Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Jewish and Arab students mark the Nakba at Tel Aviv University, May 15, 2023.

The latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip between June 7 and 11 (Public Opinion Poll No 88), examine the 75th anniversary of the “Nakba,” and its findings indicate that the overwhelming majority of PA Arabs blame Arab or international parties, or the Zionist movement, for their “national catastrophe,” while “internal Palestinian weakness comes at the bottom of the list.”

The PSR concluded that “although this outcome was expected, the small percentage that saw Palestinian weakness as responsible for the Nakba indicates the persistence of a huge Palestinian sense of victimhood.”


That being said, “when asked about the most damaging developments since the Nakba, the largest percentage referred to internal division, the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while the Israeli 1967 occupation came in the second place.”

Another illuminating point: “When asked about the best thing that happened to the Palestinians since the Nakba, about two-thirds listed two: the establishment of the PLO in the 1960s and the establishment of the PA in the 1990s, while a quarter believed that the formation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their entry into an armed struggle in the 1980s was the best development followed by those who selected the formation of Fatah in the 1960s and its launch of armed struggle.”

Oslo accords? We don’t need no stinking Oslo accords.

Also: “About two-thirds of the respondents do not fear a repeat of the Nakba. On the contrary, two-thirds of the respondents don’t believe that Israel will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and a majority, albeit a small one, “believes that the Palestinian people will, in the future, be able to recover Palestine and return its refugees to their homes.”

Somebody, tell Peace Now, J Street, and Bernie Sanders.

When asked about “the most important lesson from the Nakba for the Palestinian people,” the largest percentage (44%, of which 54% live in the PA and 28% in the Gaza Strip) said it is the need to remain steadfast on the ground and to remain in the land even in the event of war. 23% believe it is the necessity of self-reliance rather than the reliance on Arab or friendly countries. Only 9% (15% in the Gaza Strip and 5% in the PA) believe it is the need to seek political solutions to the conflict with Israel.

The survey asked what was the main reasons for the flight of refugees from their homes in 1948. The largest percentage (43%) said it was the mass displacement by armed Zionist forces. 40% said it was fear of massacres by the same Zionists. 15% said it was a desire to seek safer places.

Apparently, no one recalls that radio broadcast that urged the Arabs to leave their homes to return with the victorious Arab armies.

Asked to compare their current leadership with the one that led the Arabs in Eretz Israel during the Nakba, the largest percentage (40%) said that neither leadership is better than the other––neither was and is any good. 23% said the leadership during the Nakba was better than the current leadership, and 22% said the current leadership is the best. 10% said both performed well.

Asked to describe the standing of the State of Israel today, the largest percentage (42% – 51% in the PA and 28% in the Gaza Strip) said Israel is one of the most powerful countries in the world economically and militarily. 44% in the Gaza Strip and 28% in the PA believe Israel is a weak and fragmented state on the verge of collapse. 21% believe it is a normal state like most other small states in the world.

When asked: “Will the Palestinian people be able in the future to regain Palestine and repatriate the refugees,” a slim majority of 51% said this will happen, while 45% believe the opposite.

71% of the respondents (79% in the Gaza Strip and 66% in the PA) said they are in favor of forming armed groups such as the “Lions’ Den” and the “Jenin Battalion,” which do not take orders from the PA and are not part of the PA security services. 23% are against it.


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