Israel Middle East peace process Palestinians

Palestinian poll: Is the glass half full? Or half empty?

Remember, the title of this blog is “Realistic Dove.”

According to Reuters, Palestinians appear to be split down the middle about whether the unity government should accept the international community’s demands about recognizing Israel, adhering to prior agreements and renouncing violence.

Polls of the Palestinian community are notoriously sensitive to events on the ground. But even though 48% want the unity government to meet these conditions, the poll is troubling. Many left wing Israelis, Americans and others want Israel to negotiate with the unity government without preconditions. Their notion is that there is something intrinsically valuable about talking to the enemy. I usually agree with them wholeheartedly. I still do, but with half a heart.

If Israel talks to the unity government without preconditions, wouldn’t that validate the notion that it is better for the Hamasniks to disregard what the international community wants? Wouldn’t that increase the percentage of people who support Hamas’ refusal to recognize prior agreements? Wouldn’t it improve Hamas’ standing, which is the last thing we need?

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