How Palestinians' Vision of Israel Serves Palestinian Needs

Daniel Polisar’s findings suggest it is not only Westerners who reduce Palestinians to passive figurines, but Palestinians themselves.

November 12, 2015 | Haviv Rettig Gur
About the author: Haviv Rettig Gur is the senior analyst for the Times of Israel.
This is a response to What Do Palestinians Want?, originally published in Mosaic in November 2015

Palestinian demonstrators hold their national flag and banners during an anti-Israel protest in Gaza City on November 10, 2015. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images.

Possibly the most surprising thing about Daniel Polisar’s essay, “What Do Palestinians Want?,” is that the simple question it poses is so rarely asked. In his examination of 330 local surveys of Palestinian opinion on Israel, together with a few more carried out by foreign institutions, Polisar’s purpose is straightforward: to see how the Palestinian Arabs, key actors in a century-old conflict, understand events and how their behaviors flow from that understanding. Simple, yes—but a real innovation in discussions of the conflict.

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