Recent polls in Israel indicate that your average Palestinian would much prefer to live in Israel than in a potential Palestinian state.
For decades, at least since the First Intifada in 1987 (and the rise of Hamas), Palestinians will privately say that living conditions under Israel are far superior to living under Muslim rule. When the Palestinian Authority (really, the old PLO) was installed under the rule of the serial killer, Yasser Arafat, in 1994, the standard of living went south.
For example, the corrupt PA leadership lives in luxury villas in Gaza and the territories. Do you think Saeb Erekat and his family in Jericho live in anything less than luxury? They steal the international aid intended for the Palestinian people, for infrastructure and food and medicine.
The dissatisfaction extends into the wider Middle East. When Palestinians pledge support to terror groups, there are often reasons other than ideology that come to the fore. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:
“In mid-2012, Hezbollah entered Syria, ostensibly to safeguard a regime that was vital in supporting its operations in the region. Once thought of as the ‘axis of resistance’ against Israel, their intervention, coupled with their ally’s brutal siege on Yarmouk, has damaged the movement’s popularity among Palestinians from Syria.
“Abu Ameen, a 40-year-old Palestinian who also escaped from Syria in December 2012, says that though he’s openly pledged support to Hezbollah, he’s merely done so to avoid confrontation under their governance.
“’We are afraid to talk about them here,’ whispered Abu Ameen, while cleaning his eye glasses in a small bedroom in Shatila. ‘Many of us don’t trust Hezbollah anymore.’”
I’ve had many conversations with Palestinians who will tell you the real story, far away from the CNN cameras. That’s another reason that we as Christians who support Israel, should not demonize the Palestinian people. Sure, there are polls that show the majority support terror groups or homicide bombings, or the elimination of Israel.
Yet we should remember that people who live under totalitarian regimes are virtually powerless to stand up to the regime. It’s easy for me to say, from 8,000 miles away, that I’d stand up to Hamas. Those terror groups literally have guns to the heads of family members of Palestinians who then go on TV to denounce Israel and the West.
That isn’t to say there aren’t real problems with Palestinian society. Just that we should give some slack to people who are living under the boot of maniacs.
Life in Israel, however, is an oasis in the Middle East. Healthcare, jobs, etc.
This has been the “hope” of Israeli leaders for decades: perhaps in 100 years, the Palestinian people will move past their hatred of Israel to embrace a better life. Certainly, we can all hope that evil leaders like Mahmoud Abbas will pass from the scene quickly.
Reprinted with author’s permission from Rapture Ready