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Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas

Rockets and violence over diplomacy and passivity is the Palestinian Arab ruling style of choice, as reflected in the latest PCPSR poll.
Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war.  Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.

Hamas's leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh (in blue shirt, center), benefitted politically - and in a dramatic fashion - from this summer's war. Photo from Hamas victory rally, Aug. 27, 2014.
Photo Credit: Emad Nassar/Flash90

A Palestinian Arab polling organization found that the popularity of the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas rose amongst Palestinian Arabs following this summer’s war against Israel.

For those who were hoping that mounting deaths and destruction of their own people will have a moderating effect on the Arabs who live in the Middle East, start barking up a different tree. In fact, a recent poll shows that the vast majority of Arabs in the region (72 percent) actually prefer to have the PA run the territory for which they are responsible the way Hamas runs it in Gaza.

Rockets and violence over diplomacy and passivity is the Palestinian Arab ruling style of choice, as reflected in this latest poll.

During the 50-day summer of 2014 war, more than 2000 of their own people died and many apartment buildings and some entire neighborhoods were destroyed at least largely because the Hamas fighters shot from residential neighborhoods. Nonetheless, such death and destruction actually led to a dramatic increase in popularity for Hamas’s leadership and mode of governance.

In fact, fewer than five percent of Palestinian Arabs believed that Israel “won” the war. In contrast, nearly four out of five respondents believe Hamas was the winner in this summer’s war between Gaza and Israel.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research learned through its poll that if elections were to be held now, well more than half of all Palestinian Arabs (61 percent) would vote for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to lead their people, while only 32 percent would vote for Mahmoud Abbas, the current acting leader of the Palestinian Authority.

While a 61 percent approval rating sounds high, it is even more impressive – if that’s the right word – considering that it is a 20 percentage point surge since June, that is, before this summer’s war. And before the war, those who favored Abbas was 20 percentage points higher. The percentage of Arabs who live in what they call the “West Bank” who would vote for Hamas’s Haniyeh comes in at 66 percent, which is even higher than his standing in Gaza (53 percent).

In fact, this summer’s Gaza war increased Haniyeh’s popularity so much that if he ran against the perennially popular Fatah member Marwan Barghouti, Haniyeh would best Barghouti 49 percent to 45 percent. And, if there were a three-way political race, Abbas would draw down support from Barghouti, so that Haniyeh would prevail decisively with 48% of the vote. Barghouti would receive only 29 percent of the vote, and Abbas only 19% in a three-way vote.

If ever there were an example of perception dictating reality, the vast disparity in the raw numbers of dead on each side did nothing to dissuade the Palestinian Arabs from believing the Hamas war machine was effective in fighting Israel’s Defense Force (94 percent).

Hamas was viewed favorably both in terms of its offense against Israel, but also on defense. Nearly four-fifths of all Palestinian Arabs were satisfied with Hamas’s defense of Gazan civilians during the war (78 percent).

Perhaps the one poll result that will surprise nobody is that nearly nine out of ten Arabs in the region were satisfied with the Gazan leadership’s media and communication performance.

The poll was taken following the cessation of hostilities, and included 1,270 Palestinian Arabs from throughout the territories in which they live.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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13 Responses to “Gazan Deaths and Destruction Dramatically Drives Popularity for Hamas”

  1. well you cannot fix stupid . Praise Israel

  2. The culture of death…

  3. How many ways
    To get what you want?
    I use the best, I use the rest
    I use the enemy, I use anarchy

    ‘Cause I wanna be anarchy
    In the city, follow me

  4. May we live to make them even more popular. AMen Selah

  5. Palestinians love to murder their own children.

  6. Dawn Andrade says:

    There really is no cure for stupid!!!!

  7. How can anyone argue with incredible ignorance coupled with living in a fantasy world divorced from reality??? It's truly frightening because it is a schizophrenic world view that cannot respond to facts and logic!!! Like lemmings the Palestinians will follow Hamas leaders to their deaths…if not jumping en masse into the sea, then to commit mass suicide via dynamite belts or willing human shields…so the evil planners can live…..

  8. So please remember this next time, and there will be one, when people feel sorry for poor Pals being victimized because of Hamas. Next time kill them all without any shred of guilt.

  9. This should be the straw that brakes the 'Camels' back…. Your own leaders kill your family by placing rocket launchers next to your house…. and you say it's OK ? Who the hell is Israel going to sign a peace treaty with. Schmucks ?

  10. Sounds like the IDF rules of engagement are unnecessarily restrictive. All of the "civilians" are really the enemy!

  11. Alan Kardon says:

    Israel has not lost the Gaza Battle. Israel is intact. Gaza is in ruin. Israel now knows the Palestinians are supporting terrorists. Will they be so nice the next "encounter"? I doubt it. NEVER EVER AGAIN."

  12. Leonard S Feinman says:

    There is bravado on the part of the people who follow Hamas. They really don't feel defeated. The population of Gaza was listed at 1.8 million people. Of that, 600,000 were DISPLACED. Most of Gaza, small as it is, was unaffected.
    After WWI, Germany did not feel defeated, because the country was not as directly destroyed. It was able to rebuild whatever damage there was, and pretty soon they ran out of work, which brought along young Mr. ****ler, who told them stories of greatness, and soon Germany was ready for war. They paid for it with the blood of Jews.
    Can we afford this again, in a few years?

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