Jewish Journal

Poll: Palestinians prefer McCain

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 7, 2008 | 12:42 pm

All these months the Republican Jewish apparatchik have been telling me that Palestinians favor Barack Obama over John McCain in the U.S. presidential election. Al-Jazeera reported that Palestinians were phone-banking for Obama, and at one point the Democratic nominee was given the Hamas stamp of approval, though that was withdrawn after Obama’s speech to AIPAC. And then there was that poll that showed Israelis preferred McCain.

Israeli support reversed in July to Obama and now, surprisingly, it appears Palestinians prefer McCain too. Look at this info from the Palestinian Center for Publican Opinion and its director Nabil Kukali:

the most significant finding the poll results unveiled is that a substantial rate of the Palestinian public (33.5 %) are at present in favor of Mr. John McCain, the candidate of the US Republicans, as the coming President of the United States of America, whilst Mr. Barack Obama, the candidate of the Democratic Party, scored (27.7 %). (30.4 %) of the Palestinians said they “favor neither of them” and (8.3 %) declined to answer.

Dr. Kukali indicated in his comments on these results that the modest support for Mr. Barack Obama could be attributed to his previous declarations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that agitated among the Palestinians a feeling of discontent as he said that “the City of Jerusalem should remain the capital of Israel and must be kept unified. And the right of the Palestinians to re-claim Jerusalem should be left to the negotiations between the two conflict parties”. “Mr. Obama emphasized thereby the legitimate right of Israel to annex the whole city”, Dr. Kukali said.

I don’t buy that explanation. McCain has been portrayed from day one as a career defender of Israel and a leader whose foreign policy would remain deeply committed to protecting her. I can’t imagine that lingering sentiments over what Obama said at AIPAC, which he retreated from the next day, could really have overshadowed that. Something else is at play here, but I don’t know what.

(Hat tip: Jewlicious)

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