their elected government of terrorists, Hamas, to “recognize” Israel.

Some 66 percent of Palestinians think Hamas should not recognize Israel, said a poll by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), which questioned more than 1,200 adults in the West Bank and Gaza between Thursday and Saturday.

But the White House doesn’t think the Palestinians are off the hook and sanctions will end against them until their government of terrorists does recognize Israel.

United States President George W. Bush is planning to tell Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that that his country will not recognize any government which will not officially recognize the State of Israel, honor past agreements, and renounce violence and terrorism.

Of course, there is another problem. The US is actually saying that Abbas is a moderate and therefore they are willing to talk to him as he seeks to create a unity government with the terrorist group, Hamas, presumably since he would be the leading voice and conscience of that government. All well and good…until you consider that two things are conspiring against the US here. 1. Abbas belongs to Fatah, which is also a terror group. 2. 60% of Palestinians want to see terror attacks against Israel continued.

A recent survey conducted by Al Najah University in Nablus reveals a dramatic shift in Palestinian public opinion, with support for Hamas waning and Fatah gaining power in the polls.

According to the survey, which polled 1,360 residents in the Palestinian Authority, if elections for the Palestinian parliament were held today, 34.8 percent would vote for Fatah, as opposed to only 18.8 percent who would vote for Hamas.

In addition, over 60% of respondents polled said they support the continuance of terror attacks within Israel.

Oh, the humbling incogruity of it all.

(I wonder how long it’ll take ck to photoshop an image of someone in pirate garb)

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  • The numbers don’t reflect intensity of preferences. With Hamas’s government widely rejected, if recognition is posited as the price for improvement in living conditions– some of the numbers might shift. The key reality is that Hamas has (predictably) screwed up and is out of gas.

    As for US policy– Middle, should we refuse to meet with Abbas, rejecting Fatah as we reject Hamas? The alternative seems to be passive non-involvement. A case can be made for it, perhaps, but the region and Israel seem no safer and no closer to peace since Bush decided he’d simply defer to Sharon.

    And isn’t Abbas the best Israel can do at the moment? Isn’t it in Israel’s interests to prop him up as best it can?

  • Does anyone have the original poll with questions translated? I mean, asking a question like “do you support the continuance of terror attacks within Israel” seems odd.

  • Tom, I don’t think the US should avoid speaking to Abbas, I just believe it’s not going to be all that productive or even all that different from talking to Hamas. We need to invent him and describe him as a moderate so we can avoid facing the bitter truth of the situation.

    Should he be propped up? I guess so, if only to counter Hamas and because he does seem to be the last Palestinian leader of stature who isn’t in prison at this point.

    So far, however, I believe the one thing that is working in this depressing situation where the fucking extremists are winning on all sides, is keeping a tight lid on money to the PA and keeping Gaza closed as long as threats and Qassem attacks continue. Yesterday the NY Times lead editorial spoke about the effectiveness of sanctions against Hamas and how this is forcing them to consider a unity gov’t and a milder approach to Israel. The editorial concluded with a suggestion that now is the time for everybody to start lifting sanctions and being nice to the PA again. Talk about wishful thinking and drawing conclusion opposite to the facts right in front of your nose.

    On that note, by the way, I read an article recently about Israel’s recent decision to disallow Palestinians with visas to re-enter the West Bank once their visas expire. This is a clear reaction to the election of Hamas and a means of applying pressure on the PA, of course. Anyway, it turns out that Israel established this program expecting 3000 applications a year. Instead it was receiving and allowing 20,000 applications per year. When they stopped the program a few months ago, there was still a backlog of 50,000 pending applications.

    In other words, life under Israeli occupation is such bitter hell that there’s a fucking waiting list of your average John and Jane Palestinian Doe waiting to move to the West Bank.

  • What seems to be working– you’re right– is confronting the average P in the street with the consequences of electing an international pariah. And no matter what one thinks of Abbas, he seems to be sensible, or self-interested, enough to keep himself acceptable to Israel and the US. (No small achievement, in light of recent events in the region.)

    So, let him play the part of Hamas’s foil, if that’s what he wants, and see if there’s a benefit to be had. The costs to Israel are zero.

    Meanwhile– the Times. Oy. Fresh off their condemnation of Benedict XVI– the better to enable the extremists– another love letter to those cherished Arab moderates.

  • . . . . Will check out the Barak, Middle. I’ve admired him from afar. I gather there was quite a political to-do over his successor.