Palestinians are disappointed by the intifada

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer in the Arabic Department in Bar Ilan University and a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told Arutz-7 today.

"Arafat's popularity in the Palestinian Authority is declining significantly, compared to his popularity at the beginning of the current intifada. A poll by the PA's Birzeit University of last month shows that Arafat now has the support of only 28%. In addition, 38% of the Palestinian youth are interested in immigrating abroad. They see that the fruits of the intifada are not exactly what they expected: it has led to something they dread, namely, a national-unity government, and not only that, it is headed by their nightmare, Ariel Sharon.

In many areas this intifada has brought them nothing but trouble, and so they want to send their leaders back to square one. At first the intifada looked good for them: the Israeli government was giving them more and more concessions, and PA Security Chief Dahlan said outright that the intifada was helping the negotiations along - but now these achievements have all gone down the drain for them..."

Arutz-7's Haggai Segal noted that IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon has said that there is no longer a popular intifada, that the masses are no longer on the streets, and that they have withdrawn their support for it. Kedar agreed:

"Yes, we can clearly see that this is true. The intifada has died down on its own, and this is why I think that the government erred in demanding that Arafat call outright for an end to violence, because it's happening anyway and this merely humiliates him, which is something they cannot take."

As Kedar wrote in HaTzofeh this week, "There is no one in the PA who can stand up and admit openly that the leadership made a mistake, that it chose the wrong strategy, for this would bring upon them the worst thing that a person or group can bring upon themselves in
the Arab world: shame."


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