Poll Finds Palestinians Overwhelmingly Reject Trump Plan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Ninety-four percent of Palestinians reject President Donald Trump’s Mideast initiative, according to a poll released Tuesday, which also found plummeting support for a two-state solution with Israel and nearly two-thirds backing armed struggle.

The first survey of Palestinian public opinion to be released since Trump’s plan was announced undercuts the administration’s claims that opposition to the plan is largely confined to the Palestinian leadership and raises concerns that the implementation of the proposal, which heavily favors Israel, could ignite a new round of violence.

The poll by the well-regarded Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research was published as thousands of Palestinians rallied in the West Bank and Gaza to reject the Trump plan and express support for President Mahmoud Abbas in his efforts to gain backing at the U.N. Security Council for a resolution opposing it.

Trump’s Mideast plan, announced at the White House on Jan. 28, sides with Israel on virtually all of the most contentious issues of the decades-old conflict. It would allow Israel to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jewish settlements that are home to hundreds of thousands of people and are considered illegal by most of the international community.

The plan would give the Palestinians limited self-rule in several enclaves connected by roads, bridges and tunnels, but only if they meet a long list of stringent conditions.

The Palestinian leadership, which cut off ties with the U.S. after Trump recognized disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, have adamantly rejected the plan.

The opinion survey found that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza also oppose it.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a level of consensus among the Palestinian public,” said Khalil Shikaki, the head of the polling center.

Shikaki said support for the idea of a two-state solution with Israel has dropped to the lowest level since the center began carrying out surveys nearly three decades ago, with 39% in favor and 59% opposed. Support for a one-state solution — long rejected by both Israeli and Palestinian leaders — jumped from 28% in December to 37% today.

The poll found that 64% of Palestinians favor a return to armed struggle in response to the plan. Shikaki said the last time support was this high was during the worst days of the Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising, that convulsed the region from 2000 to 2005.

“In all the questions in which violence is mentioned we see an increase, a significant increase,” he said.

Abbas has long been opposed to violence, but has threatened to cut off security coordination with Israel in response to the Trump plan, an approach that would enjoy wide support among Palestinians but one they doubt he will follow through on.

“The public is happy with the policy but it is not happy with the actual behavior of the president,” Shikaki said. “The public does not expect the president to go through and implement his own policy.”

The survey had a margin of error of 3%.

Abbas’ popularity has plummeted in recent years as he has failed to bring about an independent state or mend the internal rift with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which seized Gaza from his forces in 2007. His Palestinian Authority also faces widespread allegations of corruption.

But on Tuesday thousands of Palestinians packed into Manara Square in the West Bank city of Ramallah to vent their anger at the Trump plan and express support for Abbas. A similar rally in support of Abbas was held in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

“Trump is part of the problem not the solution,” an English-language banner read. “Trump’s plan = apartheid,” read another.

“All Palestinian people and all the factions, national and Islamic, are standing behind President Mahmoud Abbas,” Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told the crowd in Ramallah. “All the streets are full,” he said. “This is the Palestinian response.”

As the rally dispersed, dozens of Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces near a settlement just outside Ramallah. The protesters burned tires and hurled stones at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said two people were lightly wounded by small-caliber gunfire in the clashes and several others were struck by rubber bullets.

Abbas has tried to rally international support against the Trump plan, with limited success.

The U.N. Security Council had been expected to vote on a resolution opposing the plan Tuesday, but diplomats said the vote was delayed after several members, including European countries, objected to the language of the draft. Palestinian officials denied the resolution had been pulled, saying discussions were still underway.

In an address to the Security Council, Abbas reiterated his rejection of the plan, dismissing its map of a future Palestinian state as “Swiss cheese.”

The Palestinians want to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel seized in the 1967 war.

The European Union issued a statement last week reiterating its support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the U.S. initiative “departs from these internationally agreed parameters.”

The Arab League unanimously sided with the Palestinians against the plan, but key U.S. allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia said they appreciated Trump’s efforts and called for renewed negotiations.

The original draft resolution, co-sponsored by Tunisia and Indonesia and backed by the Palestinians, said the U.S. plan violates international law and Security Council demands for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.

Any resolution is virtually guaranteed to be vetoed by the United States, but the Palestinians had hoped that a strong show of support from other members of the council would help shore up international backing for their demands.

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    • Okay, now you’re just being baldly unethical about it. That you’re using the same username as me (with the claim that they’re your initials too) is one thing. But I set a picture (a Gravatar) to distinguish my posts from yours; what’s your excuse now for using the same picture? I know exactly what you’re trying to do – drive me off and discredit me, so that you and your side can continue to spread your lies and poison unchecked. Well, newsflash: it’s not going to work.

      • All right, tzaddikl. Here’s the deal. I don’t have sides. I don’t affiliate with any political party. I just try to keep this place somewhat normal. I am the same person who spammed hashomer into oblivion (so much for taking sides.) you and hashomer are two sides of the same coin. Both rant and ramble. I’ll lay off now, but consider yourself warned. If you keep up with your obnoxious posts I’ll start up the troll machine again. Call people names without being provoked first I’ll rev the spam engine. Deflect or redirect criticism to the Democratic Party without first addressing the charge will warrant a full blown discredit campaign. For example: person A says “what a liar are the republicans when they say they care for middle income etc..” merely responding “but the Democrats bla bla and you didn’t call them out bla bla” is a big no no and will trigger the troll monster. You will first need to either agree that the republicans are liars or cite a line of defense. Only once you’ve done that and you’ve defended your position can you point out the hypocrisy coming from person A. Hyperbole will not be tolerated. The spam gremlin hates it. Good luck. We will be watching.

        • You’re not the one who gets to decide what can and can’t be written here, or to “try to keep this place somewhat normal.” No one appointed you to do so. And if you want to, then do it in an honest way, by putting a username of your own to it and making your own arguments, not by impersonating others, which is slimy and unethical. (Not to mention that you first denied it altogether, claiming that “they’re my initials” etc.; if your purpose was as you claim, you would have said so in the first place.)

          So take your smarmy self-righteousness and shove it. Maybe the site admins will do something about you (it’s certainly a violation of their terms of service, and of Gravatar’s), maybe not. But one way or the other, whether in this world or in the next, you will have to answer for it.

          • Take it easy buddy! I understand you’re angry, so it’s difficult for you to process this. I appointed myself just because I can. And no, there is nothing to answer for. It is you who has to answer for your name calling, misquoting others and general inability to follow basic rules of debate. I’ll give you a couple of days to see if you can acclimate yourself to the rules of the game (yes, my rules), and if I see positive change I’ll let the past go. But be careful… the troll monsters and the spam gremlins aren’t easy to contain.. just ask hashomer aka GoldnMedina..

            Oh and btw.. citing non existent terms of service is a no go zone the size of a jumbo jet. Just sayin.

          • Again, you don’t get to set the rules, and I don’t have to “acclimate myself” to yours or put up with your blackmail. (I also haven’t misquoted others, so that’s another disgusting lie of yours.)

            If you’re going to be a miserable sniveling little worm, then I’ll just have to keep calling you out on that every time, until you give up and slink back into the hole you crawled out of.

          • Once again, I understand you’re angry and you aren’t thinking rationally. I do get to set the rules just because I can. You don’t have to follow them, for the same reason, just because you can. But I will continue with my dance. You can ask hashomer how well it worked “waiting to slink back into my hole”

            Like I said, I’ll wait a couple of days and see how things go. Until then, take it easy buddy.

            Btw.. you did misquote. You stated non-existent terms of service. And this is just in this thread. Also, your last comment is a typical example of meaningless hyperbole that makes the spam gremlin grumble.

          • I am most certainly thinking rationally, and I’m not going to be cowed by the likes of you. Maybe hashomer was, but I won’t. Disgusting vermin like you need to be hunted down and strung up in public as a warning to others.

          • Aha! Your true colors are coming out. It’s the same thing with all of your kind, regardless of political persuasion. You can’t contain your propensity for violence when things don’t go your way. hashomer did the same. No reasonable person would think this way. Seriously?! Hunted down and strung up? You must be on the FBI potential domestic terrorist list.

          • Spammers like you are like the pirates of old, hostis humani generis (enemies of mankind). Yes, vermin like you and your fellow spammers deserve to be strung up, and I suspect that anyone who’s ever had to deal with spam (be it by e-mail, phone, etc.) would heartily agree.

            So it has nothing to do with political persuasion. It’s a free country (despite certain people’s fantasies to the contrary), one in which sickos are free to call Trump the next Hitler or whatever, and normal people like me are free to call them out for their utter stupidity and to (metaphorically) try to knock some sense into them. But scumminess like yours is way over the line, and that you think it’s perfectly legitimate, and indeed are proud of it, marks you as altogether beyond the pale of humanity.

    • I think anyone who reads this thread will see easily enough who’s the extremist, the liar and faker who thinks he’s going to save the world by spamming under a fake name, and who’s not. If there are any cats or dogs or insects in your neighborhood, I pity them, because a cold-blooded psychopath like you probably tortures them for your sick enjoyment.

      So there’s really no sense in continuing to talk with you. Just do keep in mind that if you do follow through with your blackmail, I do after all have ways of exposing you.


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