A Public Opinion Poll Conducted by the Jerusalem Media & Communications Center, Poll No. 69
* A majority of the Palestinians hold the PNA responsible for deferring the vote on the Goldstone Report
* Decline in the popularity of Abbas, Hanieh’s popularity remains unchanged; rise in Fayyad’s popularity; Fatah Movement still enjoys more support than Hamas
* Level of confidence and trust in the US Administration decreasing
* Increasing confidence in the security performance of Fayyad’s government
* Confidence in performance of Hanieh’s government remains unchanged
The ramifications of Goldstone Report
The most recent public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) showed that the majority of the Palestinian public (43.8%) holds the PA responsible for deferring the vote on the Goldstone Report before the UN Human Rights Council compared with a ratio of 18.1% who said that the United States is to blame for this incident and a ratio of 17.2% said Israel is responsible, and a ratio of 14.5% said the Arab countries are to blame for deferring the voting on the Goldstone Report.
The poll, which included a random sample of 1,200 persons over the age of 18 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with an error margin of + or – 3% showed that the Palestinian general public is divided on the neutrality of the Goldstone Report: a ratio of 35.3% of the respondents said the report is biased towards Israel while a ratio of 28.8% of the respondents said the report is neutral and 10.9% said Goldstone Report is biased towards the Palestinians.
Popularity of leaders
The poll, which was conducted in the period October 7-11, 2009 showed that the conditions behind the vote deferral on the Goldstone Report had a clear impact on the popularity of Palestinian President Abbas and US President Obama. Ratio of Palestinians showing confidence in President Abbas decreased to 12.1% in this poll compared with a ratio of 17.8% last June and 15.5% last October. In the same context, the ratio of those who expressed satisfaction with the way President Abbas runs the Palestinian Authority went down from 48.5% last October to 39.4% in this poll.
As for the level of confidence in the Prime Minister of the deposed government Ismaeel Hanieh, the ratio remained unchanged at 14.2%.
The level of confidence in PM Salam Fayyad increased to 4.5% compared with 2.1% last October.
When asked whom would they elect as President of the PNA if elections take place in 2010, the poll showed that there would be serious competition as a ratio of 16.8% said they would vote again for President Abbas and a similar ratio said they would vote for Marwan al-Barghouthi while a ratio of 16% said they would vote for Ismaeel Hanieh.
Popularity of the factions
It seems that the approach of Fatah Leadership to distance itself from the PNA with regards to the Goldstone Report helped Fatah in keeping its popularity ahead and more than Hamas’ popularity among the Palestinian public. The current poll shows that a ratio of 34.6% still trusts Fatah Movement compared with a ratio of 17.9% who said they trust Hamas, followed by PFLP which received a ratio of 3.7% while Islamic Jihad Movement received 2.3%.
When asked about the faction that they will vote for in case general elections take place in 2010, a ratio of 40% of the respondents said they will vote for Fatah Movement compared with 18.7% who said they will vote for Hamas.
The poll shows that Fatah Sixth General Conference that was held last August in Bethlehem did not have major impact on the general public standpoint: a ratio of 40.6% said the conference didn’t make any difference with regards to the Palestinian political performance compared with a ratio of 36.1% who said that the conference was an important development that serves the Palestinian political performance.
The current poll tackled the general performance of both governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the area of security. The poll results showed a notable increase in the ratio of respondents who said that security and safety have improved during the era of PM Salam Fayyad: a ratio of 42.7% said the security conditions improved compared with 37.7% who said that security has improved in October 2008. Ratio of respondents who said that security conditions during the era of Fayyad deteriorated went down from 26.8% last October to 20.2% in this poll.
On the other hand, the ratio of respondents who said that security and safety improved during the era of Hanieh’s deposed government in Gaza have improved remained unchanged around 32.8% while the ratio of those who said security conditions have deteriorated increased from 24.4% last October to 29.7% in this poll.
The US Administration
With regard to US President Barack Obama, the ratio of respondents who said that there is improvement in the US’ dealing with the Middle East problems went down from 40.6% last June to 25% in this poll.
In the same manner, the ratio of those noting deterioration in the US Administration performance on the Middle East issues rose from 6.6% last June to 12.8% in this poll.
Moreover, the ratio of Palestinians who believe that the US policy in the region would raise chances of achieving a just peace went down from 35.4% last June to 23.7% in this poll.
General public opinion and satellite TV stations
The poll also asked the Palestinian general public about the TV news stations they watch. When asked about the TV news station they watch, al-Jazeera TV Station got the highest rating with a ratio of 57.2% followed by Arabia TV Station with a ratio of 15.2%. Al-Manar TV Station and Palestine TV came in third place with a ratio of 5.6% each and al-Aqsa TV Station received 5.3%.