Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Few Palestinians are following news related to the US presidential elections, according to a new public opinion poll.
Twenty-nine percent of Palestinians – 32% in the West Bank and 24% in the Gaza Strip – said they are following the upcoming elections, whereas a whopping 71% of Palestinians said they are not.
The poll of 1,200 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip was conducted October 14-21 by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD).
AWRAD President Nader Said told The Jerusalem Post
that many Palestinians have lost interest in US politics.
“The average Palestinian no longer cares about what happens in Washington,” Said said.
“Many Palestinians have concluded that Washington does not and will not change, and will make no difference in terms of Israel-Palestine.”
Previous AWRAD polls surveying Palestinians ahead of US presidential elections over the past 20 years have shown similar results.
The poll also found that of the 29% of Palestinians following the elections, an overwhelming majority of 70% said that neither candidate will achieve a just solution to the Palestinian issue; 24% said democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is best-suited to achieve a just solution, whereas a minuscule 2% said that Donald Trump, the republican nominee, is best-suited to achieve a just solution.
Said said most Palestinians following the elections have also lost hope that the next US president will make a difference.
“These Palestinians do not think the next president will end the occupation and resolve the conflict,” Said said. “They are educated and informed, but they do not think the next US president will change reality.”
Said added, however, that more Palestinians trust Clinton over Trump because of the former’s experience.
“They look at Hillary and Trump and they realize that Hillary is more competent than Trump to lead the United States, as well as find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because she of course is much more experienced and her husband was the president who tried to bring about a conclusion to the conflict with Arafat,” Said noted.
The Palestinian leadership recently declared its support for an international peace conference in Paris, which would include multiple international parties, and diminish the importance of the US role in negotiations.