A Palestinian public opinion poll conducted over the past week reveals that a majority of Palestinian Arabs oppose their government's decision to ban employment in Jewish settlements.
Conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, the survey asked respondents if they supported or opposed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's decision to forbid Palestinian laborers from seeking employment in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. Fayyad has given Palestinians until the end of the year to find alternative work.
A firm 60 percent majority said they oppose Fayyad's decision. Even in the Gaza Strip, where there no longer are any Jewish communities, a 55 percent majority opposed the decision.
The poll's organizers attributed the numbers to Palestinians' lack of confidence in their own government to create enough jobs to make up for the inability to work in Jewish towns. Unemployment is a serious problem in the Palestinian-controlled territories, and removing jobs in Jewish communities from the list of possibilities is expected to increase hardships considerably.
The Palestinian Authority's inability to create enough jobs and the general public's recognition of this again calls into question the wisdom of establishing an independent Palestinian state. In its current condition, such a state would be unable to survive on its own.