Against the bloody background of stabbings and other deadly violence in Israel and the West Bank, Daniel Polisar’s thorough analysis of Palestinian polling data, “What Do Palestinians Want?,” makes essential reading for anyone interested in more than just the grim daily headlines. His central point—that the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have long supported “armed struggle” against Israelis—is not only accurate but a fact regularly distorted by media focus on the seemingly “individual” nature of today’s terrorist incidents. Polisar’s conclusions, moreover, are well grounded in exhaustive research into the mounds of survey data that have piled up ever since the first Oslo accords of 1993—which is when I myself started to work with Palestinian colleagues in launching the first scientific polls of the Palestinian population.
Compromise for Now, the End of Israel for Later
That’s what Palestinians say they want. What does this bifurcated attitude mean for policymakers?