Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Palestinians: 84% Think Killing Unarmed Teenagers Is Heroic

So what to make of the popularity among Palestinian Arabs of shooting unarmed students?
A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians support the attack this month on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem that killed eight young men, most of them teenagers, an indication of the alarming level of Israeli-Palestinian tension in recent weeks.

The survey also shows unprecedented support for the shooting of rockets on Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip and for the end of the peace negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said he was shocked because the survey, taken last week, showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years in the Palestinian areas. Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel.
I suppose there is a certain consistency here: if launching rockets from Gaza at civilians in Sderot is considered brave by Palestinian standards, then shooting unarmed teenagers must be positively heroic--the stuff of martyrs!

But Shikaki's shock is puzzling--considering what the Palestinian leadership have been doing to promote peace and understanding. Just take a look at the schools:
Among young people ages 18 -25, those who have been most influenced by PA education, an overwhelming number - between 84% - 93% -- denied Israel's right to exist. [] This was higher than the overall figure of 75% who denied Israel's right to exist. It should be noted that PA teachings denying Israel's right to exist are endemic throughout PA society and media, including among Fatah leaders, which would account for the high levels of denial of Israel's legitimacy throughout PA society.
If between 84-93% of the young people and 75% of Palestinians overall think that Israel does not have a right to exist, just what is Shikaki puzzled over--other than why it took The New York Times so long to recognize his obvious polling expertise.

Or maybe his keen sense of the Palestinian Arab population:
His explanation for the shift, one widely reflected in the Palestinian media, is that recent actions by Israel, especially attacks on Gaza that killed nearly 130 people, an undercover operation in Bethlehem that killed four militants and the announced expansion of several West Bank settlements, have led to despair and rage among average Palestinians who thirst for revenge.
Palestinian Arabs do not seem to respond well when Israel does not lie back and let Palestinian terrorist kill them.

Mere Rhetoric analyzes Shikaki's conclusions and notes:
Well, if they're despaired and enraged than surely a genocidal war is the answer. What could be more natural?
That is a question that perhaps should be asked of the European enablers who still insist on being a never-ending money pipeline for this way of thinking--hopefully because they, like Noah Pollak, actually thought that this would change.
Over the past year, many people (including yours truly) imagined that Hamas’s treatment of Gaza was so brutal, and its rocket war against Israel so misguided, that ordinary Palestinians would discover the limits of their tolerance for thuggery masquerading as “resistance.” I was wrong. The depressing truth remains: as has been demonstrated in so many previous polls, Palestinian public opinion rewards those who most conspicuously demonstrate their dedication to violence against Israel, not those who desire peace.
The key, he suggests, is that one "confuses western hopes about the Palestinians with the actual beliefs of the Palestinians."

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