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American Public Opinion Polls:
Attitudes Toward the PLO/Palestinian Authority


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Which of the following statements regarding the agreement between Hamas and Fatah do you agree with more? (The Israel Project, June 2011)

The agreement between Palestinian groups Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah, which controls the West Bank is a GOOD IDEA because now the Palestinians can speak with one voice, move to elections and have one government.
28%
The deal between Hamas and Fatah is a BAD IDEA because Hamas is backed by Iran and the U.S. government considers it a terrorist organization and Hamas would have a bigger role among Palestinians.
55%

Which of the following statements regarding Israel working with the new Palestinian government do you agree with more? (The Israel Project, June 2011)

Israelis should WORK with the new Hamas/Fatah interim government that will comprised of technocrats and managers without party affiliation until there are Palestinian elections.
24%
Israelis should NOT WORK with the new Palestinian government until Hamas is willing to abide by previous agreements signed by Palestinian leaders including recognizing Israel and renouncing violence.
63%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas? (ADL, March 18-25, 2005)

Favorable 27%
Unfavorable 16%

In your opinion, how serious is new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas about wanting to reach a peace agreement with the Israelis -- very serious, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not at all serious. (ADL)

 
2003
2005
Serious
46%
64%
Not serious
43%
17%

Do you think it is enough that Abbas reach a cease fire with organizations like Hamas, or must he dismantle these groups? (ADL, March 18-25, 2005)

Cease fire 31%
Dismantle 43%
Unsure 13%

Do you think Abbas will be able to persuade organizations like Hamas to renounce violence and enter into the peace process with Israel? (ADL, March 18-25, 2005)

Yes 28%
No 40%
Unsure 20%

Next, I'd like to get your overall opinion of some people who were in the news this year. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person — or if you have never heard of him or her: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. (Gallup)

 
1/6-8/94*
12/4-6/98
12/28-29/98
5/7-9/99
7/6-9/00
10/25-28/00
2/5-6/02
5/20-22/02
2003**
Favorable
23%
24%
35%
26%
27%
18%
17%
7%
9%
Unfavorable
52%
47%
45%
44%
45%
64%
73%
80%
66%
Never heard of
8%
9%
5%
6%
8%
6%
3%
3%
 
No Opinion
17%
20%
15%
24%
20%
12%
7%
10%
 

* Asked as PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat
**ADL poll

I'm going to read you the names of several public figures and groups, and I'd like you to rate your feelings toward each one as either very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don't know the name, please just say so. Yasser Arafat?  (Wall Street Journal/NBC News, December 8-10, 2001)

Very Positive 
2%
Somewhat Positive
7%
Neutral
20%
Somewhat Negative 
19%
Very Negative 
41%
Don't know 
11%

From what you've seen or heard in the news, do you think Arafat has the ability to control extremist Palestinian groups, like those responsible for the recent violence, or not? (Newsweek, December 6-7, 2001)

Yes, can control 29%
No, cannot 63%
Don't know 8%

Are you familiar with the Palestinian Authority?  IF YES: Are you very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable toward it? (Penn, Schoen & Berland Inc., and First International Resources Inc., January 25 and February 17, 2001)

 
General 
Public
Elites
American Jews 
  Influential Americans
Unfamiliar 
32%  
17%
13% 
0%
Very favorable  
4%  
4%
4%
 0%
Somewhat favorable   
14%   
13%
9%
0%
Somewhat unfavorable 
28% 
46%  
28%
0%
Very unfavorable 
15%  
14%
44% 
0%
Don't know 
7%  
7% 
3%
0%

Are you familiar with Yasser Arafat?  IF YES: Are you very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable toward him? (Penn, Schoen & Berland Inc., and First International Resources Inc., January 25 and February 17, 2001)

 
General 
Public
Elites
American Jews 
  Influential Americans
Unfamiliar 
12%  
6%
3% 
0%
Very favorable  
4%  
7%
4% 
0%
Somewhat favorable   
24%   
18%
11%
0%
Somewhat unfavorable 
29% 
36%  
27%
0%
Very unfavorable 
25%  
27%
53% 
0%
Don't know 
6%  
6%
2% 
0%

Yasser Arafat was once a terrorist leader - and at heart, he hasn't really changed his ways. He still wants to push the Jews out of Israel. Do you strongly agree with this statement, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with this statement? (Penn, Schoen & Berland Inc., and First International Resources Inc., January 25 and February 17, 2001)

  General 
Public
Elites American Jews    Influential Americans
Strongly agree   
35%  
29%
58%
 0%
Somewhat agree 
25%  
31% 
19%
0%
Somewhat disagree 
23%   
27%
13%
0%
Strongly disagree  
 10%   
9%
6%
0%
Don't know  
7%   
4%
4%
0%

Are you familiar with the Palestine Liberation Organization, sometimes called the PLO? If you are familiar, are you Favorable or unfavorable? (Penn & Schoen 7/17/89)

Favorable 1/88 Favorable 7/89 Unfavorable 1/88 Unfavorable 7/89 Unfamiliar 1/88 Unfamiliar 7/89
9 9 51 46 39 45

Is the PLO a National Liberation Movement or is it a terrorist organization? (Penn & Schoen 7/17/89)

Liberation 1/88 Liberation 7/89 Terrorist 1/88 Terrorist 7/89 Don't Know 1/88 Don't Know 7/89
18 14 67 63 16 23

Does the PLO represent the Palestinian people or does it not represent the Palestinian people? (Penn & Schoen 7/17/89)

Represents
1/88
Represents 7/89 Does Not Represent 1/88 Does Not Represent 7/89 Don't Know 1/88 Don't Know 7/89
24 25 60 51 16 24

Do you think the PLO is sincere in making this pledge, or are they not sincere? (Penn & Schoen 7/17/89)

Sincere Not Sincere Don't Know
20 42 39

Who is doing more to promote peace on the West Bank And Gaza, Israel or the PLO? (Penn & Schoen 7/17/89)

Israel PLO Neither Both Don't Know
33 13 16 1 38

Will the PLO be satisfied if a state were created on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or do you think it wants to dismantle the State of Israel as well? (Penn & Schoen 7/17/89)

Be satisfied Dismantle Israel Don't Know
16? 45 38

Do you believe Israel should be willing to negotiate with the PLO at some point if that is the organization that the Palestinian people choose to represent them, or do you believe that because of the PLO's involvement with terrorism and its support for Iraq in the Gulf war, Israel should never have to negotiate with the PLO? (Marttila & Kiley, 2/91)

Should be willing 42%
Should never negotiate 47%
Not sure 11%

In the dispute between Israel and the PLO which side do you sympathize with more, Israel or the PLO? (Marttila & Kiley, 2/91)

Date Poll Israel PLO Neither Both Not Sure
Aug.'79 Harris 71 8 9 3 9
Oct.'79 Harris 55 14 10 2 19
Dec.'79 Yankelovich 56 11 10 2 22
Jul.'80 Harris 65 6 13 4 12
Aug.'81 Harris 59 14 8 1 18
Jun.'82 Harris 60 16 11 2 11
Aug.'82 Harris 59 15 10 2 14

Has the PLO changed? (Marttila & Kiley, 9/89)

Still Terrorist 59
Has Changed 30
Not Sure 11

The U.S.-PLO Dialogue: (Marttila & Kiley, 9/89)

Approve 63
Disapprove 31

Israel has agreed to meet with local Palestinian representatives, but refuses to negotiate with the PLO claiming that it is a terrorist organization. (Roper, 4/89)

  1989 April 1988 April
Right 42 44
Wrong 32 27
DK/NA 26 2

 


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