Opinions, survey data, bibliographies and references on internal composition, attitudes, coming elections and general views of coming to terms with Israel 

April 12, 2021, Ken Stein 

Congressional Research Service, Palestinian Elections, February 9, 2006, (pp. 21), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33269.pdf

Hussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi “Time for a New Beginning (for Palestinian communities,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2021 https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2021-02-16/palestinian-reckoning

Leila Farsakh, “Undermining Democracy in Palestine,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol.45, No.4, Summer 2016, pp. 48-63. https://online.ucpress.edu/jps/article-abstract/45/4/48/54945/Undermining-Democracy-in-Palestine-The-Politics-of?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Khaled El-Gindy, “The Future of Palestinian Politics under the Biden Administration, Webinar, November 17, 2020,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S7ZkKMFUuU (1:17) 

“Post-Palestinian Election Challenges in the Middle East,” Hearing before Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, March 15, 2006,  Dennis Ross, Robert Malley, General Dayton, James Wolfensohn, https://www.loc.gov/item/2007395892/

Interviews with Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan on Arab world and Palestinian Leaders, October 16, 2020, https://israeled.org/interviews-with-saudi-prince-bandar-bin-sultan-on-arab-world-and-palestinian-leaders/

Jamil Hilal, “Reflections on Palestinian Leaderships Past,” June 23, 2020, https://al-shabaka.org/commentaries/reflections-on-palestinian-leadership-past/

Dana al-Kurd, “Restructuring the Palestinian Authority: Its Now or Never,” November 7, 2019, https://al-shabaka.org/commentaries/restructuring-the-palestinian-authority-its-now-or-never/

David Makovsky, “Inside the Normalization Agreements Between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.” Ministers interviewed from both countries,” November 10, 2020, Decision Points, Washington Institute for Near East Policy,  transcript to be found at  https://israeled.org/resources/documents/interview-on-inside-the-normalization-agreements-between-israel-the-uae-and-bahrain/ and audio, https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/decision-points-season-two

Kobi Michael, Yoel Guzansky, “The Nation State VS. the 220 Failed State and the Arab Upheaval in the Middle East,” November 2019. pp. 220-235, , https://www.inss.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/The-nation-state-VS.-failed-states-and-the-Arab-upheaval-in-the-M.E.-%E2%80%93-An-article-by-Kobi-Michael-and-Yoel-Guzansky-in-Cultural-Crossroads-in-the-Middle-East.pdf

Jamil Hilal, “The Polarization of the Palestinian Political Field,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 39, No.3, Spring 2012, pp. 24-39.

Richard Mills, Acting US Representative to UN- “Biden Administration provides detail to a two state solution to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,”  January 26, 2021, https://israeled.org/resources/documents/biden-administration-provides-detail-to-a-two-state-solution-to-resolve-the-palestinian-israeli-conflict/ And https://usun.usmission.gov/remarks-at-a-un-security-council-open-debate-on-the-situation-in-the-middle-east-via-vtc-2/

“Palestine and the Arab World: a Relationship in Crisis,” Panel Discussion,  August 27, 2020 (Shibli Telhami, Nour Odeh, Mourin Rabbani, Kahlil Jahshan, Omar Rahman,) Palestinian Institutions need rebuilding, Brookings Institution, August 27, 2020, (1:27) https://www.brookings.edu/events/palestine-and-the-arab-world-a-relationship-in-crisis/

“Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, March 23, 2021 Poll no.79,”


Hazim Saghie, “Individualism in the Arab Middle East: An Overview,” in Hazim Saghie, The Predicament of the Individual in the Middle East, (London: Saqi Books, 2001).

Schanzer, Jonathan, “The Return of Palestinian Politics,” April 9, 2021, Pundicity and Foreign Policy,  or http://schanzer.pundicity.com/

Khalil Shikaki, ““Can a Newly Elected Parliament Repair the Damage Done to the Palestinian Political System in its Absence?”  Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, January 2021,http://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/831

Kenneth Stein, “American Officials on Zionism, Israel, the US-Israeli Relationship and Resolving the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1922- Present,” Center for Israel Education, April 2021, https://israeled.org/american-officials-zionism-israel-us-israeli-relationship/

Kenneth Stein, “The U.S. Role in Palestinian Self-Determination,” inFocus Quarterly (Fall 2011), available at http://ismi.emory.edu/home/documents/stein-publications/usroleinpalestinian.pdf

Remarks about Palestinian community, their institutions, headings, 

Arab state recognitions of Israel in 2020, and expectations for upcoming 

2021 Palestinian elections—PLC, PA President, and PNC 

April 12, 2021, www.israeled.org

Note: A Review of the written Arab media going back two decades reveals persistent Arab author’s self-criticism of Arab leaders. Self-criticism of Arafat’s and Abbas’s rule over the PLO and the PA was regular if not sometimes extensive.  The late 2020 summer announcement of the Abraham Accords witnessed an increase in written media criticism of the Palestinian leadership elite, corruption within it, political divisions, hoped for reconciliation,  and generally dysfunctional condition. 

Coming to terms with Israel, February 8, 2021 – one view  

Abbas Tarabili,  Egyptian al-Masri al-Youm, February 8, 2021.

“We can accept that political practices will shift from one point to another, but not to the extent of veering from the far right to the far left. This is something our minds cannot process and that completely defies logic. 

For instance, it is difficult for me and anyone of my generation to be expected to switch from unwavering hostility to complete friendship when I and my entire generation were raised on the notion that Zionism – and Israel in particular – is the first and greatest, if not sole, enemy to all of us as Arabs, especially the Arabs of the Mashriq (the countries in the vicinity of Israel, by which we mean Palestine, to be precise). 

Our generation was raised on the belief that Israel is the biggest enemy, and hence the Arabs – with Egypt at the forefront – fought to thwart Zionist dreams, especially with regard to Palestine. Since as far back as a century ago, Egypt has consistently believed that the mission of defending Palestine and its people falls on its shoulders alone, including from any enemy that might think of targeting Palestine. 

For an entire century, Palestine dwelled at the heart of Arab consciousness alongside utter hostility to the Jews and Zionism, until Zionist antagonism became the focal point of our entire political and social system, even before Arab [mid 20th century Iraqi] intellectual Dr. Sati’ al-Husari spearheaded this sweeping pan-Arab movement. So do not ask us to so quickly accept any idea or approach that violates this Arab creed. When we say, give us a century to accept this development in Arab political thought and let us gradually work up to it, it is so we can come to terms with the Arab rush towards normalizing our relations with Israel currently taking place on the Arab political arena at such dizzying speed.

The entirety of our political thought revolved around hostility to Zionism and drawn-out wars with Israel from 1948 to 1956 to the 1967 war, and then the great war of liberation of 1973, and, indeed, this hostility underscored most of the revolutions and military coups in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Sudan. Opposition [to Israel] was the rule behind all our conduct as states and individuals, so do not ask us to move in the opposite direction.

Whereas the Israel dossier was the foundation of Egyptian, Arab, and regional diplomacy, and even the primary goal behind the Arab League’s establishment [in 1945] was to uphold the Palestinian cause, do not ask us as a generation that has renounced everything Zionist to rush to embrace behavior that utterly contravenes all these Arab beliefs. After all, similar behavior prompted most Egyptian foreign ministers to reject President Sadat’s idea [of making peace with Israel], and the Arabs attribute the main reason for their boycott of Egypt to this Egyptian change.

Any Arab politician of my generation shares the same sentiment, along with our astonished leaders, who may be grieving the old stances that formed the fundamentals of Egyptian and Arab political thought.  Allow us forbearance, if only for a short while, so the Arabs can come to terms with this fundamental change in the cause.” 

March 14-19, 2021- Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, https://www.pcpsr.org/ 

“Perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 84%. When asked about institutions controlled by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, 70% indicated that there is corruption in these institutions. 43% of West Bankers think people in the West Bank can criticize the PA without fear while 53% think they cannot. In the Gaza Strip, 40% think people in the Strip can criticize Hamas’ authorities without fear and 58% think they cannot.  The public is divided over its assessment of the PA: a slight majority of 51% views it as a burden on the Palestinian people while 44% view it as an asset for the Palestinian people. Three months ago, 41% viewed the PA as a burden.  34% are optimistic and 61% are pessimistic about the success of reconciliation. Three months ago, optimism stood at 29%.” Public Opinion Poll No (79) https://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/839

January 2021- Khalil Shikaki, “Can a Newly Elected Parliament Repair the Damage Done to the Palestinian Political System in its Absence? “https://www.pcpsr.org/sites/default/files/Brief%201_2021_Shikaki%20on%20elections%20and%20PA%20reforms%20English%20transl.pdf

Amending the Palestinian Basic Law: This measure will be the most difficult because it is not clear that the PLC will have the majority needed to approve the proposed amendments. 

  1. Nonetheless, it will be valuable for the parliament to open a debate on the need to transform the Palestinian political system into a parliamentary one or at least to take steps to decrease the powers of the office of the president so as to remove any ambiguity about the ability of a president to issue legislation during the absence of the parliament and put in place greater protection for the immunity of its members. 
  1. It should ensure that the president does not have the capacity to make top senior appointments in the public sector without explicit parliamentary approval, that the executive cannot take away jurisdiction belonging to the judiciary, that free speech is guaranteed, and that the space available to civil society is not shrunk and their activities curtailed or controlled. The amendments and clarifications must make it clear, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that a government that does not receive a parliamentary vote of confidence is illegitimate and its decisions invalid.
  1. Rule by decrees: The Palestinian political system should not tolerate rule by decree.
  1. The PLC should review, amend, or reject in its first session all those laws issued by decree that have caused great damage to the principle of separation of powers or violated the terms of the Basic Law, including those affecting the judiciary, the constitutional court, the cybercrime law, and others.

5. Illegal governmental regulations: The PLC should also reject all those decisions and orders issued by the various PA governments since 2007 that violated the separation of powers and represented an attack on the jurisdiction of the parliament, such as the amendment introduced in 2015 to the regulations governing the functioning of the non-profit companies.

December 27, 2020 Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, https://www.pcpsr.org/

“Three quarters of the public (75%) believe the Arab Peace Initiative is a thing of the past while 19% think it remains standing.  In fact, 81% expect Saudi Arabi[a] will soon join the Arab normalization train while 15% do not expect that.  Only 11% believe that Arab normalization agreements help in resolving the conflict with Israel while 57% think they cause damage to the efforts to resolve the conflict.” Public Opinion Poll No (78) https://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/829 

Two thirds of the public demand the resignation of president Abbas amidst a split around the resumption of coordination with Israel with a majority expressing the view that Israel came out the winner and fearing the step could expand Arab normalization deals with Israel and reduce the prospect for reconciliation and the holding of elections; but the majority expresses optimism about the Joe Biden election and support holding dialogue with the new U.S. administration.”

November 17, 2020, Khaded el-Gindy, Middle East Institute,   “The problems of the Palestinians are well-known from political division, institutional decline, both in the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, chronic financial problems, growing authoritarianism and corruption, both, in the authority in Ramallah, as well as the Hamas authority in the Gaza Strip, all of which highlight a deeper crisis of legitimacy, as well as what many see, as a lack of strategic vision on the part of the Palestinian leadership, whether in Ramallah or in Gaza. All of this is happening in an especially hostile, local, regional, and international environment.” Video Webinar on “The Future of Palestinian Politics under a Biden Administration,” Introductory remarks, Middle East Institute, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S7ZkKMFUuU 

October 5-7 Bandar Bin Sultan “The Palestinian cause is a just cause, but its advocates are failures and the Israeli cause is unjust, but its advocates have proven to be successful. That sums up the events of the last 70 or 75 years. There is also something that successive Palestinian leadership historically share in common; they always bet on the losing side, and that comes at a price.”  Egypt went to Camp David [in 1978], meanwhile, the initiative of UN Resolution 242 was presented and rejected by the Palestinians. The Camp David agreement was rejected by the Palestinians and by the Arabs. It became the mistake that played a major role in deepening the Palestinian tragedy, as the Arab nation boycotted Egypt, the mother of the world, because the Palestinians rejected the autonomy provisions in the Camp David Treaty and considered this peace treaty a betrayal to the Arab nation. What was Israel doing during this period? It built settlements, occupied more land, and strengthened itself and its army.”

The Oslo Accords took place,[in 1993] and Abu Ammar  [Yasir Arafat] said the Camp David agreement was ten times better than Oslo. A lost opportunity. He asked them to go back to the self-rule agreement but they said that it was off the table and there was a new deal. What’s so painful is that it was the Palestinian people who suffered the most from this tragedy.” https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2020/10/05/Full-transcript-Part-one-of-Prince-Bandar-bin-Sultan-s-interview-with-Al-Arabiya

September 20, 2020, Khairallah Khairallah (Lebanese), “Fifty years after Black September, [the PLO-Jordanian civil war]” Palestinian leaders and officials of organizations [are]refusing to learn from past experiences. It would not have been possible to reach Oslo, immediately after the Madrid peace conference, had it not been for another huge mistake that Yasser Arafat made in 1990 when he took a stance in support of Saddam Hussein following his invasion of Kuwait. He learned nothing about Israel or how the successive American administrations operate in Washington.” Al-Arab, September 20, 2020.

September 16, 2020 – Fahd Suleiman Shaqairan …“The Palestinians can hold their leaders accountable at two levels: The first is political. The details and causes of their officials’ persistent rejection of every realistic deal they have been offered since the conflict began have never been properly addressed. The second level has to do with opening corruption cases. The Palestinian citizen has the right to inquire about the billions of dollars that the Gulf states have paid to serve the cause. Such sums could have provided a strong infrastructure and built a beneficial, efficient foundation for society, but all these funds have disappeared, while the officials’ personal assets inflate and they flaunt properties and planes that outstrip anything that some of the Gulf officials who back their cause possess.” Sharq al-Awsat, September 16, 2020.

September 7, 2020 – James Zogby, (US -President of the Arab American Institute),   Today, it is with sadness that we must acknowledge that the Palestinian movement is without a clear vision or a strategy to move forward. For all intents and purposes, the Palestine Liberation Organization has become a hollowed-out shell of its former self. Palestinian refugees are without hope and support. The Palestinian Authority has become a dependency relying on international support to pay for its bloated bureaucracy and security forces.” Absent but Needed: A Palestinian vision,” Al-Ahram OnLine, September 7, 2020.  

August 27, 2020, Shibli Telhami, “Arabs have been very important for Palestine, meaning the Palestinians. Frankly, the importance of the Palestinian issue at the western level, for Americans, in Europe and at the global level. Arabs have been the cornerstone of the Palestinian issue globally. This should be understood. There can be no confusion here, the importance of Palestine is partly derived from its assumed importance for other Arabs. If this assumption diminishes over time, there is no question that over time the importance of other nations outside will recede.  I have been puzzled over the last several decades about the lack of understanding among the Palestinian leaders to shore up their alliances with other Arab leaders and in the media.” (7:00 -11:00) August 27, 2020, Video Webinar, Palestine and the Arab World: A relationship in Crisis 

Kws 4.12.2021