In a news analysis published on August 30, 50 Days of War Leave Israelis and Palestinians Only More Entrenched, Times Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren once again gets things wrong, this time regarding what Palestinians want.
While Rudoren cites a recent Israeli poll to argue that most Israelis thought that neither side won the fighting in Gaza, when she gets to Palestinian opinion she simply asserts, without citing any polls, that:
Gaza residents, and the broader Palestinian public, yearn, primarily, for freedom from Israeli restrictions on the crowded coastal territory (and in the West Bank) and the establishment of a sovereign Palestine.
Is that what Palestinian polls say? Not even close, because when Palestinians are asked about a peace treaty that would include Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines with equal territorial swaps, and East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, but without a full "right of return," over 56 percent of respondents were opposed. (Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (46), 13 January 2013, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research)
Here's the question:
32-4. With regard to the refugee question, both sides agree that the solution will be based on UN resolutions 194 and 242 and on the Arab peace initiative. The refugees will be given five choices for permanent residency.
These are: the Palestinian state and the Israeli areas transferred to the Palestinian state in the territorial exchange mentioned above; no restrictions would be imposed on refugee return to these two areas. Residency in the other three areas (in host countries, third countries, and Israel) would be subject to the decision of the states in those areas. The number of refugees returning to Israel will be based on the average number of refugees admitted to third countries like Australia, Canada, Europe, and others. All refugees will be entitled to compensation for their "refugeehood" and loss of properties.
And the results:
32-4) Item #4: refugees with five options for permanent residence
1) certainly agree 3.9%
2) agree 37.2%
3) disagree 46.2%
4) certainly Disagree 10.0%
5) DK/NA 2.7%
So, unfortunately, Palestinians do not just want, as Rudoren claims, a two-state solution in which the country of Palestine and the country of Israel live side-by-side in peace. If that were really the case, the conflict would have been solved a long time ago. The reality is that Palestinians also demand the right to send millions of Palestinian "refugees" (really mostly the descendants of refugees) into Israel, which would quickly destroy the country from within.
Jodi Rudoren ought to know all this, but if so why doesn't she report it? And if she doesn't know it, well, that's why the term "teachable moment" was invented.