There are many flowery quotes about peace that are aspirational but difficult to achieve if your counterparty cannot recognize anything decent or moral about you. In the face of ongoing terrorism, an approach of “make peace with those who will make peace, and fight those who want to fight you” is appropriate while inelegant.
There are segments of Palestinians society that neither hate nor want to kill Jews and they should be actively engaged and promoted.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducted a global poll about anti-Semitism and found that the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza were by far the most Jew-hating. Approximately 93% of those polled were found to harbor anti-Semitic prejudice.
The Palestinians polled themselves in June 2021 and asked the same question they ask every three months “Are you in favor of armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside of Israel?” Again, the majority of Palestinians, 52% either strongly support or support the idea; 44% opposed attacks.
These two polls are good examples about why the conflict continues: the majority of Palestinian Arabs despise and want to kill Jews.
But an optimist can look at the 7% of Palestinian Arabs who do not harbor anti-Semitic attitudes and the 44% who oppose attacking Jewish civilians and see a hopeful opening. Perhaps this segment of Palestinian society can rise above the systemic Jew-hatred and be partners for peace.
While the Palestinian glass is far from half full, those wishing to see peace in the holy land should consider ways of promoting the sliver of Palestinians who recognize and support the dignity and basic human rights of Jews.
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