Almost a year ago I wrote that the conflict in Israel won't stop until the will of the Palestinian people is broken. I quoted a poll of Palestinians taken in September, 2002, which showed that the vast majority of them supported terrorist attacks on Israel.
- 52% oppose peace negotiations with Israel. - 73% are pessimistic of a reaching a peaceful settlement to the conflict. - 66% are opposed to the Oslo agreement. - 80% support the continuation of the al-Aqsa Intifada. - 53% believe that the Intifada will achieve its object. - 65% support suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians [the poll question specifically mentions civilians].
I wrote that until these numbers change there will be no hope for peace. Well, apparently the number are changing now (no permalink; April 22, 2004).
Hamas, and Palestinian, media continue to hammer away with the need to destroy Israel, and repeat allegations that Jews are trying to take over the world, the Nazi extermination campaign against Jews during World War II was a myth and that the Christian world is making war on the Islamic community and Moslems must fight back. But these stories are less often accepted by their audience. Palestinian opinion surveys (conducted by Palestinians) have been tracking this decline in support for the intifada. As a result of that, the Palestinian pollsters have been physically attacked by terrorist groups. This has further turned off Palestinians.
While popular support for Palestinian terrorists is declining, the terrorists themselves will not go away. Their inability to launch many suicide bomb attacks has not diminished the dedication of the remaining terrorists. But deprived of their much of their leadership and technical experts, there is greater risk that the terrorism will be more frequently turned against “disloyal” Palestinians. When the terrorists cannot strike out, they tend to look for internal enemies. Given the large number of Israeli informers in the Palestinian territories, and increasing number of Palestinians who do not agree with the terrorism tactics, Hamas and other terrorist groups have lots of potential victims close at hand.
Good news for everyone, except terrorists.