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Ed Webb

Gauging Arab public opinion - Opinion - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Organised by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), face-to-face interviews by Arab surveyors with 16,731 individuals in the first half of 2011 revealed majority support for the goals of the Arab revolutions and notably, for a democratic system of government.
  • by a 15-1 ratio, Israel and the US are seen as more threatening than Iran
  • there's clearly a trans-national, trans-border public consensus when it comes to questions of identity and national priorities
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  • Three quarters of those polled believe that Arab states should take measures to bring their nations closer. An equal percentage believes that states should lift restrictions on free travel and 67 per cent are not satisfied with Arab-Arab co-operation
  • 73 per cent of those polled see Israel and the US as the two most threatening countries. Five per cent see Iran as the most threatening, a percentage that varies between countries and regions
  • 84 per cent believe the Palestinian question is the cause of all Arabs
  • 84 per cent reject the notion of their state's recognition of Israel and only 21 per cent support, to a certain degree, the peace agreement signed between Egypt, Jordan and the PLO with Israel
  • Less than a third agree with their government's foreign policy
  • 55 per cent support a region free of nuclear weapons
  • While people are generally supportive of democracy, a minority doesn't truly understand or accept its main tenets. A relatively high 36 per cent wouldn't support those they disagree with in their political platform to take power, a percentage that doesn't bode well for democracy. This shows that while there is an intention to move towards pluralism among most people, there is resistance to pluralism and diversity among a certain minority.
  • an annual sequel to this poll, as promised by ACRPS, is indispensable for better understanding of Arab thinking beyond mood swings and abrupt changes
  • To what degree Arab respondents express their minds freely and without any fear remains to be seen. However, for the first time in decades, people seem more willing and able to share their political sentiments, thanks to the revolutions.
  • 577 comments
Ed Webb

Syria Comment » Archives » "Bush White House Wanted to Destroy the Syrian Sta... - 0 views

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Mohammed Hossain

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Palestinian poll delay recommended - 0 views

  • recommended the postponement of presidential and parliamentary polls
  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
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  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
  • Election
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  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
  • postponement was somewhat inevitable after the Palestinian group Hamas said it would not not allow elections to be held in the Gaza Strip.
  • Abbas had ordered for the polls to be held on January 24
  • reconciliation pact between his Fatah faction and the Hamas failed to materialise.
  • is evidence that Hamas does not value the unity of the homeland nor national reconciliation.
  • will take the necessary decision
  • we lack the right conditions
  • Abbas has already said that he will not run for the presidency again, citing a lack of progress in peace talks with Israel.
  • Abbas is in a very tough position
Ed Webb

Arab Public Opinion about the Israeli War on Gaza - 0 views

  • a sample of 8000 respondents (men and women) from 16 Arab countries
  • 97% of respondents expressing psychological stress (to varying degrees) as a result of the war on Gaza. 84% expressed a sense of great psychological stress.
  • 54% of respondents relied on television, compared to 43% who relied on the internet
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  • While 67% of respondents reported that the military operation carried out by Hamas was a legitimate resistance operation, 19% reported that it was a somewhat flawed but legitimate resistance operation, and 3% said that it was a legitimate resistance operation that involved heinous or criminal acts, while 5% said it was an illegitimate operation
  • 69% of respondents expressed their solidarity with Palestinians and support for Hamas, 23% expressed solidarity with Palestinians despite opposing Hamas, and 1% expressed a lack of solidarity with the Palestinians
  • 92% believe that the Palestinian question concerns all Arabs and not just the Palestinians
  • 94% considered the US position negatively, with 82% considering it very bad. In the same context, 79%, 78%, and 75% of respondents viewed positions of France, the UK, and Germany negatively. Opinion was split over the positions of Iran, Turkey, Russia, and China. While (48%, 47%, 41%, 40%, respectively) considered them positively (37%, 40%, 42%, 38%, respectively)
  • About 77% of respondents named the United States and Israel as the biggest threat to the security and stability of the region
  • 82% of respondents reported that US media coverage of the war was biased towards Israel
  • a near consensus (81%) in their belief that the US government is not serious about working to establish a Palestinian state in the 1967 occupied territories (The West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza)
  • this percentage is the highest recorded since polling began in 2011, rising from 76% at the end of 2022, to 92% this year
  • In Morocco, it rose from 59% in 2022 to 95%, in Egypt from 75% to 94%, in Sudan from 68% to 91%, and in Saudi Arabia from 69% to 95%, a statistically significant increase that represents a fundamental shift in the opinions of the citizens of these countries
  • Arab public opinion is almost unanimous in rejecting recognition of Israel, at a rate of 89%, up from 84% in 2022, compared to only 4% who support its recognition. Of particular note is the increase in the percentage of those who rejected recognition of Israel in Saudi Arabia from 38% in the 2022 poll to 68% in this survey
Mohammed Hossain

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Karzai 'wins Afghan poll majority' - 0 views

  • Hamid Karzai has won 54.1 per cent of the vote in the race for the Afghan presidency - above the 50 per cent needed to avoid a run-off poll, partial results indicate.
  • James Bays, reporting from Kabul, said: "If these results were to stand, that would mean this is all over - no second round and President Karzai is once again the president of Afghanistan.
  • Bays said: "We've had the election complaints commission come out, saying they have clear and convincing evidence of fraud in these elections.
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  • "They point to three provinces where they have particular concerns and they have launched a wide ranging order - anywhere nationwide ... where there was a 100 per cent turnout, they want a recount and an audit of everything that was in the ballot box.
  • the IEC has excluded around 200,000 votes from 447 polling stations
Kate Musgrave

Most Americans object to planned Islamic center near Ground Zero, poll finds - 0 views

  • Two-thirds of those polled object to the prospective Cordoba House complex near the site of the former twin towers, including a slim majority who express strongly negative views. Eighty-two percent of those who oppose the construction say it's because of the location, although 14 percent (9 percent of all Americans) say they would oppose such building anywhere in the country.
  • The new results come alongside increasingly critical public views of Islam: 49 percent of all Americans say they have generally unfavorable opinions of Islam, compared with 37 percent who say they have favorable ones. That's the most negative split on the question in Post-ABC polls dating to October 2001.
    • Kate Musgrave
       
      ouch.
  • Overall, 83 percent of Republicans oppose the Muslim center, as do 65 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats.
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    well then...
Ed Webb

Arab Reform Bulletin - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - 1 views

  • Hamas’ supporters also have more pragmatic attitudes toward peace than many imagine. Polls conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the years before and after the 2007 rift show that Hamas followers were not relentlessly pro-violence, contrary to the popular misconception.  A majority of Hamas supporters described themselves as being broadly in favor of the peace process (55 percent on average in the polls conducted from March 2006 to December 2008, compared to 86 percent of Fatah supporters). Moreover, in a March 2006 survey conducted in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip 70 percent of Hamas supporters and 84 percent of Fatah supporters also backed full reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples if a Palestinian state were established and recognized by Israel. Paradoxically, according to an October 2010 poll, a larger percentage of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip describe themselves as supportive of the peace process (69 percent), compared to only 58 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank. 
Ed Webb

Turkish Populism Goes to the Polls | Foreign Affairs - 0 views

  • Amid the political turmoil sweeping the Middle East, there are signs that the populist and anti-Western strand in Turkey's foreign policy may have run its course
  • Building on the work of its predecessors, the AKP government replaced a foreign policy based on security with one focused on engagement, soft power, and trade, in the process diffusing tensions with neighboring countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria (known as the "zero problems" policy).
  • Never before in Turkey's modern history has foreign policy been so directly wedded to domestic politics: The architects of Turkey's foreign policy used to answer to the generals; these days, policymakers answer to the public. And never before has a Turkish government staked so much of its reputation on its international accomplishments, real or hypothetical.
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  • Yet the populism inherent in the AKP's foreign policy has a hidden danger: Fuelling anti-Western and anti-Israeli sentiment may win Erdogan a few nationalist or Islamist votes, but it is also costing him some valuable friends, from European politicians to the U.S. congressional representatives.
  • especially in the wake of Turkey's response to the Mavi Marmara incident, a number of U.S. congressmen withdrew their support for Ankara on important policy issues. For example, Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) argued that Turkey's membership in NATO should be "called into question," while Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), threatened to speak "actively" against Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
  • With support for joining the European Union among Turks plummeting from 71 percent in 2004 to 47 percent last year, according to a Eurobarometer poll, there are few votes to be won by campaigning in favor of EU accession.
  • Under the AKP, the Turkish government has inserted identity politics, particularly religion, into foreign policy. (It is revealing that Erdogan refers to Europeans as "partners" or "friends" but to Arabs and Iranians as "brothers.") Two years ago, Erdogan proclaimed Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur, innocent of genocide -- Muslims, he argued, "are incapable of such a thing." At the same time, Ankara, quick to condemn any use of force by Israelis, has been much more indulgent toward its Arab allies, Syria and Libya included. Turkey has struggled to formulate a coherent response to the uprisings shaking the Arab world. Erdogan was one of the first world leaders to call on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, yet one of the last to ask the same of Libya's Qaddafi. In Syria, meanwhile, the Turkish government remains unable to let go of Bashar al-Assad: It has condemned the violence but not the perpetrator. This paralysis reveals an unintended consequence of both deepening ties with autocratic regimes in the Arab world and establishing credibility in the eyes of Arab populations. As Davutoğlu himself told journalists in May, "We have felt the pressure of being entrapped between the two successes."
  • With the Middle East in flames and the limits of its leverage in the region laid bare, Turkey may have no choice but to reengage with the European Union and the United States. The policy of "zero problems" has not really worked out too well with Qaddafi and Assad. It might be time to try it out with the West.
Ed Webb

Why more Israelis are shying away from interaction with Palestinians - Al-Monitor: the ... - 1 views

  • The Peace Index for March 2016, published by the Israel Democracy Institute, shows that a sizable majority of the Jewish public rejects the distinction between global terrorism, nurtured by radical Islam, and Palestinian terrorism, nurtured by the desire to shake off the Israeli occupation. Of those polled, 64% said they agree with the idea espoused by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that global terrorism and Palestinian terrorism are one and the same.
  • Israelis are in no rush to change the status quo
  • Some 78% think Israel should not take into consideration international demands to refrain from “targeted killings” (as the Israel Defense Forces calls the killing of wanted Palestinians), demolitions of family homes of Palestinians involved in attacks on Israelis and other questionable means used by the Israeli defense establishment in the fight against terrorism.
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  • the younger a person's age, the greater his or her resistance to a diplomatic process to end the conflict with the Palestinians. Those younger than 34 tend, more than older adults, to rule out compromise on core issues
  • “The problem is that they are busy chasing an electorate that is running to the right.”
  • The belief in Israeli society that there is no Palestinian partner for peace has taken hold and refuses to let go.
  • On the Israeli side, there is no entity like the one established by the Palestine Liberation Organization to maintain interaction with Israeli society. Abbas appointed his close associate Mohammed al-Madani to head this committee. In a conversation with Al-Monitor in fluent Hebrew, the deputy head of the committee, Elias Zananiri, said that he has no beef with the Israeli public running away from contact with the Palestinians. “Of course I’m frustrated with our lack of success in breaching the walls of Israeli fear and loathing, but I’m not completely surprised,” said Zananiri. “What do you expect of Jewish citizens whose leader questions the basic democratic rights of Israel’s Arab citizens?”
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    Ugh - don't read the comments
Ed Webb

20 Years After Iraq War Began, a Look Back at U.S. Public Opinion | Pew Research Center - 0 views

  • The bleak retrospective judgments on the war obscure the breadth of public support for U.S. military action at the start of the conflict and, perhaps more importantly, in the months leading up to it. Throughout 2002 and early 2003, President George W. Bush and his administration marshaled wide backing for the use of military force in Iraq among both the public and Congress. The administration’s success in these efforts was the result of several factors, not least of which was the climate of public opinion at the time. Still reeling from the horrors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Americans were extraordinarily accepting of the possible use of military force as part of what Bush called the “global war on terror.”
  • Two of the administration’s arguments proved especially powerful, given the public’s mood: first, that Hussein’s regime possessed “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD), a shorthand for nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; and second, that it supported terrorism and had close ties to terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, which had attacked the U.S. on 9/11.
  • Two decades after the war began, a review of Pew Research Center surveys on the war in Iraq shows that support for U.S. military action was built, at least in part, on a foundation of falsehoods.
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  • The same month that Congress approved the use of force resolution against Iraq, 66% of the public said that “Saddam Hussein helped the terrorists in the September 11th attacks”; just 21% said he was not involved in 9/11. In February 2003, a month before the war began, that belief was only somewhat less widespread; 57% thought Hussein had supported the 9/11 terrorists.
  • by connecting Hussein to terrorism and the group that attacked the United States, administration officials blurred the lines between Iraq and 9/11. “The notion was reinforced by these hints, the discussions that they had about possible links” with al-Qaida terrorists, the late Andrew Kohut, founding director of Pew Research Center, told The Washington Post after the war was underway in 2003.
  • Powell’s address had a significant impact on U.S. public opinion, even among those who were opposed to war. Roughly six-in-ten adults (61%) said Powell had explained clearly why the United States might use military force to end Hussein’s rule; that was greater than the share saying Bush had clearly explained the stakes in Iraq (52%). Powell was particularly persuasive among those who were opposed to using force in Iraq: 39% said he had clearly explained why the U.S. may need to take military action, about twice the share saying the same about Bush.
  • millions of protestors took to the streets in numerous cities across the world and in the U.S. on Feb. 15. While the largest demonstrations were in London and Rome, several hundred thousand antiwar protesters crowded the streets of New York City
  • The share of Americans saying the U.S. military effort in Iraq was going well, which surpassed 90% in the war’s early weeks, fell to about 60% in late summer 2003.
  • Bush’s reelection as president in November underscored the extent to which the war in Iraq had divided the nation. Among the narrow majority of voters (51%) who then approved of the decision to go to war, 85% voted for Bush; among the smaller share (45%) who disapproved, 87% voted for his Democratic opponent, John Kerry, according to national exit polls.
  • In national exit polls conducted after Obama’s victory over McCain, 63% of voters cited the economy as the most important issue facing the country; just 10% mentioned the war in Iraq.
  • By 2018, the 15th anniversary of the start of the war, just 39% of Americans said the U.S. had succeeded in Iraq, while 53% said it had failed to achieve its goals.
Ed Webb

Iraq and Syria opinion poll - the world's most dangerous survey? - BBC News - 1 views

  • how do you set about conducting field research in an IS-controlled area?"In the IS-controlled areas of Raqqa for each survey we visit the head of the town and ask him for permission to randomly interview people," Mr Heald says. "His response is 'so long as you are not an international media station and pull out video cameras, I don't mind you doing this'." "Why is this his reaction? Because, as the data verifies, many of those living in Raqqa now are happier since IS took over. "They welcome the security, they see IS trying to help the people with electricity, with food, with petrol. In many respects it is a story they are keen to tell."
  • "the majority in both countries are opposed to IS but that they also think that IS is a product of foreign countries… which to you and I may seem like some crazy conspiracy theory but to them it is a common perception."Widespread opposition to the coalition bombing, should also make policymakers reconsider their strategy. I think the official British government line is that coalition air strikes are 'degrading' IS. "But while we can accept that it may be slowing them down," he says, "there is little evidence to suggest they are losing the war. People aren't leaving Raqqa now because of IS - they are leaving because of the coalition air strikes."
  • IS have an incredibly well-oiled strategic communication operation. Politicians and military leaders need to track public opinion to see where hearts and minds are and how they are shifting
Morgan Mintz

Votes tossed from 447 polls in Afghanistan - CNN.com - 0 views

shared by Morgan Mintz on 07 Sep 09 - Cached
  • Abdullah is the main challenger to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is seeking a second term in office. Abdullah is Karzai's former foreign minister.
  • As of Sunday, 74.2 percent of the votes had been tallied, the IEC said. Karzai had 48.6 percent of the vote, with Abdullah at 31.7 percent. More than 153,000 votes had been declared invalid, but it was not known whether that number included votes from the 447 polling stations.
Ed Webb

Ahmadinejad and the 9/11 attacks - Americas - Al Jazeera English - 1 views

  • About 46 per cent of the world's people believe that al-Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks, while 15 per cent think the US government was behind the assault, and seven per cent blame Israel, according to a2008 world public opinion study carried out by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which interviewed 16,063 people worldwide. But Ahmadinejad views himself as a leader in the Arab and Muslim worlds. And, in these regions, surveys show significant sectors of the population believe that the US and Israel launched the 9/11 attacks to meet their own geopolitical goals. In Jordan, 31 per cent of those polled by PIPA believe Israel was behind the attacks, while only 11 per cent blame it on al-Qaeda. Likewise, 43 per cent of Egyptians blame Israel, and 12 per centthink the US was responsible, while only 16 per cent think al-Qaeda brought down the towers. A 2006 poll from Scrippsnews says 36 per cent of Americans consider it "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that US government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried or launched the attacksthemselves.
  • Ahmadinejad is speaking to a significant global constituency. There is little evidence to suggest that they include "the majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world", as the Iranian leader said in his UN speech. But the 9/11 "conspiracy theories" are not a fringe phenomenon either.
Ed Webb

Afghanistan News October 3, 2009 - 0 views

  • What I Saw at the Afghan Election By Peter W. Galbraith The Washington Post Sunday, October 4, 2009
  • For weeks, Eide had been denying or playing down the fraud in Afghanistan's recent presidential election, telling me he was concerned that even discussing the fraud might inflame tensions in the country. But in my view, the fraud was a fact that the United Nations had to acknowledge or risk losing its credibility with the many Afghans who did not support President Hamid Karzai.
  • As many as 30 percent of Karzai's votes were fraudulent, and lesser fraud was committed on behalf of other candidates.
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  • at least 1,500 polling centers (out of 7,000) were to be located in places so insecure that no one from the IEC, the Afghan National Army or the Afghan National Police had ever visited them
  • On Election Day, these sites produced hundreds of thousands of phony Karzai votes.
  • The U.N. mission set up a 24-hour election center during the voting and in the early stages of the counting. My staff collected evidence on hundreds of cases of fraud around the country and, more important, gathered information on turnout in key southern provinces where few voters showed up but large numbers of votes were being reported. Eide ordered us not to share this data with anyone, including the Electoral Complaints Commission, a U.N.-backed Afghan institution legally mandated to investigate fraud. Naturally, my colleagues wondered why they had taken the risks to collect this evidence if it was not to be used.
  • Since my disagreements with Eide went public, Eide and his supporters have argued that the United Nations had no mandate to interfere in the Afghan electoral process. This is not technically correct. The U.N. Security Council directed the U.N. mission to support Afghanistan's electoral institutions in holding a "free, fair and transparent" vote, not a fraudulent one. And with so much at stake -- and with more than 100,000 U.S. and coalition troops deployed in the country -- the international community had an obvious interest in ensuring that Afghanistan's election did not make the situation worse.
  • By itself, a runoff is no antidote for Afghanistan's electoral challenges. The widespread problems that allowed for fraud in the first round of voting must be addressed. In particular, all ghost polling stations should be removed from the books ("closed" is not the right word since they never opened), and the election staff that facilitated the fraud must be replaced. Afghanistan's pro-Karzai election commission will not do this on its own. Fixing those problems will require resolve from the head of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan -- a quality that so far has been lacking.
Ed Webb

U.S. impeded in democracy efforts for Egypt - USATODAY.com - 0 views

  • More than $180 million in U.S. foreign aid to promote democracy in Egypt over the past four years has produced few measurable results, in part because the Egyptian government has stymied the effort, a newly released government audit says. The "impact of (American-funded) democracy and governance programs was unnoticeable"
  • after USAID spent $618,000 to train 2,100 poll watchers in 2007 local elections, most were denied access to the polling places.
Ed Webb

Poll: Majority of Jewish-Israelis think Palestinian terrorists should be 'killed on the... - 1 views

  • In addition to finding that 53 percent of Jewish-Israelis support extrajudicial killing of Palestinian terrorists, the survey revealed that Arab-Israelis are more fearful than Jewish-Israelis as a result of the increasing violence
  • 57 percent of Jewish-Israelis fear they or someone close to them will be harmed, compared to 78 percent of Arab-Israelis
  • more Arab-Israelis (53 percent compared to 36 percent of Jewish-Israelis) say they have changed their daily habits in response to the security situation
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  • Eighty percent of Jewish-Israelis said Palestinian homes should be razed if the homeowner or a family member carries out an attack “for nationalist reasons,” while 53 percent see this as an appropriate punishment for a Jewish person who carries out a nationalist-motivated terror attack. (Seventy-seven percent of Arab-Israelis oppose razing Palestinian homes, and 67 percent oppose razing Jewish ones.)
Ed Webb

Domestic politics, Idlib sway timing of Turkey's Syrian operation - 0 views

  • Urgent necessities of a domestic nature have determined the timing of Operation Peace Spring that Turkey launched Oct. 9 along the Syrian border east of the Euphrates against the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has been building a self-rule in the region thanks to US protection and military support.
  • the operation came in the wake of the local elections earlier this year in which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered major losses. The economic crisis bruising Turkey proved a major factor in the party’s debacles in big cities in the March 31 polls and the June 23 rerun of the mayoral vote in Istanbul, giving impetus to rupture trends within the AKP.
  • Ankara is greatly concerned over the prospect of a new refugee influx from Idlib that would further entangle Turkey’s Syrian refugee problem. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned in September that Turkey cannot tolerate another refugee wave atop the 3.6 million Syrians it is already hosting
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  • the Syrian refugee problem has proved increasingly costly for the AKP in terms of domestic politics
  • Across Turkey and in big cities in particular, most of the Syrian refugees live in close proximity to AKP voters, either in the same neighborhoods or adjoining ones. Under the impact of the economic crisis, tensions between locals and refugees have grown, contributing to a gradual disenchantment with the government among AKP voters
  • While announcing the launch of Operation Peace Spring, Erdogan said the campaign would “lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.” The political motive underlying this pledge rests on the fact that the Syrian refugee problem is becoming unbearable for the government.
  • Syrians who could be forced to flee Idlib in the near future could perhaps be placed in tent cities in this “security belt” without being let into Turkey at all and instead transferred via Afrin and al-Bab, which are already under Turkish control.
  • Ali Babacan, the AKP’s former economy czar who has already quit the party, is expected to create a new party and join the opposition ranks by the end of the year. Ahmet Davutoglu — the former premier and foreign minister who, together with Erdogan, designed and implemented the failed policies that spawned the grave “Syria crisis” that Turkey is experiencing today, both domestically and in its foreign policy — is gearing up to get ahead of Babacan and announce his own party in November. These political dynamics have already triggered a spate of resignations from the AKP, and the formal establishment of the new parties could further accelerate the unraveling
  • The intensive employment of a nationalist narrative, in which the operation is depicted as a struggle of “national survival” against terrorism and quitting the AKP is equated to treason, would not be a surprise. 
  • already omens that this state-of-emergency climate, nurtured through the operation, will be used to further suppress the opposition, free speech and media freedoms. 
  • the web editor of the left-leaning BirGun daily, Hakan Demir, and the editor of the Diken news portal, Fatih Gokhan Diler, were detained on the grounds that their coverage of the operation amounted to “inciting hatred and enmity” among the people. The two journalists were released on probation later in the day.
  • prosecutors launched an investigation into the co-chairs of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli, on charges that their critical comments about the operation constituted “spreading terrorist propaganda” and “openly insulting” the government. 
  • Erdogan already lacks any political ground to try to win over the Kurds, but Kurdish voters are likely to develop resentment against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) as well over its support for the military campaign. This, of course, could be one of the side objectives the government seeks from the operation, given that the backing of HDP voters was instrumental in CHP victories in big cities such as Ankara, Istanbul and Adana in the local polls after the HDP opted to sit out those races.
  • Trump's threats to “obliterate” the Turkish economy if Ankara goes “off-limits” in the operation offers Erdogan the chance to blame the economy’s domestic woes on external reasons and portray the ongoing fragility of the Turkish lira as an American conspiracy.
Ed Webb

Why a One-State Solution is the Only Solution - 0 views

  • As he tried to rescue what had become known as “the peace process,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress that the two-state solution had one to two years left before it would no longer be viable. That was six years ago. Resolution 2334, which the UN Security Council passed with U.S. consent in late 2016, called for “salvaging the two-state solution” by demanding a number of steps, including an immediate end to Israeli settlement building in the occupied territories. That was three years ago. And since then, Israel has continued to build and expand settlements.
  • What Trump had in mind has become clear in the years that have followed, as he and his team have approved a right-wing Israeli wish list aimed at a one-state outcome—but one that will enshrine Israeli dominance over Palestinian subjects, not one that will grant the parties equal rights. 
  • Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has abandoned any pretense of seeking a two-state solution, and public support for the concept among Israelis has steadily dwindled. Palestinian leaders continue to seek a separate state. But after years of failure and frustration, most Palestinians no longer see that path as viable.
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  • Netanyahu and Trump are seeking not to change the status quo but merely to ratify it
  • the only moral path forward is to recognize the full humanity of both peoples
  • Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea live approximately 13 million people, all under the control of the Israeli state. Roughly half of them are Palestinian Arabs, some three million of whom live under a military occupation with no right to vote for the government that rules them and around two million of whom live in Israel as second-class citizens, discriminated against based on their identity, owing to Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Two million more Palestinians live in the besieged Gaza Strip, where the militant group Hamas exercises local rule: an open-air prison walled off from the world by an Israeli blockade.
  • the dilemmas posed by partition long predate 1967 and stem from a fundamentally insoluble problem. For the better part of a century, Western powers—first the United Kingdom and then the United States—have repeatedly tried to square the same circle: accommodating the Zionist demand for a Jewish-majority state in a land populated overwhelmingly by Palestinians. This illogical project was made possible by a willingness to dismiss the humanity and rights of the Palestinian population and by sympathy for the idea of creating a space for Jews somewhere outside Europe—a sentiment that was sometimes rooted in an anti-Semitic wish to reduce the number of Jews in the Christian-dominated West.
  • among Jewish Israelis, annexation is not a controversial idea. A recent poll showed that 48 percent of them support steps along the lines of what Netanyahu proposed; only 28 percent oppose them. Even Netanyahu’s main rival, the centrist Blue and White alliance, supports perpetual Israeli control of the Jordan Valley. Its leaders’ response to Netanyahu’s annexation plan was to complain that it had been their idea first. 
  • one national intelligence estimate drawn up by U.S. agencies judged that if Israel continued the occupation and settlement building for “an extended period, say two to three years, it will find it increasingly difficult to relinquish control.” Pressure to hold on to the territories “would grow, and it would be harder to turn back to the Arabs land which contained such settlements.” That estimate was written more than 50 years ago, mere months after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began. Nevertheless, Israel has forged ahead with its expansion and has enjoyed unflinching U.S. support, even as Israeli officials periodically warned about its irreversibility. 
  • Under Oslo, the Palestinians have had to rely on the United States to treat Israel with a kind of tough love that American leaders, nervous about their domestic support, have never been able to muster.
  • As the failure of the peace process became clearer over time, Palestinians rose up against the occupation—sometimes violently. Israel pointed to those reactions to justify further repression. But the cycle was enabled by Palestinian leaders who resigned themselves to having to prove to Israel’s satisfaction that Palestinians were worthy of self-determination—something to which all peoples are in fact entitled.
  • Today, large numbers of Israelis support keeping much of the occupied territories forever
  • the nakba—the “catastrophe.” The 19 years that followed might be the only time in the past two millennia that the land of Palestine was actually divided. None of the great powers who had ruled over the territory—the Romans, the Byzantines, the Umayyads, the Abbasids, the Fatimids, the crusaders, the Ayyubids, the Mameluks, the Ottomans, the British—had ever divided Gaza from Jerusalem, Nablus from Nazareth, or Jericho from Jaffa. Doing so never made sense, and it still doesn’t. Indeed, when Israel took control of the territories in 1967, it actually represented a return to a historical norm of ruling the land as a single unit. But it did so with two systems, one for Jewish Israelis and the other for the people living on the land that the Israelis had conquered.
  • in the wake of the Holocaust, a UN partition plan presented a similar vision, with borders drawn to create a Jewish-majority state and with the Palestinians again divided into multiple entities. 
  • This formulation contained a fundamental flaw, one that would mar all future partition plans, as well: it conceived of the Jews as a people with national rights but did not grant the same status to the Palestinians. The Palestinian population could therefore be moved around and dismembered, because they were not a people deserving of demographic cohesion.
  • Actual progress in the talks would threaten Jewish control of the land, something that has proved more important to Israel than democracy.
  • Having led the armed struggle against Israel for decades, Yasir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization was known and accepted by ordinary Palestinians. By the late 1980s, however, the group had become a shell of its former self. Already isolated by its exile in Tunisia, the PLO became even weaker in 1990 after its wealthy patrons in the Gulf cut funding when Arafat backed Saddam Hussein’s grab for Kuwait. On the ground in the territories, meanwhile, the first intifada—a grassroots revolt against the occupation—was making news and threatening to displace the PLO as the face of Palestinian resistance. By embracing the Oslo process, Arafat and his fellow PLO leaders found a personal path back to influence and relevance—while trapping the Palestinian community in a bind that has held them back ever since.
  • The time has come for the Palestinian Authority to abandon its advocacy of a two-state solution, an idea that has become little more than a fig leaf for the United States and other great powers to hide behind while they allow Israel to proceed with de facto apartheid.
  • Some will object that such a shift in strategy would undercut the hard-won consensus, rooted in decades of activism and international law, that the Palestinians have a right to their own state. That consensus, however, has produced little for the Palestinians. Countless UN resolutions have failed to stop Israeli settlements or gain Palestinians a state, so they wouldn’t be losing much. And in a one-state solution worthy of the name, Palestinians would win full equality under the law, so they would be gaining a great deal. 
  • A poll conducted last year by the University of Maryland found that Americans were roughly evenly split between supporting a two-state solution and supporting a one-state solution with equal rights for all inhabitants. Yet when asked what they preferred if a two-state solution were not possible (which it isn’t), the status quo or one state with equal rights, they chose the latter by a two-to-one margin. 
  • Israelis would benefit from a shift to such a state, as well. They, too, would gain security, stability, and growth, while also escaping international isolation and reversing the moral rot that the occupation has produced in Israeli society. At the same time, they would maintain connections to historical and religious sites in the West Bank. Most Israelis would far prefer to perpetuate the status quo. But that is just not possible. Israel cannot continue to deny the rights of millions of Palestinians indefinitely and expect to remain a normal member of the international community.
  • not only a new state but also a new constitution. That would both demonstrate their commitment to democracy and highlight Israel’s lack of the same. When the country was founded in 1948, Zionist leaders were trying to expedite the arrival of more Jews, prevent the return of Palestinians, and seize as much land as possible. They had no interest in defining citizenship criteria, rights, or constraints on government power. So instead of writing a constitution, the Jewish state instituted a series of “basic laws” in an ad hoc fashion, and these have acquired some constitutional weight over time.
  • Israelis and Palestinians should work together to craft a constitution that would uphold the rights of all.
  • despite national narratives and voices on either side that claim otherwise, both peoples have historical ties to the land
  • A new constitution could offer citizenship to all the people currently living in the land between the river and the sea and to Palestinian refugees and would create pathways for immigrants from elsewhere to become citizens. All citizens would enjoy full civil and political rights, including the freedom of movement, religion, speech, and association. And all would be equal before the law: the state would be forbidden from discriminating on the basis of ethnicity or religion.
  • they would be subject to a very high bar for amendment—say, a requirement of at least 90 percent approval in the legislative branch. This would ensure that basic rights could not be altered by means of a simple majority and would prohibit any one group from using a demographic advantage to alter the nature of the state.
  • the new state would also need a truth-and-reconciliation process focused on restorative justice
  • How many more decades of failure must we endure before we can safely conclude that partition is a dead end?
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