A friend of mine at Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Jerusalem sent me these findings of a new Palestinian public opinion poll (conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, September 25-27, 2014). Coming a month after the end of the latest Gaza war, and a couple months after pondering what war life was like for Gazans, I thought it might be interesting for all of us to take a look:
Quick summary – one month after the end of the Gaza War:
- a drop is found in the level of satisfaction with war achievements, in support for Hamas and Ismail Haniyeh, and in support for an armed intifada;
- but the public still favors Hamas’ “way” over negotiations,
- and Hamas and Haniyeh are still more popular than Fatah and Mahmud Abbas
A note for anyone who is already revving to roll their eyes: I took a class in college on polls. A whole semester on polls. Which is basically to say how inaccurate, by their very nature, they mostly are. But that there are whole grains of truth. And we shouldn’t throw out information based on what we think ought to have come out from the survey.
Now on to some of the most interesting numbers:
- Haniyeh would win a majority of votes if elections were held today; that said, don’t be surprised if it happens tomorrow. A majority of 69% wants elections to take place within few to six months from today.
- I found this unexpected: 29% of the Palestinian public say people in the West Bank can criticize the authority in the West Bank without fear. By contrast, a larger percentage of 35% say people in the Gaza Strip can criticize the authorities in Gaza without fear.
- Peace process: 53% support the two-state solution and 46% oppose it. A month ago, 49% supported it and 50% opposed it.
Nothing in the following list is surprising, in the sense that Gazans care more about their own lives than West Bank residents care about Gazans’ lives:
- Percentage of satisfaction with war achievements compared to the human and material losses sustained by the Gaza Strip drops from 59% a month ago to 49% in this poll. 50% [overall] are currently dissatisfied with the achievements. In the Gaza Strip, 59% are dissatisfied with war achievements.
- Despite that, an overwhelming majority of 80% supports the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended. Support for launching rockets drops in the Gaza Strip to 72%.
- A majority of 57% believes that launching rockets from populated areas in the Gaza Strip is justified and 39% say it is unjustified. Among Gazans, belief that it is justified to launch rockets from populated areas drops to 48% while increasing in the West Bank to 62%.
- And because life is eternally confusing, 57% believe that massive popular demonstrations could contribute to ending the Israeli occupation, while…
- A larger majority of 81% favors Hamas way of resisting occupation.
And finally: Palestinians – they’re just like us! edition:
- “Finally, findings show that a majority of the public has not heard about Abbas’ plan to seek a deadline for ending Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian state. A majority of those who have heard about it do support it despite the fact that a majority expects the plan to fail.”
There’re more info to check out in the original document. Go for it.