Blinded by Hate

For anyone wishing to understand the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” as well as the persistence of extremist and anti-Semitic views in that part of the world, the latest Pew Research Center report on attitudes in the Arab and Muslim world makes for must-reading. (A summary of the report can be found here and the full report here.)

The report is based on a survey that the Pew Center’s Global Attitudes Project conducted from May 18 to June 16 last year. It begins by saying that “across predominantly Muslim nations, there is little enthusiasm for the extremist Islamic organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, although there are pockets of support for both groups, especially in the Middle East.” What the Pew Center calls “little enthusiasm,” however, is in most cases quite considerable enthusiasm.

True, in Turkey Hamas gets only a 5% “favorable” rating and Hezbollah only 3%. But the next-lowest ratings are in Lebanon, where 30% approve of Hamas and 35% of Hezbollah—substantial proportions considering that both are terrorist organizations. And regarding Hezbollah, Lebanese Shiites and Sunnis are, not surprisingly, sharply split, with 97% of Shiites seeing the Shiite terror group favorably and only 2% of Sunnis.

As for the Palestinians, when it comes to the most extreme organizations and leaders, only in the case of Hamas—paradoxically—do they trail behind some other nationalities. Some 44% of Palestinians view Hamas favorably; the group does better both in Jordan (56%) and Egypt (52%). That this has something to do with Palestinians’ direct experience of Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, is suggested by the fact that Hamas actually came in less popular in Gaza (37%) than in the West Bank (47%).

When it comes to Hezbollah, though, the overwhelmingly Sunni Palestinians are ahead of the pack with a 61% approval rating for this Shiite outfit; the next highest are in Jordan (51%) and Egypt (43%). It is no secret that Hezbollah has many admirers, cutting across Sunni-Shiite divides, for its perceived military successes against Israel; that its cachet is particularly strong for the Palestinians, though, is consistent with other findings of the survey.

The survey not only gauged attitudes toward organizations but also toward various leaders, including six Arab and Muslim leaders among whom the most extreme were Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Osama bin Laden. Nasrallah – who has said that “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide” – scored highest among the Palestinians with 65% expressing confidence in him; next came the Jordanians (a majority of whom, it should be noted, are also Palestinians) at 56%, with Nasrallah’s own Lebanese compatriots a fairly distant third at 37%.

As for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president who has said Israel “must be wiped off the map,” he, too, did best among the Palestinians at 45%, edging out Indonesia at 43%, with the next highest scores in Arab countries being Jordan and Lebanon both at 32%.

And as for Osama bin Laden himself, here the Palestinians were almost his greatest fans at 51%, far ahead of the next group—again the Jordanians—at 28%; only among Nigerian Muslims (excluding Nigerian Christians) did the Al Qaeda leader do a bit better at 54%.

The survey also gauged Muslims’ attitude toward religious groups, including Jews. Here, at least, the Palestinians can’t be accused of being ahead of the rest. Ninety-five percent of Egyptians, 97% of Jordanians, 98% of Lebanese, and 97% of Palestinians registered an unfavorable view of Jews; among non-Arab Muslims—Turkey 73%, Indonesia 74%, Pakistan 78%—the rates were only somewhat lower.

Although the findings on Palestinian attitudes and general Arab anti-Semitism are not much different from previous Pew Center surveys, perhaps it is time to take more note of them—especially as hands are being wrung about the hiatus in the “peace process” with the Palestinians. In that connection Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, is quoted as saying that “Since there are no prospects of talks on the horizon, and in many ways what their efforts wrought was a wasted year without any negotiations, I believe the [U.S.] administration deserves an ‘F’ for failure to deliver on results.”

It is odd that Foxman, head of an organization devoted to fighting anti-Jewish and other forms of bigotry, apparently sees “peace with the Palestinians” as such a feasible goal. But there is no need to single Foxman out, as his fallacy is widespread.

It is true that Israel has a limited but valuable peace with Egypt and Jordan, no less monolithically anti-Semitic than the Palestinians. That the Palestinians, however, show such high enthusiasm for the likes of Hezbollah, Nasrallah, Ahmadinejad, and Bin Laden gives a better clue as to why “peace” keeps running aground than all the anguished analyses of supposedly failed diplomacy.

  • BS1977

    Just look at Israel and the Arab countries in the region. In the last sixty years Israel has built colleges, business centers, hospitals and high tech industries…..look at Gaza…they've received billions in aid but still live in squalor and misery…and you cannot blame that on Israel. Instead of building their economy, growing orchards and crops, farming, building salt water purification plants or modern businesses, the Arabs continue to house people in refugee camps, continue to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel……All they need to do is get on a better program and be a good neighbor….things could be so great for that part of the world, if only there was peace instead of terror and war.

    • stern

      ACtually BS, that's the very reason Israel is so hated. I highly recommend you read "The Israel Test" by George Gilder. Very instructive ….

  • Robert

    Why do we continue to send aid to the Palestanians? They have failed every test of statehood and yet we keep proping them up. Let the Arab countries support them or let them sink into the abcess of history.

  • Georgann Marks

    BS 1977 — Palestinians Growing Orchards? — Jews bulldoze ancient olive groves and do not allow food or building supplies in or out of Gaza.

    It's a concentration camp for crissakes!

    And Ahmadinejad DID NOT SAY — Israel should be wiped off the map.

    That misquote is thumped in media by Israel's shills over and over and over again.

    Even as it's discredited …. over and over and over again.

    I find myself anti Jew just because the deck is so stacked against Palis….

    I mean, how long can Jews keep up the image of victim when they exercise power over the majorities in the US and Europe!!

    And you want to know why you are hated????

    get real ….. Jews are their own worst enemies…. but I think you like it that way!

    • Gboyd


      • Lemac the Camel

        You got his number to a "T"

    • Jim Smith

      When Israel left Gaza they left a community full of housing along with a pretty nice greenhouse which the people who lived there used to grow things which they used and sold. If I remember right there was a donation from people that totalled around $15 million to buy the place and donate it to the people of Gaza. It wasn't 5 days after the Israelis left that the Palestinians destroyed the place.

      The only thing Palestinians use their talents for is trying to kill Israelis! What have they done to improve the area? They use every chance to smuggle and manufacture rockets used to kill Israeli civilians.

      I'm always confused by the thinking that Israel is at fault. The bulk of the Arab population in the world would like nothing better than to see the Israelis pushed into the sea. The problems the Palestinians face today are brought on by their own dysfunctional society. Stop teaching hatred to the children!!!

    • BS1977

      Most of the deprivation and misery has been self inflicted by the Arabs. Instead of working for peace, for improvement, for progress, education and prosperity, the Arabs have chosen hate, terror and war. Israel has been attacked repeatedly since 1948….Israel represents less than one percent the land area of the surrounding Muslim giant nations….and Jews are outnumbered by Muslims by 100-1, yet are vilified by know nothing idiots like Georgann Marks. Whatever Israel does or doesn't do, the result is endless vilification, hate and propaganda. When Arabs build a home on the West Bank, no one says a word. When a Jew builds a home, the haters go nuts , screaming about "settlements" as if they are a bad thing. Trying to convince people like Marks to reconsider their hatred of Israel is usually futile…they are brainwashed leftists who blame Israel for EVERYTHING. If you ask them, what is the real legal nature of the West Bank…they will have no idea….do not know what Judea or Samaria means.

    • Kaffir_Kanuck

      My comment over at this story:

      explains why Gboyd is correct about your mental faculties.

    • Clear Heart

      For all the talk of Gaza the concentration camp, I have NEVER seen a single picture of these so-called concentration camp conditions. You'd think with the control that muslims now have over the west and its governments and media, that we would have seen at least one such picutre. But no, never.

    • Peachey

      He not only said that Israel should be shoved off the map, but into the sea. Please get your facts right. This is easily confirmed by reviewing the UN speech that Ajad gave in 2008. This is also the speech where he claims that he was surrounded by light beams that were shooting up to the sky and everyone in the audience was transfixed on him. And to correct your knowledge of "palestinian", this is a political confabulation started by Arafat in 1965. The arabs that you refer to as Palestinian are Jordanian (east bank) or Egyptian (Gaza strip). A knowledge of world history is a valuable tool when standing on your anti-semetic hatred. BTW, the land is called JUDEA for a reason. Get it now? The arabs that have enbraced this violence and desire for that which is not theirs will always find themselves floundering against G_d's chosen people. It is interesting how Jordan and Egypt do not want this particular tribe of arabs back into their territories. They obviously have the good sense not to.

    • nojizyatax

      Let me see if I get this right. Israel is the only democracy in the middle east with an economy larger than that of all its neighbors combined, in spite of the constant threat of war and terrorism on all of its borders, is outnumbered 100 to 1 (1.5 billion Muslims to 15 millions Jews worldwide), Hezbollah to the north & Hamas to the south launching rockets in onto school children and you think they are the problem? ISLAM teaches Muslims hatred for the Jew every day via the Koran and the saying of the "profit" Mohammad and you think the Jew is the problem? Everywhere they go, Mulsims bring death and sectarian violence. You are either blind or unable to see the world around you.

    • Brad

      The guy's a troll. Easy to spot: they drop stupid-comment bait on their hook and love to watch decent folk swim for it. It's the only way their identity has any meaning. Ignoring idiocy is the only logical action. Swim away.

    • seels4truth

      Every single word out of your mouth is a lie. A concentration camp? Bulldoze olive groves for no reason? Do not allow food or supplies into Gaza? Palis? What exactly are palestinians? Definitely not Arabs as there NEVER was an Arab state known as Palestine. The onye country referred to as "Palestine" just so happened to consist of a majority of JEWS. The Jews exercise power over the majorities in the US and Europe? Wow it appears you are an avid reader of the Protocols of Zion. If the Jews have so much power why do the Arabs have the oil? Why does Israel have the smallest country in the Middle East? It must irritate you that with so little land and population Israel has done more than all 22 Arab countries combined. It proves your hatred is beyond reason. You believe the Arabs are the victims when every day they pine for Israel's destruction. They raped and pillaged way before the state of Israel was formed.

  • Stephen D.

    Here Here Robert! I agree completely with your assesment. But of course we know this won’t happen…not with this WH.
    As BS said before you Israel had given up viable businesses already to the “Palestinians” (I believe there are no such people – rather misplaced Jordanians/Syrians, etc.) which have since been run into the ground. Let their other neighbors help them lift themselves out of the stone age. Our firiend is Israel in that region…no one else.

  • jack Baretti

    I am shocked at the weak kneed response to Moslem bullying every one seems to be afraid of offending them and also their opposition to free speech .see their actions against free speech in American and British universities. What has happened to the pride of the British and Americans in the face of the brow beating Moslem bulies

    • nojizyatax

      The answer? Progressive liberalism and its control of the media. I promise you that there are plenty of us who are willing to take up arms and drive them out by force. They just haven't gotten organized yet. Don't worry, sectarian violence IS coming the UK and US. It is just a matter of time.

  • ando

    islam is evil to its core, regardless of how good muslims are or want to be. Islam will never allow muslims to be peaceful because Islam = Jihad and Jihad=Islam. (the most hated site by all muslims and islam itself as no-one can refute their claim the Mohammed was pure EVIL.

  • LucyQ

    Good column! One has to to wonder why the Bush/Obama administrations keeps giving millions and millions in money and weapons to terrorists whether they be Palistinian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghanis and Yemeni. What a waste of money and weapons. Those weapons are already being used against Israeli, American and EU citizens.

    Does anyone still think Reagan was right to give Pakistan nukes?

    • cochavi1

      No, of course not. But everything was about beating the Soviets, and the Indians were thought by the USA to be Communists, not just clients of Moscow. So they used Pakistan, Afghanistan to bleed the Soviets and weaken Indian influence. On the same line of logic Brzezinski had also pushed Carter to foment the Mujahadeen. The world as a chessboard, the US as the chessmaster in the eyes of those like Brzezinski and Kissinger etc.

      As for Obama, well, we've been saying it to you for a while now, Lucy. He is a Muslim at heart, and most likely in his consciousness. He bowed to the Saudi king in a religious way. He invited the Muslim Brotherhood to his speech in Cairo. Mubarak did not come. The Brotherhood, which spawned Hamas, also helped murder Sadat.

      But it is good for Israel. Mubarka is afraid of Obie, and Iran. A radical in the White House when Iran is trying to take over puts some sense in to the Arabs.

      The 'Palestinians'? Hopeless as ever, and ever the sweethearts of the West.

  • Randy

    The "not" factors. These are just a few things that Muslims are "Not" interested in:

    *Material well-being. They don't know what it means. It has never been part of their history. Hospitals, education, sports, technology, industry, are not part of their value system.
    *Peace. A totally foreign, Western concept. The closest concept to Muslims is "acceptible domination" over others, whether other tribes, sects, or their women. Their history of slavery is now known. It still goes on. Peace means domination.
    *Life. The culture that has given us the suicide bomber and shows pride at his/her achievements – the bloodier, the more a hero – is not one that values "life." That too is an imported concept.

    • Peachey

      Islam can only survive when there is chaos and destruction to cause deprivation and poverty. It is through deprivation and poverty that the Iman's can point the blame finger on the non-islamic societies as the source of the problems. If the muslims had any prosperity, the aggitation and hatred fomented by Islamic leaders will be abated and soon ruled out as the source of the individual government's failure to guide or provide.Mohammed knew this as a ruler and perfected "crowd control" through murder, enslavement and theft of all personal property and belongings. Nothing has changed.

  • Dikehopper

    On page 25 of the full report (linked in the article) it says that 20% of Israeli Arabs hold an unfavorable view of Christians, but that 49% of Israeli Jews hold an unfavorable view of Christians. (35% of Israeli Arabs hold an unfavorable view of Jews.) I don't quite get it. Why so much negativity towards Christians among Israeli Jews?

    • Ranvir

      Don't know. I would start worrying when they start strapping on suicide belts and blowing up Xtians. Otherwise it is not unusual for people to dislike other groups.

      But when to resort to violence and terror (which only Muslims too), then it becomes worrisome.

  • USMCSniper

    The Palestinians strap munitions on their own women and children and send them out on homicide-suicide missions to murder other innocent women and children in markets, restuarants, on school buses, and in their homes. The Palestinians in their own words and by their actions are committed to the genocide of the Jewish people therefore, have foreited their rights to even exist.

  • nojizyatax

    "Jordanian refugee" TV, uninformed morons call it Palestinian TV, runs cartoons and kids shows that teach hatred for Jews and shows the Jewish cartoon figures killing children to get their blood for the matza and people actually think there can be peace? The world is truly insane.

  • gary fouse

    Are you aware of what happened Monday night at UC-Irvine? The Israeli ambassador had his speech disrupted by the MSU. I was there. The good news is that a few hundred Jewish members of the community saw first hand that there really is a problem at UCI. Many are calling for Chancellor Drake's resignation.

    Gary Fouse
    adj teacher
    UCI Ext

  • WilliamJamesWard

    One tenth of one percent, yes 1/10th of 1% that is the land of the middle east that
    Israel has and to the Arab and Muslim mind that is just to much. The so called
    Palestinians are there as a barrier of flesh to make one think this poverty and
    squalor is caused by Israeli policy, however it is the policy of Arab governments to
    have them there as a permanent barrier to normal borders. There will never be a
    peace allowed, no never. Israel has a choice, destroy utterly their neighbors
    and live on or eventually be dissolved by the time and tide of endless violence.

  • sita

    Just wait and see what Islam has in store for America. America will become a Sharia law compliant and thus people will be silenced either through threats, which is already happening now with reporters and writers and then with physical violence.

    Islam was never compatiable with a free soceity and never will be, no matter how much islam tries, because at islam core lies evil. I sincerely hope to see this comment posted.

  • seels4truth

    Hebron was just one of the more well known massacres. And before you say a word: Deir Yassin was a fabrication. The Arab army (predecessor to Hamas?) hid amongst the residents of Deir Yassin and wore their clothes: dresses and other female garb. It was a typical Arab method of fighting: use the civilian populace to win the PR battle. And as long as scum like you hate Jews we must be doing something right.

  • USMCSniper

    The Palestinians strap munitions on their own women and children and send them out on homicide-suicide missions to murder other innocent women and children in markets, restuarants, on school buses, and in their homes. The Palestinians in their own words and by their actions are committed to the genocide of the Jewish people therefore, have foreited their rights to even exist at all let alone have a UN sanctioned terrorist state of their own.