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What Do Palestinians Really Want? New Study Reveals Disturbing Answers

What Do Palestinians Really Want? New Study Reveals Disturbing Answers

Reality check for those who think the conflict is about “the occupation”.

As we’ve noted in a number of prior posts, for weeks Palestinian politicians and religious authorities have been invoking wild conspiracy theories in official print, TV and social media channels often centered on claims that Jews are putting Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque in danger.

In reality no Jews are “violently invading” the Al-Aqsa mosque, much less praying there.

But the campaign of lies is encouraging Palestinian young people to believe that their community is under attack, and that Islam’s honor and its holy sites need defending.

So Palestinian leaders are a big part of the problem.

But now a new study suggests that elites aren’t just instigating the terror — they’re also reacting to deep-seated attitudes popularly held among “ordinary” Palestinians.

If that’s the case, lecturing Israel to change its actions or “take more risks for peace” is unlikely to dampen the situation.

Instead, as this new study suggests, it’s the Palestinians who need to be confronted. A “vociferous condemnation” of the violence from the U.S. and other Western powers is necessary, and the PA and Hamas need to be penalized until the attacks stop. Over time, “this might exercise an ameliorating effect”.

Is the Knife Intifada Driven by Elites?

In recent posts we’ve featured the continuing attacks in Israel, a wave of terrorism that’s now entering its second month.

As we’ve reported, the violence began on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. Then, masked and armed Palestinians barricaded themselves into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque after Israel’s security services foiled a plot to target Jewish worshippers.

At first, the attacks were occurring primarily in the eastern part of Jerusalem and in the West Bank. But they’ve since engulfed pretty much the whole country.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is keeping a running tally of the violence, has documented scores of attacks over the past month, which have left 11 Israelis dead and over 150 wounded, nearly 20 of them seriously.

These days in Israel simply walking while Jewish is to put one’s life at risk.

Men, women, the elderly, even kids who’re just going about their daily routine and minding their own business have been stoned, shot, stabbed and run over by Palestinians running amok in the streets.

Our posts have primarily focused on how Palestinian political and religious leaders have been relentlessly inciting the violence, drawing on anti-Semitic canards and blood libels. As others have reported, this is “nothing new” but has been especially lethal for Jewish Israelis in recent weeks.

As we’ve highlighted, Palestinian leaders are incessantly glorifying terrorism and glamorizing the terrorists as “martyrs” to the faith and to the Palestinian national cause. This incentivizes people to earn social praise and accolades by attacking Jews.

But in recent posts we’ve also suggested that the violence is bubbling up in ugly—and increasingly bizarre—ways from a Jew-hatred that’s already well-embedded in Palestinian society.

Even PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ tirade about “filthy Jewish feet” defiling the Temple Mount, his Fatah faction’s outrageous anti-Semitic posts on social media, and the crazy rantings of Palestinian clerics and preachers, may not be a sufficient explanation for why Palestinian teenagers are taking to the streets in search of Israelis to bludgeon and butcher.

In recent days we’ve written about Palestinian mothers naming their newborn babies “Knife of Jerusalem” and brandishing their own kitchen knives in front of stunned TV anchors. We’ve also posted about Gazan shop owners displaying mannequins outfitted with ski masks and knives, and Palestinian families reveling during posthumous marriages of their “martyred” children.

https://twitter.com/Yair_Rosenberg/status/660922735523155968

All this is just too wacky to pin solely on Palestinian leaders, no matter how unacceptable their rhetoric. The reality is that, rather than fomenting and producing it, elites are also mirroring virulently anti-Israel, and even anti-Semitic, attitudes prevalent within the Palestinian mainstream.

A newly released comprehensive study of Palestinian public opinion sheds light on this uncomfortable truth.

A New Study of Palestinian Polling Data

On November 2, Mosaic Magazine—a terrific online journal that features trendy op-eds by leading journalists and scholars who write on Israel, the Middle East, and Jewish life and culture (full disclosure: my good friend’s son is a senior editor there)—published an article dedicated to analyzing what “ordinary Palestinians” think about Israel, Jews, the United States and the West, and terror attacks on civilians.

Written by political scientist Daniel Polisar, who’s Provost and Vice-President of Jerusalem’s Shalem College, this important essay summarizes his study of a vast number of Palestinian public opinion polls.

Polisar, who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard, is a long-time surveyor of Arab public opinion and has worked with some of the best pollsters in the business, including Khalil Shikaki.

Shikaki is the pioneering director of the highly reputable Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR). I met Shikaki in NY some years ago. Since then, I’ve sent a few promising political science students with an interest in Palestinian politics his way.

In his article, Polisar reviews his research project’s central findings and its implications for curbing the violence.

He notes that the recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks is mainly the work of “lone wolf” perpetrators. Many are in, or just beyond, their teenage years and “are not, for the most part, activists in leading militant organizations”.

Rock Throwing Palestinian Youth

That tracks with other recent expert opinion.

But Polisar argues that we shouldn’t just be focusing on “how and why the Palestinian political and religious leadership has been engaging in incitement”.

Instead, we should be concentrating on the views of “everyday Palestinians”. Omitting their perspective, in Polisar’s opinion, is “both patronizing and likely to lead to significant misunderstandings of what is happening”.

The bulk of Polisar’s essay is devoted to underscoring the central themes that emerge from over 330 publically available surveys carried out by four independently-run Palestinian research institutes.

Each of them have been fielding regular polls for the past two decades, which are generally regarded by informed scholars to be “reliable, valid, and genuinely reflective of what Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza think”.

Also included in the study are surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center (PRC) and the Arab Barometer initiative, funded by Princeton University and the University of Michigan. Surveys carried out by Palestinian polling firms were also reviewed.

The results are disturbing.

What Palestinians Think of Israelis and Jews

Polisar’s article is 16 single-spaced pages long. Below I summarize its main findings.

  1. Palestinians blame Israel for their misfortunes and view Israel as “implacably hostile”.

When Israel is offered as an option in polling questionnaires, Palestinians view it as responsible for all the myriad of problems that they face, including problems that are largely internal—such as PA corruption; the inability of the PA to pay its employees; the lack of law and order in PA-controlled territories; and the failure of Hamas and Fatah to reconcile.

In Polisar’s words,

more Palestinians passed responsibility to Israel than opted for any other answer…Whatever else this might say, it indicates a tendency to ascribe to Israel greater power than it actually wields—along with intentions so diabolical as to lead it to act in ways detrimental to the Jewish state’s own interests, so long as this will cause suffering to Palestinians”.

Massive Palestinian majorities deny any responsibility for either the failure of repeated negotiation efforts and peace talks, the breakdown of ceasefires during the second intifada, or the outbreak of the wars in Gaza in 2008, 2012, and 2014.

The surveys also indicate that Palestinians are convinced that Israel seeks to deliberately target them. They hold Hamas blameless for positioning its fighters and weapons in populated areas.

To be honest, these findings didn’t come to me as a huge surprise.

But here’s a few that did:

Palestinians think that Israel is dead set on displacing all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza—and Israel too. That’s a wildly outlandish view. For the last two decades, it doesn’t match up with any policy espoused by even the most hard-line, right-wing Israeli politician, much less any Israeli government.

Yet, according to Polisar, on over two dozen occasions since 2009, with “clock-like consistency”, an average of nearly 60% of Palestinians have told pollsters that most parties in the Israeli Knesset, and a majority of Israelis, don’t want to withdraw from any part of the occupied territories and in the long run aspire to “expel Arab citizens [of Israel]”.

Put another way, it means that 3 out of every 5 Palestinians believes that Israel wants to reconquer the Gaza Strip and annex the Arab-populated areas of the West Bank, kicking out the more than four million Arab residents who live there—plus also expel 1.7 million Israeli Arabs.

Also shocking is that, in polls conducted last year, only 11% said that they believed that Israel will maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount. What’s more: a majority also thinks that Israel plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock Mosques and build a synagogue in their place.

The Temple Mount

The Temple Mount

Here too, these are positions with no basis in the policies of any Israeli party, or the governing coalition. Yet, they’re assumed by an absolute majority of Palestinians to reflect Israel’s true intentions.

  1. Palestinians hold a “broadly negative” view of Jews.

The polls show that a large majority of Palestinians view Jews as “dishonest and violent, but also clever and strong”.

According to Pew surveys, 94% of Palestinians reported a “very unfavorable” opinion of Jews (only 23% reported an unfavorable view of Christians). In one from 2011, 88% of Palestinians averred that Judaism was more prone to violence than other religions (the other choices being Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism).

These are all classic anti-Semitic positions.

Less unexpected, but still disturbing, is the predominant Palestinian popular opinion about Zionism, also couched in anti-Semitic terms.

Back in 1995, 65% of Palestinians responded in a JMCC survey that Israel had no right to exist. In a 2014 poll commissioned for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy more than 80% asserted that “This is Palestinian land and Jews have no rights to it”.

In 2011, 72% of Palestinians told a surveyor that it was “morally right to deny that Jews have a long history in Jerusalem going back thousands of years”. An overwhelming majority also oppose dividing Jerusalem in any final peace deal, and reject the legitimacy of Israeli sovereignty on any portion of the Holy City (including on the western part of Jerusalem or the Western Wall/ the Kotel).

The Western Wall, Jerusalem

The Western Wall, Jerusalem

According to Polisar, this denial of Jewish rights and roots helps to explain why Palestinians are also highly skeptical that Israel will continue to exist “as a Jewish state with a Jewish majority”.

In a survey done back in 2011, 60% of Palestinians doubted that Israel would survive as a Jewish state. By this year, close to half thought Israel would collapse under the weight of its “own internal contradictions” or because “Arab or Muslim resistance will destroy it”. Another quarter thought Israel would morph into a binational state.

Only a quarter of those polled believed that the Jewish state would still be around in 2045.

  1. Palestinians think that it’s morally right and appropriate to use terrorist violence against both Israelis and Westerners more generally—and they overwhelmingly think that terrorism both works and is praiseworthy.

A majority of Palestinians support virtually every kind of attack against Israelis about which they are asked—including rocket fire, suicide bombings, and stabbings.

As Polisar discusses, Palestinians have an odd view of what constitutes terrorism.

In a 2001 poll, only 15% of respondents were willing to label as terrorism an attack by Palestinian suicide bombers in June of that year that killed 21 Israelis, most of them teenagers, at the Dolphinarium night club in Tel Aviv. In the same poll, only 25% of respondents thought that the use of chemical or biological weapons against Israelis constituted terror.

Also in that poll, 53% of respondents rejected defining the September 11 attacks as terrorism (41% said it was).

The same disturbing findings also crop up in Arab Barometer polls from 2006 and 2009. In them, a majority of Palestinians rejected the term terrorism for radical jihadist operations such as the Madrid train explosions of March 2004 which killed 191 people, or the London underground attacks in July 2005 which left 52 dead.

7/7 London Underground Attacks

7/7 London Underground Attacks

Tellingly, in other parts of the Arab world, very few respondents said these weren’t acts of terror (from 17% to as low as 2%).

In fact, Polisar notes that far more than other Arab or Muslim publics, the polls show that Palestinians are “always the leaders in seeing suicide bombings and similar attacks as justified”.

Nor has the support for terrorism against Israeli civilians shifted much over the years. More or less Jewish housing developments in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel’s disengagement from Gaza, further restraint on the reactions of Israel’s security forces or non-Muslim access to the Temple Mount—nothing Israel does (or doesn’t do) appears to dampen it.

Palestinians consistently view violence as a legitimate and effective means of defending Islam and securing political goals: “When Palestinians look back at sustained campaigns of violence, whether in the second intifada or in the three wars with Hamas, they see them as victories”.

Conclusion

Political scientists and pollsters have long noted that public opinion surveys are notoriously difficult to craft and to administer.

Polls can be rendered suspect and their results inconclusive if fieldworkers aren’t trained properly. Low response rates and design flaws can also compromise a poll’s margin of error and confidence level.

Political scientist Daniel Polisar’s new study of Palestinian public opinion avoids these pitfalls by crunching the numbers from hundreds of surveys conducted by reputable institutes with solid methodologies. An especially compelling feature of the study is that many of the surveys ask the same questions repeatedly over time, making it possible to adjust for momentary swings of opinion.

Taken together, the polls reach a similar conclusion regarding trends in Palestinian attitudes toward Israelis and Jews, the Jewish claim to at least part of the land of Israel, and the efficacy and legitimacy of terrorist attacks against Israelis.

The findings are sobering.

The study shows that Palestinians view Israeli words and actions through a “powerfully distorting lens”. Simply put: a majority of Palestinians don’t think Jews have any right to a state on any part of the land, they view attacks on innocent Israelis as justified, and they cast the Israeli government in near-demonic terms.

Such views hardly provide the fertile ground of trust, respect, or shared assumptions that would facilitate reaching a long-term resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bottom line: It’s a mistake to excise the perspective of “ordinary Palestinians” from the discussion of the current round of violence, and how to stop it. As Polisar states, Palestinians aren’t “powerless pawns whose fate is decided by their leaders, Israel, or regional and world powers”.

Recent Palestinian perpetrators of violence are reflecting views that are widely held in society and that have become entrenched over a period of decades. So while the attackers may be lone wolves in a very technical sense, they’re “anything but alone within their communities”.

These days any Palestinian contemplating stabbing, shooting, firebombing, stoning, or running over an Israeli “can expect to benefit from a substantial network of backers, and if successful, bring great honor upon himself and his family”.

Palestinians Honor Terrorists

As Polisar puts it:

it is precisely the climate of public opinion that shapes and in turn is shaped by the declarations of Palestinian leaders, that creates the atmosphere in which young people choose whether to wake up in the morning, pull a knife from the family kitchen, and go out in search of martyrdom…Altering those attitudes can only begin once the attitudes are recognized for what they are, without blinking and without excuses”.

The most valuable take home message here is that even if Palestinian political and religious leaders wanted to limit their often incendiary role, popularly held attitudes would make it difficult for them to do it.

————————

Miriam F. Elman is an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She is co-editor of the book Democracy and Conflict Resolution: the Dilemmas of Israel’s Peacemaking (2014).    

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Comments

Empress Trudy | November 5, 2015 at 9:08 am

They are murderous psychopaths who want only to bathe in the blood of all the Jews on the planet. That’s it.

Always hard to know what people are really thinking in closed societies, where it’s dangerous to publicly voice a contrary view.

Where’s the missing link? The Palestinians have published their views, and followed up on them, in a contract titled the Hamas Covenant. http://middleeast.about.com/od/palestinepalestinians/a/me080106b.htm

In the introduction, they say they are pledged to destroy their own souls “in the path of Allah.” Their goals are to kill every living Jew, and re-conquer every square inch of land ever held by a “Muslim” regime, because once their God gives them land, it’s theirs forever.

They say in writing, signed by their leaders, that they want war. They agree that nobody, no person, no entity, has the power to make peace.

They have agreed to engage in an advertising campaign to convince Muslims that they have an individual, religious duty to murder their neighbors. That advertising campaign has been active at least since the adoption of the Hamas Covenant in 1988, and it is active to this day, the recent TV shows, U-Tube videos and sermons in mosques (!) on “How to stab a Jew” are only a recent iteration on the same theme.

They are doing just what they said they want to do.

This is at least the third generation of children that has been raised with the idea that they have a special duty and fate, to kill. Why should anybody be “surprised” and “sobered” by the results of an intentional, pervasive, campaign to raise murderers in the name of God?

Just because the rest of us aren’t perverts does not mean we are free to ignore the successful efforts of perverts to corrupt an entire religion.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Valerie. | November 5, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Valerie, the “religion” itself—actually a political ideology with a false god attached—is corrupt. It itself is the cause of the soul-sickness in the entire Muslim world. You constantly write as though Islam is pure and has been corrupted by twisted hermeneutics. The problem isn’t the hermeneutics. The problem is Islam, the Koran, the Hadiths. Open your eyes and see that.

Miriam, I think maybe you’re Jewish? Saturday people. If you are, wherever you live, in any country they can find you, the Arab Muslim invaders (Friday people) in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (wherever they are found) want you dead. The Arab Christian dhimmis want the same thing, but some of them are waking up and realizing that there is no pan-Arab unity.

Me, I am Christian. Sunday people. They want me dead.

The Arabs say this: Saturday people first, then Sunday people.

Bi-polar conflicts are virtually intractable. They only continue to ratchet up the hatred. There is absolutely nothing Israel can do to mollify Palestinians. Only stronger Muslim states, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, whose governments are reputedly sick to death of this problem, have the power to come down on the Palestinians like a ton of bricks. Israel ought to concentrate on obtaining their support as Iran (the bette noir of the Sunnis) is funding the Palestinians and plainly has ambitions of empire.

This has to be regional security solution, not a ‘great power’ solution. Putin is fickle and Obama is on the Palestinians side.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to DiMu. | November 6, 2015 at 8:21 am

    The Saudis, funders of Islamic war/terrorism, are sick of this? Have you been buying Colorado smokes?

I wonder where Milhouse is? Just a few days ago I got irritated with his ignorance and obfuscation and made the same claim that this essay did regarding the typical Muslim Fakestinian.

Note that this piece shows definitively that there are only the tiniest number of “innocent civilians” among the Muslims of Israel. This is not news to the Israeli elites. But then note how the Israeli “Purity of Arms” military doctrine, which endangers Jewish soldier lives, pretends that “innocent Palertinian civilians” are all over the place and must be protected. The doctrine is absurd and malevalent.

THEN realize that the Israeli professor who was interrupted by rioters in Minneapolis defended Purity of Arms under the guise of “Jewish Philosophy.”

FINALLY, the reason the fakes poll as even more bloodthirsty than the typical Muslim is because the Israeli elite culitivate this by white washing Fakestinian perfidy. As Miriam said:

“Palestinians think that Israel is dead set on displacing all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza—and Israel too. That’s a wildly outlandish view. For the last two decades, it doesn’t match up with any policy espoused by even the most hard-line, right-wing Israeli politician, much less any Israeli government.”

In fact, the Fakes believe this because it parallels what they would do–and what the secretly are most afraid of.

I say that every one of them should indeed be expelled and their temples to satan should be destroyed.

    Milhouse in reply to skzion. | November 5, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Note that this piece shows definitively that there are only the tiniest number of “innocent civilians” among the Muslims of Israel.

    It shows nothing of the sort. Anyone who does not participate in attacks, whether directly or in a support role, and has no intention of doing so, is innocent. Merely hating Jews doesn’t make someone a terrorist, and doesn’t make him fair game for slaughter, as you seem to imagine.

Uh no, DiMu. The Fakestinian Muslims need to be expelled to “Jordan” unilaterally and completely.

In 1948 the English assigned then to an area between Jordan & Iran. They refused to go. They & Hamas have been Terrorizing them ever since. The Jews gave them more land & tried to get them started Economically. Hamas come in with Rockets & started bombarding Israel weekly with 200 Rockets. Does that sound like somebody who wants Peace ? Is this attacking Israel going on forever ?

    Milhouse in reply to bobgood1. | November 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    In 1948 the English assigned then to an area between Jordan & Iran. They refused to go.

    That is not true. I don’t know where you got such a bizarre idea. The truth is the exact opposite; the British armed them and encouraged them to take control of Palestine and expel or kill all the Jews.

The palestinians have a murdering thug culture. They can’t live near reasonable people because those reasonable people get killed. Why is anyone putting up with this? There should be no talks with the palestinians. They either surrender or they get destroyed. End of story!

I view it as a relatively simple and human thing. When it’s in your personal, group, and national interest to believe X, because believing X presents you with a stronger front against your enemies than not believing X, then by golly, you’re probably going to believe X, no matter how improbable it may seem to outside groups. If it gains you nothing to be objective, why be objective? Why should we expect objectivity from people who spend every breath viewing themselves as under tyranny? (Notwithstanding that between Abbas and Hamas, they kind of do.)

Also shocking is that, in polls conducted last year, only 11% said that they believed that Israel will maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount. What’s more: a majority also thinks that Israel plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock Mosques and build a synagogue in their place.
Here too, these are positions with no basis in the policies of any Israeli party, or the governing coalition.

That isn’t true. Every believing Jew does plan to destroy the mosques and rebuild the Temple. We declare this plan several times a day. And not in some far-off future; every Jew is required to anticipate that it will happen any day now, perhaps even this afternoon.

Now this isn’t the policy of the coalition, more’s the pity, but it’s certainly the policy of all the religious parties, and of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, which is a government agency.

So their only real mistake is in not understanding that the government doesn’t believe in the Jewish religion.

Most of the rest of their beliefs are simply the mirror of reality. They want to do these things to us, so they naturally think we want to do the same to them.

    Avraham in reply to Milhouse. | November 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    What you say may be true, Millhouse, but I believe it is a misrepresentation. Forgive me for getting a bit religio-technical here, but yes, we expect that the Temple will be rebuilt on that spot and we pray for it daily. However, that is only after the arrival of the Messiah. And per Sanhedrin 99a and elsewhere, while there may be no metaphysical changes at that point until true eschatalogical times, there will be a change in recognized sovreignity over Israel and the Jewish people, and a world-wide recognition of that fact. In other words, when the Temple will be rebuilt, there will not be any opposition, rather world-wide recognition and accpetance of G-d’s will. Therefore, your mistake is in implying that in Messianic times, Arabs (or anyone) will have any reason for fear, worry, or upsetness. It’s only in these pre-Messianic times, when G-d’s face is hidden, that we all suffer.

    Agreed that the Israeli government as an entity is clearly irreligious, but your mirror is flawed in that if you accept the religous perspective on the Temple bing rebuilt (as based on the Talmud etc.) you must ipso facto accept that it will be rebuilt after the arrival of the Messiah and the removal of “Shibud Malchiyos” that entails.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog 🙂

      Milhouse in reply to Avraham. | November 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Who said the Annointed King will have no opposition? On the contrary, his first job will be to “fight God’s wars and win them”, and the prophets speak of a war against a coalition of nations that will occupy half of Jerusalem before being defeated.

      However, even if you were right that when the time comes the Arabs will withdraw their objections, that doesn’t change the fact that now they do object. They are aware of our intentions, and they very much object. And we can’t claim that we don’t intend to do it for a long time, because the fact is we intend to do it today, if possible. We may believe that when the time comes they will give up their religion, but they think their religion is the Truth, so we should expect them to react to that statement the way we would to a similar statement from them.

        Avraham in reply to Milhouse. | November 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm

        Of course there will be battle, but by the time the Temple is rebuilt, it will be over. At this point, they understandably object. My point is simply that I understood your argument to be that from the Orthodox religious persepctive, their upsetness is based on the belief in the inevitability of the Temple being revuilt on that spot, and is logical. My counterargument is that if the Orthodox religious perspective is taken, then it should be taken in full, and that at such point it is being rebuilt there will be no rancor.

        Of course, I think that in reality, their upsetness is not due solely to the Orthodox religious perspective, and so pointing out the logical disconnect is an exercise in futility. But amongst us, it can at least be an exercise in rhetoric 🙂

They think the Jews want to expel them because that’s what the Muslims did to the Jews prior to the formation of Israel.

Back in 1995, 65% of Palestinians responded in a JMCC survey that Israel had no right to exist. In a 2014 poll commissioned for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy more than 80% asserted that “This is Palestinian land and Jews have no rights to it”.

In 2011, 72% of Palestinians told a surveyor that it was “morally right to deny that Jews have a long history in Jerusalem going back thousands of years”. An overwhelming majority also oppose dividing Jerusalem in any final peace deal, and reject the legitimacy of Israeli sovereignty on any portion of the Holy City (including on the western part of Jerusalem or the Western Wall/ the Kotel).

Well, a majority of Jews probably believe that “Palestine” has no right to exist, and that “This is Jewish land and Arabs have no rights to it”, that it is “morally right to deny that Abrabs have a long history in Jerusalem going back thousands of years”, oppose dividing Jerusalem in any final peace deal, and reject the legitimacy of Arab sovereignty on any portion of the Holy City (including on the eastern part of Jerusalem or the Mount). So why is it surprising that Arabs hold the mirror image of these beliefs?

The difference is merely that we are right and they are wrong; history backs up our beliefs and refutes theirs. We are the native people, they are the colonizers. We are the American Indians, they are the white settlers. This isn’t a popular view, but it’s the plain and simple truth.

It’s too bad Iron Dome couldn’t redirect Hamas rockets toward Temple Mount. I certainly hope that the Iron Dome occasionally stationed near Jerusalem is programmed to ignore any rockets headed toward the mosque as if it were an open field. After enough hits it will be. Let the Palis build their own Iron Dome. Everywhere in the islamic world if a church or synagogue gets old or damaged it is against the law to repair it. It’s an islamic rule that is part of dhimmitude. Israel should have a similar law about mosques.

Avraham, it is of course important to treat fellow Jews with chesid (loving kindness), but Milhouse seems to insist on blatant errors and manifest absurdities, and nothing reaches him. But we benefit from your information.

Obviously your position is the predominant one. That said, a minority argue that the Messiah will not come until the Temple is rebuilt, and that relying on external events to bring the Messiah is itself sinful. Then there is the Rambam’s instruction (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, I believe) that appears to require the rebuilding of the Temple in the first set of things done upon return to Eretz Israel.

An organization that tells outrageous lies to whip up its base? Nope, never heard of such.

What, a group that blames all their woes on someone else? Nope, never heard of such as this either.

“Put another way, it means that 3 out of every 5 Palestinians believes that Israel wants to reconquer the Gaza Strip and annex the Arab-populated areas of the West Bank, kicking out the more than four million Arab residents who live there—plus also expel 1.7 million Israeli Arabs.”

This should be unsurprising because it only reflects the belief in the correctness of the expulsion of 840,000 Jews from Arab countries after the ’47 war. Arabs would agree that this was the right thing to do, so they can’t imagine that Israel doesn’t also plan to “do the right thing.”

Millhouse: “Well, a majority of Jews probably believe that “Palestine” has no right to exist”

Ummm… No.

A majority of Jews just don’t want to be stabbed in the street.

I certainly don’t think “Palestine” is anything more than an abomination wrapped in an absurdity.

Of course, G-d should play second fiddle to moronic UN proclamations.

Sammy Finkelman | November 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

The English Yated has a story this week (pages 42-46) about how a Jew was killed by people hysterical about terrorists and then slandered. I don’t think it is online. (He was ex-Nahal Charedei ba’al teshuva Yeshiva student from the former Soviet Union – the person about whom it was claimed he said “I am ISIS and that he had fought with a soldier to seize his gun.)

“What do Palestinians really want?”

Dead Jews. Lots and lots of dead Jews.

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