MembersAsking the Wrong Questions

Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, is eminently pragmatic.

By Ryan Jones |
Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

He’s the type of Palestinian with whom one could easily see Israelis making peace. In fact, he’s the type of Palestinian with whom many Israeli Jews did live in harmony prior to the start of the “Oslo” peace process.

The Jerusalem Press Club invited Shikaki to explain to Israeli journalists why, despite a heavily-invested peace process, the situation from the Palestinian perspective only seems to have gone from bad to worse.

Following the hand-wringing over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital that’s become fashionable among those seeking a new excuse for the lack of peace, Shikaki introduced some interesting survey results. The problem, from this writer’s perspective, is that Shikaki’s research is asking the wrong questions, or is failing to follow lines of questioning to their logical, and sometimes foreboding conclusion.

For instance, Shikaki revealed that a full one-third of Palestinians have and will always support the use of terrorist violence against their Israeli negotiating partners. Asked what motivates them to do so, Shikaki admitted that it’s not socio-economic...

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