Polling Pales

Middle East news: both sides are trying to avoid giving a definitive answer to those nice USAnian's peace proposal, and are hoping they can blame the other side for rejecting it. Cue endless vacillation and death.

Meanwhile, there's a poll by the Palestinian Center for POLICY and SURVEY RESEARCH; see here; h/t RH. It makes grim reading for anyone hoping for peace.

Before going on, it's worth noting the finding that A majority of 58% expected Hamas and Israel to reach a ceasefire in the next few days while 39% did not expect it. That's 58% delusional or reporting their hopes rather than actual expectations1, which you should factor into your reading of all the other answers and my notes.

Most interesting to me is the figure below2.

Poll: Humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip

Yes that's right: slightly fewer people have been injured; and the number killed has increased by less than a percent. We could excuse this by sampling difficulties, perhaps, but the lack of increase of dead is weird. Of course it isn't the number of dead, it is the proportion of "families" with at least one dead, but still the lack of increase over the last three months suggests to me that these numbers just aren't reliable. Bizarrely, the report itself makes absolutely no comment on this oddity.

Support for Hamas's attack remains high, at 73% (fig 1), perhaps partly because only 3% think Hamas committed atrocities (fig 4) and 67% expects Hamas to "win" the current war. They carefully avoid explaining what "win" might be. 61% would prefer Hamas to control Gaza (fig 7); though if you prefer a slightly different perspective, Most Palestinians Don't Want Hamas Rule, Poll Shows3.

But what should be done? We have: When asked about its support and opposition to specific policy measures to break the stalemate: 66% supported joining more international organizations; 49% supported resort to unarmed popular resistance; 63% supported a return to confrontations and armed intifada; 62% supported dissolving the PA; and 22% supported abandoning” the two-state solution and demanding one state for Palestinians and Israelis. Three months /’, 55% supported a return to confrontations and armed intifada; 45% supported resort to unarmed popular resistance; 58% supported the dissolution of the PA; and 24% supported abandoning the twostate solution in favor of one state. Unfortunately they weren't offered the option of "surrender; stop fighting" which is my suggestion, but I doubt that would have been popular. Fig 22 provides another view on this, with 54% up for armed struggle 25% for negotiations; and 16% for popular non-violent resistance. "66% supported joining more international organizations" is amost sweet in its delusion; but more likely it indicates despair of other ideas. [Note: the weird "Three months /’" is in the original; I don't know what they've been smoking.]

It does seem that these people are motivated by hatred: The poll found significant opposition of three quarters to Saudi-Israeli normalization, even if it is conditional on Israel accepting a Palestinian state and taking concrete and irreversible steps toward that goal.

Somewhat more speculatively, I notice that the Palestinians invariably refer to their dead - all and any of their dead - as martyrs. That doesn't seem healthy. Whereas the Israelis usually call theirs murdered.

Update: Lebanon / Hizbullah

I'll write a few hasty words here before the world explodes, so I know what I thought.

The major oddity is that the Lebanese govt gets very sniffy about Isreal violating their sovereignty (example; notice that doesn't mention why the naughty Israelis are attacking, which is of course Hizbullah). And that would be fair enough, were they indeed sovereign in southern Lebanon. But if they are, then they're responsible for the rockets being fired into Israel from there (alternatively, they condemn the rocket attacks and would like to stop them, but can't, in which case they do not have actual sovereignty over the area). And if they're flinging rockets at Israel, they can hardly complain if Isreal bombs them back.

The answer, of course, is that the Lebanese govt is too weak to control Hizbullah in southern Lebanon, but doesn't want to admit it, and won't upset its people by telling Hizbullah to stop. The best solution would be for Iran to stop funding Hizbullah; that seems unlikely; second best is probably the upcoming Israeli attack.

Update: Hobbes

it is a precept, or generall rule of Reason, "That every man, ought to endeavour Peace, as farre as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek, and use, all helps, and advantages of Warre." The first branch, of which Rule, containeth the first, and Fundamentall Law of Nature; which is, "To seek Peace, and follow it." The Second, the summe of the Right of Nature; which is, "By all means we can, to defend our selves." - Hobbes, Leviathan, CHAPTER XIV. OF THE FIRST AND SECOND NATURALL LAWES, AND OF CONTRACTS, The Fundamental Law Of Nature.


1. Speaking as a SWeng or mathematician, when people ask me a question I tend to answer it, and become unhappy when I can tell that my answer to their question, given literally, will mislead them; or when their question is so badly posed that no accurate answer is possible. But most people, I observe, treat a question more as an invitation to say whatever they like on a given topic. So I have no faith at all that survey reports are literally accurate.

2. I don't know why they've labelled that as "Jun 24"; the text says surveys between May 26 and June 1, 2024.

3. There's some wishful thinking going on there. Another way of saying it is Among those intending to vote, support for Hamas stands at 46%, Fatah 25%, third parties 6%, and the undecided at 25%.


Reporting of yer conflict.

The flower of justice is peace.

Meritocracy, democracy and competition.

Two views of democracy.

Words for the word god: "He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees".

France 2023: part two: around Vallouise and Ailefroide.

Reflections on Juneteenth.

ADHD Reconsidered.

The Gap.

Are the Rich Antisocial and the Poor Emotionally Intelligent?

* The parable of the Antheap and the Anteater.


Nathan said...

It does seem that you like to label Palestinians as haters.

But then it ore the hatred from Israel...

Nathan said...


William M. Connolley said...

I see the Palestinians as the ones principally suffering from this war (without wishing to minimise the Israeli deaths, obvs). So I would imagine that they would be the ones with the most to gain from a resolution of the conflict, and so most eager for such a resolution. Hence, their opinions are of interest. Unfortunately their opinions - at least as expressed by this poll - do not point towards anything peaceful, so they look doomed.

Peter H said...

Humm, coming from a man on X who says "Palestinians are a death cult. At some point you can't deny them what they're begging for." I wonder if there is enough salt in this world for the pinch required to deal with his dehumanisation of humans.

Or is it right, Palestinians want to die? Especially their babies and children...

Nathan said...

This is not the behaviour of a Govt that wants peace or a two state solution


This is not Good Vs Bad. This is Bad vs Bad, with a whole lot of innocent people caught between.
This is not a whole population motivated by hate, it's two leadership groups that have a goal and don't care how they achieve it. They want to murder their way to success.

Nathan said...

"second best is probably the upcoming Israeli attack."

How many times has Israel invaded or attacked Lebanon?
Why would it work this time?

why do you think they can murder their way to success?

William M. Connolley said...

Nathan: you have multiple comments spammed. Please see there.

William M. Connolley said...

PH: I really wanted to discuss the poll and its odd numbers and attitudes; focussing on where I found it seems a bit odd.

> Palestinians want to die? Especially their babies and children

The Good Book tells us "Ye shall know them by their fruits". Read the poll; ask yourself: are these the responses of people who prioritise the safety, welfare and well-being of their babies and children? My advice to the Palestinians, as I've said, is "surrender, because you have lost". What's your advice to them?

> not a whole population motivated by hate, it's two leadership groups

The polls say otherwise.

Nathan said...

The polls don't mention hate

It's you that came to that conclusion.

Your analysis is rubbish

Nathan said...

My advice to the Palestinians, as I've said, is "surrender, because you have lost".

And as has been pointed out before. They surrendered in the West Bank... Israel keeps stealing land.

There are no good actors in the leadership of either side.

Economic sanctions will end this very quickly

Nathan said...

Yeah... Surrender and they'll be fine...

This is not peaceful.

Nathan said...

and heaven forbid you only read things that support your notions.


Victim blaming is a bloody sport

Nathan said...

Oh and this: perhaps partly because only 3% think Hamas committed atrocities (fig 4)
Is just wrong.

Post the figure.