By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—
The Biden administration’s policy of engaging with and strengthening the Palestinian Authority (PA) has suffered a setback: most Palestinians continue to express dissatisfaction with the performance of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and demand his resignation.
The Biden administration’s hope of reviving the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has also suffered another blow: a majority of Palestinians remain opposed to returning to negotiations with Israel under the leadership of the US. In addition, half the Palestinian public favor a return to an armed struggle against Israel.
Moreover, many Palestinians are not convinced that they will benefit from the Biden administration’s decision to resume financial aid to the PA because of the corruption of the Palestinian leadership.
The Palestinian attitudes were reflected in the findings of public opinion polls published over the past two months by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
The results of the polls indicate that the Biden administration’s policies towards the Palestinians in particular and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general are detached from reality.
The Biden administration is apparently hoping that engaging Abbas would undermine Hamas and other Palestinian extremists and embolden “moderate” Palestinians who are prepared to make peace with Israel and renounce violence.
The results of the polls, however, show that the Palestinian public is moving in precisely the opposite direction — towards more extremism and disillusionment with the PA leadership.
The growing anti-Israel sentiments among the Palestinians are mainly the result of decades of indoctrination and incitement against Israel in the Palestinian media, mosques, schools and rhetoric of Palestinian leaders.
The most recent poll, published on October 27, found that the past six months witnessed a significant decrease in the popularity of Abbas and his ruling Fatah faction. The pollsters attributed the decline to a number of developments, including Abbas’s decision to call off the Palestinian Authority general elections, the most recent war in May between Israel and Hamas, and the murder of anti-corruption activist Nizar Banat, by PA security officers who beat him to death in June. Continue Reading….