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Palestinians want better lives, regardless of rights
Survey shows that Rep. Tlaib, Progressives don’t represent Palestinian opinion
Better living standards top the priorities of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, whose majority cares little about democracy or human rights and supports conflict with Israel. Released yesterday, results of a survey by the Ramallah-based, nonpartisan, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) offered a rare peak into what Palestinians really think or want, and showed that those who speak on behalf of Palestinians in America do not reflect Palestinian opinion.
Twenty-nine percent of Palestinians said that their top priority was “the unification of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” Second came “the improvement of economic conditions” at 25 percent. Combating corruption was third, with 15 percent, while 14 percent answered that their priority was the “lifting of the siege and blockade over the Gaza Strip.”
Only nine percent said that “strengthening the resistance to occupation” was their priority, showing that anything connected to“occupation,” the obsession of Palestinian-Americans and their Progressive American sympathizers, does not even get 10 percent of Palestinian interest.
Such numbers suggest that the much-hated Kushner Plan, designed to raise Palestinian living standards and improve their quality of lives and freedom of movement without offering them sovereignty, would have been something that Palestinians wanted, had it not been for political spin and vilification that accompanied it.
Unlike what the numbers say, Palestinian-Americans and their Progressive allies want America to believe that democracy and human rights are the top priority of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Last week, in response to Israel placing six West Bank “human rights” organizations on its terrorism list, describing the organizations as fronts for Palestinians groups that are globally classified as terrorist, Tlaib Tweeted that the “apartheid regime’s labeling of award-winning human rights groups as terrorist organizations—just because they speak truths about Israel’s violence [and] its human impact—is grossly antidemocratic and dangerous.”
Tlaib, who campaigns on being the the voice of Palestinians in the US Congress, added that Washington “must end funding (US annual aid to Israel) for human rights abuses.”
But the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip do not think it is Israel that is violating their human rights. According to the PSR survey, 71 percent of West Bankers said that people in their area cannot criticize the Palestinian Authority (PA) without fear. In the Gaza Strip, inaccessible to Israel, 62 percent of Palestinians said that people in the strip “cannot criticize Hamas’s authority without fear.”
Unlike how Tlaib wants America to force Israel to give Palestinians rights, the survey showed that only 10 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip believe “that the first most vital Palestinian goal… should be to establish a democratic political system that respects freedoms and rights of Palestinians.”
Palestinians want better lives, but it is unfortunate that they have no idea that such goal is connected to peace with Israel. According to the poll, 53 percent of Palestinians oppose the two-state solution, while 60 percent of them support perpetuating the conflict with Israel, 44 percent of which endorse “armed struggle.” Only 36 percent of Palestinians support negotiations with Israel, and 46 percent agree to a two-state solution.
But Tlaib and co tell America and the world a different story, arguing that Palestinians seek peace, human rights and democracy, and that it is Israel, and successive US governments, that refuse peace talks and suppress Palestinian democracy and human rights.
When asked about their goals — politics aside — Palestinians are like all other humans: They seek better lives for themselves and their loved ones. However, with the lack of leadership and with their populist leaders in the Palestinian Territories and their friends in America and the world, when Israel is added to the mix, Palestinians suddenly refuse peace, support more conflict with Israel, and therefore end up supporting the exact opposite of what can get them to their goal of better lives and a better future.