Arabs Want to Keep Building

A recent poll has revealed that the majority of Arabs oppose the PA prohibition against building Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.

Avi Yellin, | updated: 16:53

Israel news photo: Flash 90
A new poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research has revealed that the vast majority of Arabs living under the American-backed Palestinian Authority oppose attempts by the PA to prevent them from working construction jobs in local Jewish communities.

The PA prohibition on working in Jewish communities, like the boycott of local Jewish products, is designed to supplement the 10-month ban on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria that was forced on the Israeli government by the United States last September. A high percentage of Arabs living under the Fatah-led PA earn their livelihoods from local Jewish construction projects and have been some of the most unrecognized victims of the politically-motivated building freeze.

In addition to the severe shortage of construction work that has resulted from the American-imposed building freeze, the PA boycott on Jewish products is being zealously enforced by the PA security forces. These troops, trained by United States Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, have been working to ferret out those Arab merchants suspected of violating the boycott. The major complaint from the Arab street, however, is not towards the ban on Jewish goods but rather towards the prohibition on working in Jewish communities.

According to the poll, conducted between June 10 and 13, the vast majority of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the Hamas-controlled Gaza region are staunchly opposed to being kept from working construction jobs in Jewish towns. The poll shows that, contrary to their portrayal in the press as staunch nationalists committed to driving Israel from Judea and Samaria, the majority of Palestinian Arabs are primarily concerned with providing for their families. In fact, the poll shows that a huge majority, 60% to 38% of all Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza oppose the prohibition. Subtracting Gaza, where Jewish communities no longer exist, support for the ban drops to 34% percent.

Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria are a major employer of Arab workers and by demanding a ban on local Jewish construction, United States President Barack Obama and his European counterparts are actually generating massive unemployment and tremendous financial hardships. Political analysts have pointed to the poll as proving that despite being depicted as hostile to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, most local Arabs want Jewish construction to continue.