Michael Totten

Polling Gaza

By Noah Pollak
If the results of the latest poll by “Near East Consulting”:http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1184489824500&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull are accurate, it is fair to say that Hamas is turning into its own worst enemy. Many observers, myself included, have maintained that the most productive policy toward Hamas in Gaza should be one of benign neglect, of allowing Hamas to misrule and abuse the territory so that its subjects would come to understand the perils of electing Islamists to power. Even given the attempts of many interlocutors to rescue the Gaza electorate from the consequences of its own choices, this is exactly what appears to be happening now.

Hamas got only 23 percent support, down from 29 percent in the previous survey last month, while Fatah climbed from 31 percent to 43 percent.

The poll, the first major survey since the Hamas takeover, also showed that 66 percent of Hamas supporters said they would vote Fatah if it undertook reforms. …

Trust in the Gaza-based deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas stood at 37 percent, compared to 63 percent for Abbas. [Fatah] Prime Minister Sallam Fayad got higher trust marks than Haniyeh, 62-38 percent.

“A lot of people answering this question said we like Haniyeh more, but we want people who can really deliver,” [Jamil] Rabah [head of Near East Consulting] said. “People are becoming more realistic.”