The premier Palestinian pollster, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, presented his most recent poll of Palestinian public opinion at a virtual event hosted by the Arab Center in Washington, DC this week. Many of his findings–such as the fact that Palestinians overwhelmingly see the normalization of relations between Gulf states like the UAE and Bahrain and Israel as a betrayal–are far from surprising. But other parts of the poll are more illuminating, especially in light of other developments in internal Palestinian politics.
Chief among those developments was the recent meeting in Istanbul where Hamas and Fatah leaders agreed to set elections. Of course, we have heard that story before, but there are reasons to believe that this time could be different and even if elections fail to come about, both some internal developments and the grim external circumstances for Palestinians indicate that the inevitable change in Palestinian politics, including reunification of the body politic, may finally be on the horizon.
I explore the possibilities in my latest piece for Responsible Statecraft.