Here is a summary from Daily Alert, prepared for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
In a poll conducted 31 May-2 June 2006, 1,200 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were asked: Which of these two directions do you support? Hamas continues to reject recognizing Israel, while reaching out to countries like Iran and the Arab world to get funding - 61%; Hamas recognizes Israel and continue to receive funding from the international community - 31%.Are the results of the poll reliable? I don't know. Michael Totten records the impressions he got when he spoke to Palestinian Arabs in The Other Side of the Green Line:
What is your evaluation of the performance of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh? Good - 57%. Mahmoud Abbas? Good - 48%. Since the [Hamas victory in the] PLC elections of January 2006, do you feel that your family income has: Improved? - 2%, Declined? - 63%. Since the elections, do you feel: More secure? - 14%, Less secure? - 41%. (Birzeit University Development Studies Program-PA)
“The economy here looks a lot better than I expected,” I said to Sufian.
“It was pretty good until Hamas was elected,” he said. “But look in the stores. Notice there are no people in them. The only things people are buying are food and cigarettes. Only the basics. They are afraid to spend money if they have it.”
“Who did you vote for?” I said.
“I voted for Fatah,” he said. “I’m not affiliated with them. They are just a good party to run things. I don’t think Hamas is ready for power. In some things I agree with Fatah, in some things I don’t. Even though they are corrupt, at least we had money. People are boycotting Hamas so now we are poor. We anticipate things will eventually get better, but we don’t have time.”
“What has changed since Hamas came to power?” I said.Other results from the poll:
“Business,” he said. “The economy dropped down dramatically. Without industry they cannot boost the economy. We import everything from China. We support Chinese workers. We need our own industry.”
16.How do you evaluate the role of the following parties in leading to the current crises? Did they play ……. in leading to the crisis?
95.7% said Israel had a primary role
47.4% said Hamas had no role at all
26.Do you believe that preachers in mosques play a positive or a negative role in dealing with the current crisis?
58%said a positive role (interesting considering the videos available of what is preached in those mosques.)
46.Which of the following political groups do you support?
Doesn't the response to that last question imply that although they support the Hamas policy of rejection, they don't seem to see much difference in the policies of Hamas and Fateh? And that though Palestinian Arabs may support the policy Hamas is following in rejecting Israel, they don't necessarily think Hamas is doing a particularly good job in following it?