EUROPEANS CHANGE MIDEAST LENSE
New public opinion surveys conducted among"opinion elites" in Europe show that support for the Palestinians has fallen precipitously, according to a leading international pollster, Stan Greenberg, who has been briefing Israeli leaders on his findings in the past few days. There has not necessarily been"a rush to Israel" but there has been a" crash" in backing for the Palestinians, he noted.
Three years ago, he said, the conflict was perceived"in a post-colonial framework."
There was a sense"that Europe could cancel out its own colonial history by taking the 'right' side" - the Palestinian side. Yasser Arafat was viewed as"an anti-colonial, liberation leader." The US was seen as a global imperial power, added Greenberg, and the fact that it was backing Israel only added to the"instinctive" sense of the Palestinians as victims. . . .
Today, by contrast, the Europeans"are focused on fundamentalist Islam and its impact on them," he said. The Europeans were now asking themselves"who is the moderate in this conflict, and who is the extremist? And suddenly it is the Palestinians who may be the extremists, or who are allied with extremists who threaten Europe's own society."
An increasing proportion of Europeans are concluding that"maybe the Palestinians are not the colonialist victims" after all.
Can you imagine the number of Israeli and Palestinian lives that could have been saved had they seen the light years ago? I know, I know, I say it all the time, better later than never. It is just so darn frustrating.
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