Not Just Leadership: Most Palestinians Support Terror

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A common sentiment from American liberals is that it is only the Palestinian leadership that supports terrorist attacks. Like their take on the Ferguson riots, the left wants us to think that the “instigators” are just a tiny part of the overall picture. In both cases, they couldn’t be more wrong.

A new opinion poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, shows that 80 percent of Palestinians support terror attacks against Israeli citizens in Jerusalem. The poll also found that if they were to hold elections today, Hamas would be favored to take over leadership from the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority.

The poll addressed recent attacks like the one at a Jerusalem synagogue that left several dead. Naturally, the opinion of the people cannot be separated from the rhetoric of their leaders, many of whom have incited anger amongst the population with claims that Israel is aggressively taking over the Temple Mount.

Palestinians – and most Muslims – believe that the Temple Mount is unconnected to Judaism, and recent talks of allowing Jews to pray at the site has enraged clerics in the region. One imam recently gave a sermon at the al-Aqsa Mosque, telling Jews “The time for your slaughter has come. The time to fight you has come. The time to kill you has come.” Another – Omar Abu Sara – gave a sermon on November 28 that elaborated on the “vile traits” of Jews, telling worshipers that these traits were recorded in the Quran.

Israel Still Supports Peace

In contrast with the rising level of anger in Palestinian territories, the majority of Israelis still believe that peace talks should continue. A poll from the Israel Democracy Institute found that 57.2 percent of Israelis thought renewed peace talks were the best answer for increased terrorism. Even though most of the respondents did not believe that negotiations would lead to lasting peace, they continued to support diplomatic efforts.

American sentiment turned against Israel earlier this year as Netanyahu worked to put a stop to Hamas rocket attacks, but these polls show clearly why the pro-Palestinian liberals need a reality check. No one wants to see innocent Palestinians suffer, but the source of their suffering is not Israel; it is their own terrorist-minded leadership. In a Middle East engulfed by Islamic rule, dictatorships, and terrorism, America needs a strong relationship with Israel more than ever.

With enough firepower to wipe several Arab states off the map, Israel has remained remarkably restrained in the face of increasing antisemitic sentiment. The U.S. needs to side with strength, democracy, and restraint, all of which Israel has demonstrated relentlessly, despite what the EU and the Obama administration might have to say. The conflicts at the heart of the Israel/Palestine controversy are not to be solved anytime soon, but anyone who thinks the “Zionists” are the problem needs to think again.