Younger Palestinians Are More Moderate Than Their Elders—With One Major Exception

Sept. 18 2019

Analyzing the results of a recent survey of Palestinian public opinion, David Pollock notes the important cleavages it points to between those under age thirty and those older—as well as the similarities:

[Y]ounger Palestinians have somewhat more moderate views than their elders on various current issues—though not on long-term ones. Respondents ages eighteen to thirty expressed a marginally greater interest in economic progress, internal political breakthroughs, personal contacts with Israelis, the Trump peace plan, and similar matters. Yet only around one-third of them said they favor permanent peace with Israel—about the same minority percentage as respondents over thirty. So the data give no grounds to imagine that a generational shift or the mere passage of time alone will improve the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation at the grassroots level.

One generational difference stood out with particular clarity: younger West Bank respondents were significantly more likely to say their government should stop paying bonuses to prisoners in Israeli jails. A surprisingly high 49 percent agreed with that supposedly very controversial position, compared with just 35 percent among the older generation. And this is not because the younger generation is more informed about the policy’s economic costs—in fact, just 40 percent of younger respondents (versus 51 percent of their elders) said they had heard much about the Taylor Force Act, the 2018 U.S. law that cut aid to the Palestinian Authority because of bonuses paid to terrorists.

If Washington were to emphasize Palestinian political reform, economic opportunity, dialogue with Israelis and other Arabs, and even an end to terrorist subsidies, it would find significantly more resonance among the younger generation than is often supposed. Over time, this might yield some pressure on local politicians to soften their opposition to all of those worthy objectives.

But in the longer term, majority popular opposition to permanent peace with Israel, even among younger respondents, suggests that real reconciliation remains a distant dream. [A] compromise deal based mostly on goodwill is not a realistic option anytime soon, for either the United States or any of its regional partners.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Palestinian public opinion, Palestinians

 

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.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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