The Question of the Week, posted just last night at the U.S. Department of State Official Blog, "DIPNOTE," is
What Means Are Available
To Resume a Path
Toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace?
This high-minded question posed to the general public is accompanied by a photo of something or other getting blown up in Gaza City, and the following statement:
Although conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, polls conducted prior to the recent violence indicated that majorities of both Palestinians and Israelis favored a peaceful, negotiated solution to their differences.
It's hard to believe, I know, but the State Department bloggers are telling a fib. Even Ethan Bronner at the New York Times admitted in writing earlier this year:
RAMALLAH, West Bank — A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians support the attack this month on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem that killed eight young men, most of them teenagers, an indication of the alarming level of Israeli-Palestinian tension in recent weeks.
The survey also shows unprecedented support for the shooting of rockets on Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip and for the end of the peace negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.
The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said he was shocked because the survey, taken last week, showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years in the Palestinian areas. Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel.
“There is real reason to be concerned,” Mr. Shikaki said in an interview at his West Bank office. His Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which conducts a survey every three months, is widely viewed as among the few independent and reliable gauges of Palestinian public opinion.
.... Mr. Shikaki’s poll also showed that the militant Islamist group Hamas, which Israel and the United States have been trying to isolate, is gaining popularity in the West Bank while its American-backed rival, the more secular Fatah, is losing ground....
According to the poll, of 1,270 Palestinians in face-to-face interviews [in the West Bank and Gaza Strip]
84 percent supported the March 6 attack on the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, one of Israel’s most prominent centers of religious Zionism...
[It was 91 % in Gaza and 79 % in the West Bank --Yael]
On negotiations ... 75 percent said they were without benefit and should be terminated.
Regarding the thousands of rockets that have been launched on Israeli towns like Sderot and Ashkelon,
64 percent support it....
Note: The photo illustrations above were not in the original NYT article, but were added just now by Yours Truly.