NEWS AND INFORMATION
Events, happenings, and Opinions Concerning
Israel, Israelites, Judah, and Everyone Else
1 Shebet 5768, 8 January 2008
1. Daniel Pipes: Palestinians Who Prefer
2. 34% of Palestinians want to leave already
3. Paris Square in Jerusalem Renamed Free Pollard Square
1. Palestinians Who Prefer Israel
by Daniel Pipes
From: "D. Pipes Mailing List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
January 2, 2008
Palestinians have a hidden history of appreciating Israel that contrasts
with their better-known narrative of vilification and irredentism.
The former has been particularly evident of late, especially since Israel's
prime minister, Ehud Olmert, floated a trial balloon in October about
transferring some Arab-dominated areas of eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian
Authority. As he rhetorically asked about Israeli actions in 1967, "Was it
necessary to annex the Shuafat refugee camp, al-Sawahra, Walajeh, and other
villages, and then to state that these are part of Jerusalem? One can ask, I
admit, some legitimate questions about this."
In one swoop, this statement transformed pro-Israel statements by Palestinians
(for a sampling, see my 2005 article, "The Hell of Israel Is Better than the
Paradise of Arafat") from the mostly theoretical into the active and political.
Indeed, Olmert's musings prompted some belligerent responses. As the title of a
Globe and Mail news item puts it, "Some Palestinians prefer life in Israel: In
East Jerusalem, residents say they would fight a handover to Abbas regime." The
article offers the example of Nabil Gheit, who, with two stints in Israeli
prisons and posters of "the martyr Saddam Hussein" over the cash register in his
store, would be expected to cheer the prospect of parts of eastern Jerusalem
coming under PA control.
Not so. As mukhtar of Ras Khamis, near Shuafat, Gheit dreads the PA and says he
and others would fight a handover. "If there was a referendum here, no one would
vote to join the Palestinian Authority. ? There would be another intifada to
defend ourselves from the PA."
Two polls released last week, from Keevoon Research, Strategy & Communications
and the Arabic-language newspaper As-Sennara, survey representative samples of
adult Israeli Arabs on the issue of joining the PA, and they corroborate what
Gheit says. Asked, "Would you prefer to be a citizen of Israel or of a new
Palestinian state?" 62 percent want to remain Israeli citizens and 14 percent
want to join a future Palestinian state. Asked, "Do you support transferring the
Triangle [an Arab-dominated area in northern Israel] to the Palestinian
Authority?" 78 percent oppose the idea and 18 percent support it.
Ignoring the don't-knows/refused, the ratios of respondents are nearly identical
preferring to stay within Israel ? 82 percent and 81 percent, respectively.
Gheit exaggerates that "no one" wants to live in the PA, but not by much.
Thousands of Palestinian residents in Jerusalem who, fearful of the PA, have
applied for Israeli citizenship since Olmert's statement further corroborate his
Why such affection for the state that Palestinians famously revile the media, in
scholarship, classrooms, mosques, and international bodies, that they terrorize
on a daily basis? Best to let them explain their motivations in direct
Financial considerations: "I don't want to have any part in the PA. I want the
health insurance, the schools, all the things we get by living here," says Ranya
Mohammed. "I'll go and live in Israel before I'll stay here and live under the
PA, even if it means taking an Israeli passport. I have seen their suffering in
the PA. We have a lot of privileges I'm not ready to give up."
Law and order: Gazans, note Israeli-Arab journalists Faiz Abbas and Muhammad
Awwad, now "miss the Israelis, since Israel is more merciful than [the
Palestinian gunmen] who do not even know why they are fighting and killing one
another. It's like organized crime."
Raising children: "I want to live in peace and to raise my children in an
orderly school," says Jamil Sanduqa. "I don't want to raise my child on throwing
stones, or on Hamas."
A more predictable future: "I want to keep living here with my wife and child
without having to worry about our future. That's why I want Israeli citizenship.
I don't know what the future holds," says Samar Qassam, 33.
Others raise concerns about corruption, human rights, and even self-esteem
("When the Jews talk about swapping me, it's as though they are denying my right
to be a person").
These earnest views do not repudiate the vicious anti-Zionism that reigns in the
Middle East, but they reveal that four-fifths of those Palestinians who know
Israel at first-hand understand the attractions of a decent life in a decent
country, a fact with important and positive implications.
2. 34% of Palestinians want to leave
Subject: NEC poll of Palestinians: 34% would like to emigrate (40% of Fateh
Data presented below derived from PDF file circulated by NEC]
NEC's monthly bulletin on Palestinian perceptions towards politics and
Bulletin # II-12 December 2007
The survey was carried out between the 20th and 23rd of December 2007. 959
Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, all over the age of 18,
were interviewed by phone.
Readers who wish to analyze the results in greater depth can do so through
the NEC's website:
Figure 14: Would you like to emigrate?
Yes 34% No 66%
Fateh suporters: Yes 40% No 60%
Hamas supporters: Yes 29% No 71%
West Bank: Yes 28% No 72%
Gaza Strip: Yes 44% No 56%
Figure 15: Has any household member emigrated abroad in the past year?
Yes 20% No 80%
Figure 17: Reason for emigration of the household member
Employment 41% Education 23%
Search for a better life 23% Search for a safer environment 10%
Figure 22: Whose strategy works better for the Palestinian national
The strategy of Fateh 74% The strategy of Hamas 26%
Figure 23: Has Hamas' role in Palestinian politics been constructive or
It has been constructive 54%
It has been detrimental 46%
Table 22: Support or opposition to a peace settlement with Israel according
Factional trust Region
West Bank Support 70% Oppose 30%
Gaza Strip Support 73% Oppose 27%
Table 23: Perceptions about Hamas' position towards the elimination of
Israel, according to region
Hamas should maintain its position 35%
Hamas should change its position 65%
Figure 27: Which final status issue should be resolved first?
Jerusalem 55% The refugees 19% Settlements 10% Borders 12% Water 3%
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
3. Paris Square in Jerusalem Renamed
Free Pollard Square
The former "Paris Square" in Jerusalem has been Renamed "Free Jonathan Pollard
"Free Jonathan Pollard Square" is a major interjunction in downtown Jerusalem, across the
road from the Prime Minister's Residence, half a block up from the US Embassy and about three blocks away from Brit-Am World Headquarters.
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