Most Palestinians Want Hamas to Accept a Two-State Solution, and Care Little about Settlement Building

June 14 2017

From reading the Western press—or, for that matter, the Israeli press—one would imagine that most Palestinians see Israeli construction in the West Bank as one of the primary threats to their wellbeing and would furiously and perhaps violently protest a move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But a recent poll suggests very different priorities, writes David Pollock, and even gives some reasons for hope:

The most startling finding concerns the bonuses the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays to convicted terrorists. . . . The PA has claimed that popular pressure compels it to persist in this practice. In fact, the survey shows that two-thirds of Palestinians think “the PA should give prisoners’ families normal social benefits like everybody else, not extra payments based on their sentences or armed operations.” . . . .

Similarly, on the controversial issue of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinian public is less militant than its leaders. In the West Bank . . . the majority (56 percent) say this issue is “not so important” or even “not important at all.” Gazans are more opposed; but just one-quarter of them label moving the U.S. embassy a “very important” issue. . . .

Equally revealing are the answers to this question: “What is the one thing you’d most like the U.S. to do about the Palestinian issues these days?” A plurality of West Bankers pick “put pressure on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to be more democratic and less corrupt”—more than those who prefer “pressure on Israel to make concessions” or “increased economic aid to the Palestinians.” Among Gazans, economic aid comes first. . . . Moreover, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza continue to prioritize their personal lives over politics. . . . And significantly, concerning Hamas, most Palestinians now seek to defuse its conflict with Israel. . . .

None of this means, [however], that the Palestinian public endorses Israel’s legitimacy. Indeed, the percentage who say that “Jews have some rights to this land” is only in the single digits. Yet while most deny Israel’s right to exist, most accept the necessity to coexist.

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Read more at New York Daily News

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinian public opinion, Palestinians, Settlements

 

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy