Jul 02 2008

The Arab “street”: Really Alien, or just biding its time?

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:11 am

A recent poll of “the Arab street” has produced some some interesting results.

In all six countries surveyed (those polled were all non-Palestinian Arabs), Arabs favored Hamas over Fatah.They also wanted to see a Palestinian unity government. Palestinian polls that Telhami mentions in his paper keep showing some advantage for Fatah, but also that the leader of Hamas in Gaza would defeat Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a head to head election (47 percent for Ismail Haniyeh, 46 percent for Abbas).

Telhami asked in the poll: “What step taken by Washington would most improve your views of the United States?” The options he presented the participants in the poll were:

Pushing for the spread of democracy in the Middle East even more.
Providing more economic assistance to the region.
Stopping economic and military aid to Israel.
Withdrawing American forces from Iraq.
Withdrawing American forces from the Arabian peninsula.
Brokering comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace.

As for what they choose: “Fifty percent of the public identified brokering Arab-Israeli peace based on the 1967 border as the single most important step to improving their views of the United States.”

The incomprehensible aspect of this is that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel’s destruction is official Hamas policy. So “the Arab street” prefers the government that wants to destroy Israel, and wants the USA to broker a peace between these two parties, and return Israel to its (indefensible) 1967 borders.

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