According to the Latest Polls, Most Palestinians Wish Israel Would Disappear

In Islamist media, and especially among Palestinians, a prediction has been circulating—endorsed by a few clerics—that various scriptural and numerological evidence suggests that 2022 is the year that the Jewish state will at last meet its demise. Ben Cohen explains why the currency of such prognostications must be taken seriously:

Among Palestinians, the belief that Israel’s disappearance will be a feature of 2022 is not exactly uncommon. We know this because a survey conducted last week by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) included a question about the prediction. One in four Palestinians—a sizable proportion by any standards—is certain that the prediction will come to pass, while 63 percent believe otherwise. Most tellingly, according to the PSR, a “vast majority” of 78 percent believe that the Quran contains such a prophecy, while only 17 percent do not.

This particular response needs to be seen within the context of the entire poll. The view of a clear majority that Israel’s demise is religiously sanctioned, along with the view of a notable minority that such an event is expected as soon as this year, would probably not have registered were the Palestinians engaged in a meaningful peace process with Israel that provided both sides with some grounds for hope.

When it comes to the issue that has bedeviled peace efforts for nearly a century—whether the Palestinians can acknowledge and accept that Israel’s existence is legitimate—the world is as far away from a positive resolution as it has ever been. While it is correct that a minority of Palestinians think that the Quranic prediction of Israel’s collapse is accurate, a much greater number clearly wishes the prediction were true, even if their reasoned judgment leads them to a different conclusion. In such an environment, defined by Palestinian incitement against Israel’s very presence, the swords won’t become ploughshares anytime soon.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Palestinian public opinion

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy