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Palestinian Terror Loyalties By: Palestinian Media Watch
Palestinian Media Watch | Monday, November 17, 2003

Landmark Survey of Israelis, Israeli-Arabs & Palestinians:  Profound Palestinian Distrust of and Dislike for America

An overwhelming 95% of Jews in Israel support the United States in the War on Iraq; 74% of Palestinians support Saddam Hussein.

In perhaps the most comprehensive comparative study of Israelis, Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians to date, it is distinctly clear that they  have vastly divergent views on issues ranging from 9/11 to the War on Iraq  to the current Roadmap for Peace.

Consider the following key findings:

- 96% of Jews in Israel believe that the people who flew planes into New  York's World Trade Center were terrorists; a mere 37% of Palestinians share  that view; in addition, 26% of Palestinians believe Israelis planned the  9/11 attacks.

- 42% of Palestinians and 61% of Israeli-Arabs stated that they 'support' the people who are attacking American troops in Iraq right now.  Zero percent of Israeli Jews hold that view.

- 36% of Palestinians believe that the United States poses the greatest  threat to world peace; 51% stated that Israel poses the greatest threat to world peace.

The survey was released yesterday by Itamar Marcus, founder of Palestinian Media Watch (
www.pmw.org.il), written by pollster Frank Luntz and conducted by PORI (The Public Opinion Research of Israel) and The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion.  The survey consisted of interviews with 600 Israeli Jews, 400 Israeli Arabs and 607 Palestinians and was fielded between the dates of September 21st and September 27th.  Israel has approximately six million Jewish citizens and more than one million citizens who are Arabs.

"There are those in America who urge Washington to take
what they call 'a balanced approach' to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," said pollster Frank Luntz.  "The problem is, there is absolutely no balance between Palestinians and Israelis when it comes to their views of the United States.  The American people are not going to be happy, and will certainly not want a balanced approach, when they learn that more than 40% of Palestinians support the people attacking and killing American soldiers in Iraq."

"These results are a product of the Palestinians
being taught for years by their leaders to see the US as an archenemy to be loathed and fought," says Itamar Marcus, of Palestinian Media Watch who sponsored the poll.  "While PA officials are accepted in Washington as colleagues and even allies, the PA's message in Arabic is to hate and kill Americans. The Americans were murdered in Gaza by Palestinians fulfilling their role to wage war against Americans, as they have openly been taught by their leaders."

Although Israelis, Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians live side-by-side, their attitudes, opinions and most basic beliefs are often diametrically opposed.

For example:

- 75% of Israeli Jews and 71% of Israeli-Arabs, but only 41% of Palestinians "strongly agree" that "men and women are equal and society should treat mean and women exactly the same."

- 83% of Israelis "strongly agree" that "terrorism is NEVER justified under any circumstances."  By comparison, only 58% of Israeli-Arabs and 34% of Palestinians hold a similar view.

- Fully 90% of Jews in Israel strongly agree that Hamas is "a terrorist group," compared to only 16% of Israeli-Arabs and 5% of Palestinians.

"Palestinian support for terrorism is a
direct result of their government teaching that violence and terror are valid tools to achieve political goals," explains Marcus. "Even the so-called moderates of PA leaders, Hanan Ashrawi and Sari Nusseibeh, hold this view, as they explicitly stated a year ago.  In the PA, all agree that the killing of Israelis civilians is valid if it would further their political goals. The debate between the "moderates" and the masses has only been about whether it has been productive."

The survey also cast grave doubts on the prospects for a lasting peace in the region.  Although an equal 40% of Jews in Israel and 40% of Palestinians see a possibility for peace, the two sides are still quite divided in their priorities.  For example:

- 99% of Israelis consider bombings of Israeli buses and restaurants to be acts of terrorism, while only 10% of Palestinians would agree.

- 47% of Jewish Israelis rank "peace" as their highest value.  By comparison, only 23% of Palestinians choose peace first.

- 46% of Palestinians characterize Israelis as the 'enemy' and 31% believe that Allah wants Muslims to fight Jews.  Moreover, 59% of Palestinians feel Hamas and Islamic Jihad should NOT give up their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel were to leave all territories, including East Jerusalem, and grant statehood to the Palestinians.

"This poll shows that the United States needs to continue - in fact, greatly expand - its public diplomacy efforts in the Middle East, including among Palestinian Arabs," said Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA).  "The prospects for peace in the region will greatly improve if attitudes change."

"We need to strip away the public fictions about the Palestinian government," former Ambassador Richard Carlson went on to say. "These polling figures reflect the years of political incitement and indoctrination of the Palestinian people, not just the hateful drumbeat against Israel but against America, equally." Carlson currently serves as Vice Chairman for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Palestinians, Israeli-Arabs and Jewish Israelis all overwhelmingly believe that democracy is the best form of government.  However, each group defines "democracy" differently.  Nearly 8 in 10 Jews in Israel believe that their political system should be a 'democratic regime in which all the political
ideas are represented.'  When asked exactly the same question, only 33% of Palestinians agreed.  In fact, one in five Palestinians support the establishment of an Islamic single-party government.

"What's truly unique about this survey is that it asks either identical or parallel questions of the three populations," said Luntz.  "This offers observers of the Middle East a perfect opportunity to analyze beliefs and opinions across the full spectrum of participants."

"In reading the results," Luntz added, "it is clear that for peace to happen, the
culture of hate that causes Palestinians to accept terrorism will have to be replaced by educating for peace. I am pessimistic about the prospects for peace.  The divide between the populations is just too great, even in the definition of the words used.  A terrorist that kills 20 Israeli women and children is a 'freedom fighter' to half of the Palestinian population.  How can you have peace under these circumstances?" Luntz concluded.


PORI  Public  Opinion & marketing  Research  of  Israel,  2000  Ltd. Middle East Survey (Media Summary)

N = 600 Israeli Jews - 400 Israeli Arabs - 607 Palestinians Margin of Error (600 Sample +/- 4%)  (400 Sample +/- 4.9%) September 2003

1. First, in your opinion, which nation or people is the single greatest threat to WORLD peace?  I need you to pick only one nation or people you think is the single greatest threat to WORLD peace.

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

IRAN                                      52%/3%/1%/
PALESTINIANS                    8%/5%/1%
IRAQ                                      7%/1%/1%
MOSLEMS IN GENERAL    6%/ ------/ ------
UNITED STATES                  4%/ 40%/ 36%
SYRIA                                   3%/ ------/ ------
SAUDI ARABIA                   3%/ ------/   1%
NORTH KOREA                  2%/   1%/   1%
ISRAEL                                 2%/ 26%/ 51%
ALL ARAB COUNTRIES    2%/ ------/ ------
CHINA                                 1%/   1%/   1%
OTHER                                 4%/   4%/   2%
DON'T KNOW/REFUSED   9%/ 22%/   7%

2. In the war between the United States and Saddam Hussein, whom did you support?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

STRONGLY HUSSEIN                  ------/ 21%/ 50%
MOSTLY HUSSEIN                       ------/ 17%/ 24%
MOSTLY UNITED STATES          22%/ 10%/   6%
STRONGLY UNITED STATES     73%/   9%/   4%
DON'T KNOW                                5%/ 44%/ 16%

3. And in general, do you support
the people who are attacking American troops in Iraq right now.

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

 STRONGLY SUPPORT    ------/ 40%/ 26%
 SOMEWHAT SUPPORT  ------/ 21%/ 16%
 SOMEWHAT OPPOSE    25%/ 12%/ 21%
 STRONGLY OPPOSE      71%/ 15%/ 23%
 DON'T KNOW                  5%/ 12%/ 14%

4. In your opinion, were the people who flew planes into New York's World Trade Center. . ..?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

TERRORISTS                       96%/ 41%/ 37%
MARTYRS                             3%/   8%/ 22%
FREEDOM FIGHTERS      ------/ 25%/ 14%
DON'T KNOW                      1%/ 27%/ 27%

5. And who do you believe planned the 9/11 attacks against the United States?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

OSAMA BIN LADEN    91%/ 34%/ 46%
SADDAM HUSSEIN      2%/   1%/   4%
THE UNITED STATES   1%/ 13%/   6%
ISRAEL                        ------/ 11%/ 26%
SOMEONE ELSE            2%/   2%/   1%
DON'T KNOW                5%/ 39%/ 18%

6. Terrorism is NEVER justified under any circumstances.

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

STRONGLY AGREE           83%/ 58%/ 34%
SOMEWHAT AGREE         10%/ 11%/ 32%
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE    4%/   6%/ 18%
STRONGLY DISAGREE     4%/ 22%/   9%
DON'T KNOW                   1%/   4%/   7%

 7. Hamas is a terrorist group.

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

STRONGLY AGREE           90%/ 16%/   5%
SOMEWHAT AGREE         8%/ 11%/   8%
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE    1%/ 14%/ 14%
STRONGLY DISAGREE   ------/ 45%/ 67%/
DON'T KNOW                     1%/ 15%/   6%

[Hamas are freedom fighters.]

STRONGLY AGREE             ------/ 33%/ 51%/
SOMEWHAT AGREE           ------/ 26%/ 31%
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE     ------/ 10%/ 10%
STRONGLY DISAGREE       ------/ 20%/   5%
DON'T KNOW                       ------/ 12%/   4%

8.  [Last year the Tulkarm Shahids Memorial Soccer Championship For Children was named After Abd Al-Al Baset Odeh, who killed 30 Israelis in a suicide bombing.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?]

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

A GOOD THING   ------/ [15%]  [71%]
A BAD THING    ------/ [70%]  [13%]
DON'T KNOW    ------/ [15%]  [17%]

9. If the Ministry of Education wanted to name a youth soccer tournament after Baruch Goldstein, who killed unarmed Palestinians in an attack, would that be a good ting or bad thing?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

GOOD THING       11%/   4%/ ------
BAD THING          83%/ 91%/ ------
DON'T KNOW       7%/   5%/ ------

10.  Do you consider Palestinian bombings of Israeli buses and restaurants to be acts of terrorism?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

 YES     99%/ 57%/ 10%
 NO       1%/ 31%/ 79%
 DON'T KNOW    ------/ 12%/ 11%

11. When Palestinian leaders refer to "occupied territories," do you think they mean . .

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

ALL OF THE WEST BANK AND        17%/ 64%/ 48%

ALL OF THE WEST BANK, GAZA    78%/ 25%/ 37%

SOMETHING ELSE                            5%   11%/ 15%

12. Do you believe God wants Jews to fight Muslims? [Do you believe Allah wants Muslims to fight Jews?]

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

YES                                                       12%/ [31%] / [31%]
NO                                                         64%/ [52%] / [47%]
DON'T KNOW                                     18%/ [15%] / [22%]
DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD / [ALLAH]     7%/   [2%] / [------]

13.   If the Palestinians were to stop the terrorist attacks and give up the right of return, should Israel withdraw from all the territories, including East Jerusalem, and grant them statehood?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

 YES                           38%/ ------/ ------/
 NO                            57%/ ------/ ------
 DON'T KNOW          4%/ ------/ ------

14. [If Israel were to leave all the territories, including East Jerusalem, and grant statehood to the Palestinians, should Palestinians give up the right of return?]

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

YES                          ------/ [26%]/  [11%]
NO                           ------/ [65%]/  [80%]
DON'T KNOW       ------/ [10%]/    [9%]

15. [And if Israel were to leave all territories, including East Jerusalem, and grant statehood to the Palestinians, should Hamas and Islamic Jihad give up their armed struggle against Israel?]

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

YES                         ------/ [83%]/  [26%]
NO                          ------/ [13%]/  [59%]
DON'T KNOW       ------/   [5%]/  [16%]

16. How would you feel if a future Palestinian state were to be governed by Sha'riah law?

 Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

VERY FAVORABLE                   2%/ 32%/ 33%
SOMEWHAT FAVORABLE       5%/ 25%/ 36%
VERY UNFAVORABLE              66%/ 27%/   3%
DON'T KNOW/REFUSED          11%/   7%/   7%

17. Which of the following is most important to you?

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

PEACE                                              47%/ 53%/ 23%
FREEDOM                                       20%/ 21%/ 29%
*DEATH THROUGH KIDUSH       4%/   [5%]/  [23%]
YOUR HOMELAND                        25%/ 21%/ 24%
DON'T KNOW                                4%/   1%/   3%

*Martyrdom, dying defending one's religion or people
**Death For Allah

18. Democracy is the best form of government.

Israeli Jews/Israeli Arabs/Palestinians

STRONGLY AGREE                53%/ 55%/ 55%
SOMEWHAT AGREE              34%/ 31%/ 25%
SOMEWHAT DISAGREE        8%/   4%/   9%
STRONGLY DISAGREE         5%/   9%/   8%
DON'T KNOW                     -----/    1%/   3%

ll three surveys were written and coordinated by Frank Luntz.  Interviews  were conducted by PORI among the three populations:

Israeli Jews:

PORI - Public Opinion Research of Israel conducted this survey by telephone (CATI) among a sample of 600 Adults (18+) Israeli Jews.  The survey was in the field September 23rd and 24th .  The margin of error is +/- 4%.

Israeli Arabs:

PORI - Public Opinion Research of Israel conducted this survey by telephone (CATI) among a sample of 400 Adults (18+) Israeli Arabs.  The survey was in the field September 24th and 25th .  The margin of error is +/- 4.9%.


PORI  - Public Opinion Research of Israel coordinated this survey of face-to-face interviews among a sample of 607 Palestinians.  The interviews were conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion.  The survey was in the field between the dates of September 21st and September 27th and as a margin of error of +/- 4%.

founded in 1966, is one of the senior research institutes in Israel. The firm has conducted numerous research projects for overseas governments including the U.S. Department of State, media and academic clients that include The Pew Research Center and the BBC, as well as international corporate work for companies that include Boeing and IBM.

Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, founded in 1994, has overseas clients including U.S. Department of State, Gallup International and the UN Development Program.

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