Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Defeat and victory is in the eyes of the beholder - or why Palestinians think Hamas won

Contrary to what is typically understood - victory or defeat is not dependent on objective reality but the subjective reality. What is required for the Palestinians to acknowledge they were defeated - is it the number of dead, number of buildings destroyed or perhaps it is the failure to inflict significant harm to Israel. Answer it is none of the above. They know they won because Israel stopped fighting.

An overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe Hamas defeated Israel in the recent Gaza operation, and support the continuation of rocket attacks if Israel does not remove the blockade on Gaza, a new Palestinian poll revealed.

According to the data collected on August 26-30 by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) headed by pollster Khalil Shikaki, 79 percent of Palestinians questioned in Gaza and the West Bank said that Hamas had won the war against Israel, while only 3% said Israel had won. A similar majority believed that Israel was responsible for the breakout of the war. 

In stark contrast to predictions voiced during Operation Protective Edge by senior Israeli military officers saying the extent of damage in Gaza would likely turn the civilian population against Hamas, 94% of respondents said they were satisfied with Hamas’s performance in confronting the IDF and 78% were pleased with the movement’s defense of civilians in Gaza. Eighty-six percent of the 1,270 adults questioned in the survey said they supported the continuation of rocket attacks at Israel as long as the blockade on Gaza is maintained. [...]

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