A rare poll from Saudi Arabia

December 26th, 2007 at 9:51 am by David Farrar

A rare poll has been done in Saudi Arabia. Results are mixed.

Opinion of:
Iranians – 51% favourable to 40% unfavourable
Jews – 6% favourable to 88% unfavourable
Christians – 39% favourable to 54% unfavourable

If Iran develops nuclear weapons and does not respond to diplomacy:
Favor US Accepting A Nuclear Armed Iran 27%
Favor US and Other Countries Taking Military Action to Prevent Nuclear Armed Iran 38%

Israel and Palestine:
favor a peace treaty recognizing the State of Israel, if an independent Palestinian state is established 30%
favor all Arabs continuing to fight until there is no State of Israel in the Middle East 51%

Saudi Nuclear Arms
Favour 52%
Oppose 31%

The response on the Israel question are probably the most disappointing.  The signal it sends to Israel is that it has nothing to gain from giving up territory and allowing an independent Palestine because the true aim of many will still be to wipe them out.  Now this is not to say that Israel shouldn’t still do this, but it’s hardly an incentive.

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21 Responses to “A rare poll from Saudi Arabia”

  1. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    It’s not an important signal David – being one poll in the most conservative of Muslim states. I was surprised that as many as 12% of Saudis had a neutral or positive opinion of Jews.

    The Christians – 39% favourable to 54% unfavourable opinion is about what I’d expect. The split opinions shows the perception that fanatics in the West have of all Muslims thinking alike is wrong.

    Mind you, I wouldn’t bet on people necessarily giving their honest opinion to an unknown on some of these questions.

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  2. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    to an unknown caller on some of these questions.

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  3. JC (933 comments) says:

    Substitute EBs for Jews here and it would show it’s no big deal to be down on one group of people in the grand scheme of things. More form than substance.

    JC

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  4. Zutroy Abadolov (80 comments) says:

    I don’t think its particular surprising that 51% of Saudi citizens want to see the state of Israel destroyed, given that most residents of Saudi Arabia have been poisoned against Israel for the last 60 years. If anything, the 30% odd who would see an acceptable solution for peace is encouraging.

    What would be more revealing is a focus group among the Ibn Saud family that gave the following choices:

    a) do nothing to help the peace process, leading to eventual war between belligerent Arab/Islamic nations and Israel, risk of Ibn Saud family being overthrown by theocracy or Islamic militants
    b) do nothing to help peace process, peace or improvements in middle east relations happen anyway and consequently hurts Saudi prestige and influence in the area, Ibn Saud family is weakened and challenged by emerging groups, both liberal and reactionary
    c) support peaceful resolution with Israel resulting in gradual liberalisation of Saudi Arabia, but Ibn Saud family still remaining dominant faction for medium term. Crack down on Islamic militancy likely.

    Option c allows the wider Ibn Saud clan to continue to wield influence for the longest period, though at the reduction of their overall influence. A small price to pay to ensure their wealth and prestige remains intact.

    Polling citizens who don’t/can’t vote or influence power unless they forment revolution is hardly revealing in this case.

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  5. poneke (280 comments) says:

    I found it interesting that the Saudi royal family is influenced by international opinion, as happened when the King pardoned the young woman sentenced to 200 lashes after she was pack-raped. And also interesting that there are even public opinion polls in Saudi Arabia, which does not have a free press. Or freedom of anything much at all, for that matter.

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  6. Kent Parker (449 comments) says:

    I would wonder about the validity of polls in a nation that has no tradition of freedom of expression and a morality police that goes round punishing infringements against strict moral code. For the sake of their own well being, respondents would be inclined to choose opinions that are least likely to get them into trouble. Even if the poll was conducted in a scientific (ie random/anonymous) manner, how would they know, and how would they b4e able to trust it?

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  7. toms (301 comments) says:

    Given that the Zionist state spends most of its time slaughtering unarmed Palestinians (a group Israel characterises as “cockroaches”) in their Warsaw-style ghettoes, and generally using its massively superior, US funded, US equipped and nuclear armed military to engage in lawless bullying of its regional neighbours its hardly surprising most Arabs loath Israel.

    The way even moderate and pro-western Arabs delighted in the bloody nose Hizzbollah gave the bully boys of the Israeli in Lebanon illustrates better than any poll how much the unpunished aggression of the Zionists rankles the Arab world and feeds Islamic extremism.

    What this poll tells us is if Israel continues its current modus operandi then its signing its own death warrant. Eventually, one day, the preponderant Arabs will get their revenge. All the high-tech weapons and pre-emptive strikes won’t alter that fact – every battle Israel wins just postpones the inevitable day the Arabs win the war.

    Peace based on returning the occupied territories, a withdrawl to the pre-1967 borders and the creation of a viable Palestinian state is the only way Israel will survive in the long run.

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  8. vand (4 comments) says:

    “Given that the Zionist state spends most of its time slaughtering unarmed Palestinians ”
    Toms this is thre usual dumb rehetoric beloved of the ignorant.
    Its survival of the fittest . The Darwinian nightmare lives on.

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  9. GPT1 (2,106 comments) says:

    It only took seven comments to get to the “it’s all the joos fault they deserve it”. Thanks for proving the bigots are everywhere Tom S.

    Also your strategic outlook sucks – Israel, facing annihalation by the “preponderant arabs” should give up its borders (that, btw, it won fair and square after yet another attack by its neighbours) and go home in the hope that this time the arabs will leave them alone?

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  10. Matt (224 comments) says:

    The real incentive for Israel to help establish a Palestinian state is the fact that the Palestinian population is growing much faster than theirs (even taking into account immigration). If the status quo remains, as Olmert lately noted, then eventually the Israelis will be in a minority in their own country – much like the whites in South Africa during the apartheid years. And since Israel survives primarily because of international (ie US) support, to allow themselves to be ostracised like South Africa was would be suicide. On the other hand, so would allowing the Palestinians to vote them into oblivion. The only solution therefore would be to split them into a separate country.

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  11. Kent Parker (449 comments) says:

    Peace based on returning the occupied territories, a withdrawl to the pre-1967 borders and the creation of a viable Palestinian state is the only way Israel will survive in the long run.

    I doubt if even this would suffice. I think that the only survival for Israel would be to do as the Romans and properly colonize the occupied territories, developing industry, and prosperity for the Palestinians, making them economic allies and creating mutually assured survival. Once that is established then they can move on to creating economic handshakes with Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Currently they run a very fragile and isolated economy trading largely with Europe and the US.

    This option would require them to postpone Palestinian statehood indefinitely.

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  12. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    “Disappointing”, DPF? WAAAAAAAAAKEY, WAAAAAAAKEY. You have been dumbed down by years of media brainwashing on how harmless those poor offended Muslims really are, and how everything is the fault of those Jews, or those Americans.

    “Toms” above, is a typical denier of the realities faced by Israel, that are revealed by the poll DPF has posted. Good on ya for posting it, by the way, but its not as if there hasn’t always been abundant evidence of this sort if you’re prepared to look into the issues for yourself instead of swallowing our media’s bullshit on it.

    The debates between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz are interesting. In NZ, intellectuals and the media tend to be Chomsky followers, but in the US, there is at least some counter to the crooked, mendacious, “scholarship” of this man. Dershowitz’ writings are good. David Horowitz is another.

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  13. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I agree with Toms. But the way he said it speaks volumes about why the confict will not be resolved iin our generation.
    What is needed is for the rhetoric and understandably inflammatory mind-set to be disregarded by both sides.
    This has been made possible in Northern Ireland, and in South Africa.
    I understand why anyone would want to express their opposition to a perceived opprressor in such terms, but the oppressor in question does own nuclear capability.
    It soes not follow that it is a good thing for everyone involved to own nuclear weapons, though.
    I would hate to see Israel use first-strike capability because it felt that there was no alternatative, or because it felt the other side had matched its fire-power.
    It is encumbent on anyone with a view about the politics of the Middle East to disregard this sickness of a mindset, which appears to believe that by insulting and inflaming a potential aggressor, it will somehow make it see your viewpoint.

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  14. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Yeah but Lee C, at least the vast majority of Irishmen sickened of the excesses of the IRA. The vast majority of Arabs, and that goes for “Palestinians” too, there is no such ethnic group; rejoice in the streets every time one of their number self-detonates and takes as many Jews as possible with him.

    If you look at the reduction in suicide bombings brought about by Israel’s famous “fence”, you’d have to be a sick-in-the-head Jew hater to expect them to do without it.

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  15. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Well Phil I have it on sound first hand evidence that when a bomb would go off in Nthn Ireland, members of the catholic community would actually go into the streets and beat dustbin lids in jubilation. And then you would have the likes of Paisley’s mob waving gun permits at journalists.

    The ‘Troubles’ as they there were so prosaically named did have their share of atrocities. Including the shooting of live rounds at demonstrators during ‘Bloody Sunday’. It is true that Eniskillen was a turning point but the IRA till bombed mainland Britaind for years after that, and even targetted the Pm (Thatcher).

    My points are these:
    The adversaries on both sides had to step back from the abyss, and stop the old rhetoric and start to talk.

    The kind of language such as ‘sick in the head jew-hater’ or ‘slaughtering unarmed palestinians’ however wel-intentioned of rhtorical in its intent, is just throwing gasoline on the fire.

    what is needed is a new approach to the whole language of the debate, so that those concerned can begin to converse in neutral tones which do not continue to re-ignite old emnities, and start to address the issue oif how they might live together.

    in this day and age, if they do not start to live together, there is every possibility that they will one day, die together.

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  16. toms (301 comments) says:

    Lee C: Farrar is well known as a craven apologist of the Jewish state, so the conclusions he reaches from the survey are tailored to support the extremism status quo currently in place in the Middle East. David Farrar is part of the problem.

    A little re-cap might be handy:

    A Jewish state in Palestine was the ambition of a handful of rather unpleasant Zionist cranks in the 1930s. The diasphora of the Jews meant that Palestine hadn’t had a sizable Jewish population since Roman times, and Palestine was densely populated with Arabs. The idea of a Jewish homeland there made about as much sense as locating it in Iraq or Egypt, other areas colonised by Hebrew tribes long, long ago. It was all rightly dismissed as the dreamings of a bunch of religious loons. It was only the actions of a bunch of criminally insane racists – the Nazis – who somehow managed to get control of a powerful and modern Western state to instigate the holocaust that moved the ideas of the Palestinian zealots into the mainstream for the Jewish survivors. The irony in the terror, ethnic cleansing and murder that was done by the first Israeli’s to create a nation was lost on people brutalised and traumatised by Nazi extermination camps, but it occured. Basically Israel is founded on stolen land – and that land has been stolen within living memory.

    On top of that, Israel literally gets away with murder because the Jewish lobby tail wags the congressional dog in the United States. Arabs who support moderate solutions are constantly undermined by the hypocrisy of Western nations, by the greed and lust for energy of the United States and by the daily apartheid shown by Israel towards the Palestinians.

    The fact of the matter is that after half a century of resentment, illegal and hypocritical actions by the West and Israel, AN ASTONISHING NEARLY ONE THIRD OF THE CITIZENS OF SAUDI ARABIA, THE HOME OF RADCAL WAHHABISM, SUPPORT A PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL.

    [DPF: Toms thinks wiping out Israel is not an extreme position. I think that shows it is Toms who is the extremist]

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  17. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    Good posting DPF.
    I don’t support Israel giving up any more land for a Palestinian homeland. The Palestinians already have their homeland — it’s called Jordan. They themselves admit that ethnically and culturally they are the same as the so-called Palestinians. Not that there has ever been such a thing as a nation — state called Palestine.

    Given that Israel is about the same size as Canterbury — and the Arabs and Muslims have all of the rest — I think that Israel should stick to their borders and not give up any more land for anything.

    The hostility of the Muslims and the Arabs towards Israel is well documented. It is beyond reason, it is deep-seated and it is implacable. Unfortunately modern Western liberals cannot understand this. They just think that if there was dialogue everyone would be able to get on. Sadly the facts are that the Arabs have hated the Jews since biblical times. This conflict goes back to Isaac and Ishmael in the Old Testament.

    I would like to see other nations leave Israel alone and not expect it to negotiate with suicide bombers and terrorists.

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  18. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    This is Chomskyite lies regurgitated.

    “The diasphora (sic) of the Jews meant that Palestine hadn’t had a sizable Jewish population since Roman times, and Palestine was densely populated with Arabs.”

    Oh, so this “diaspora” was a willing one, eh? The Jews weren’t massacred or driven out of Palestine? The Arabs occupying Palestine weren’t there solely by conquest? The Jews who did live there or make their way there weren’t subjected to regular pogroms?

    Why stop with Israel? The entire Balkan peninsula should belong to the Muslims, by divine right of conquest. (Elephant in the room: this is the underlying problem in the Balkan peninsula).

    “The irony in the terror, ethnic cleansing and murder that was done by the first Israeli’s to create a nation was lost on people brutalised and traumatised by Nazi extermination camps, but it occured.”

    This is every bit as bad as the lies concerning Jewry that were instigated by the Nazis. How come several hundred thousand Arabs DID get to STAY within the borders of the new Israel, unmolested, and are there, and their descendants, to THIS DAY, with MORE human rights than ANY OTHER ARABS IN THE WORLD? Seeing the Jews were such dreadful racist ethnic cleansers?

    O.K., I accept that there was a “Stern Gang” and that some atrocities did occur. But did the legitimate leadership of Israel not move rapidly to disarm and disenfranchise these groups? Where is the “Stern Gang” today?

    Don’t give me that CRAP about the modern government of Israel being the Stern gang, either. Your type expects Israel to do NOTHING to protect its citizens from suicide bombings and cross-border raids and rocket and mortar attacks. Your type requires of Israel that it just sits there and gets killed off.

    “Arabs who support moderate solutions are constantly undermined by the hypocrisy of Western nations,….” EH????????? Every time I look, “Arabs who support moderate solutions” are being assassinated. The quickest way to a messy death in the Arab world, whatever your position in life, is to openly endorse peace with a legitimate Israel. If you’re the President of an Arab State, you will be assassinated in a drive-by bombing. If you’re a humble taxi-driver or the like, you will be abducted by those niiiiiiice Hamas, Hezbollah, or Al-Quaeda guys and used as a power-tool and industrial cutting and milling equipment testing guinea-pig for a few intense pain-filled hours prior to your grateful release in death.

    I make no apology for the terms I use to describe the apologists for this sort of thing. You are sick-in-the-head Jew-haters, and worse.

    “The adversaries on both sides had to step back from the abyss, and stop the old rhetoric and start to talk.” “An astonishing nearly one third of the citizens of Saudi Arabia….. support a peace treaty with Israel”. Even leaving aside the possibilities of the old Mohammedan tradition of temporary peace while you regather your strength for another round (there is an arabic word for this, but I’ve forgotten it, something like “taqfir” or something), what about telling us how many of ISRAEL’S citizens support a treaty with the Arabs? And why would this not be astonishing?

    To blame the leaders of ISRAEL all the time for every failure to reach a peace settlement, is one-sided and dishonest. There is ample historical record of the Arabic leaders culpability in this.

    New Zealanders particularly need to realise that Israel is surrounded by hundreds of millions of square kilometers of land that is peopled by Muslim Arabs. Whatever the process used to work out what piece of Palestine was to be turned into “Israel” by the UN in 1946, the fact remains that it we are talking about 18,000 square kilometers of land in the middle of all this. This is about the size of Greater Wellington plus the Kapiti coast. 4 Million Jews are supposed to live in this, most of them within Katyusha rocket range of the border, and where the Mediterranean sea is about 10 minutes drive from their Eastern border at the narrowest point.

    Then we bicker endlessly about “giving back to the Palestinians”, about 4,000 square kilometers so they can have their own State about the size of the Hutt Valley! This ignores the fact that the state of Jordan, 100,000 square kilometers, was created at the same time as Israel for this purpose and in fact the West bank was part of this prior to 1967 and no-one thought of a separate “Palestinian” identity THEN. Gaza was part of Egypt.

    “Palestinian” nationalism having evolved meanwhile, when the eventual peace between Israel and Jordan and Israel and Egypt, involving the recognition of Israel’s right to exist (remember Anwar Sadat?), was reached (years later), the return of these territories to Jordan and Egypt was omitted. A separate peace needed to be made between the “Palestinian” leaders and Israel. The sticking point here has always been that no “Palestinian” leadership has been able to “recognise Israel” and live long.

    Nevertheless, have we not seen a self-governing Gaza for several years, and a withdrawal of Israeli “Occupation” of the West Bank? With what effect? Well, we get endless terrorist attacks on Israel, from which they are apparently not entitled to defend themselves. I repeat: if you deny Israel the right to have a border fence and security measures, and you want a return to several hundred suicide bombings per year, you are a sick-in-the-head Jew-hater.

    What you apologists for Arab and Islamist terror fail to get your heads around, is that there is a movement with its own dynamic, that glorifies death and violence. This is why there is NO EQUIVALENT to the Palestinian Terror movements on the part of other equally or worse repressed peoples in the world, the Tibetans for example. This is why, with the biggest per-capita aid money in human history going to the Palestinians, FROM ISRAEL, AND THE USA, and the EU, and everywhere else APART FROM THE OIL-WEALTHY ARAB NATIONS, NOTE, there is only endless squalor, poverty, and civil violence. Note, though, that the oil-wealthy Arab nations DO provide funding for guns, explosives, and terror, but not for things that would leave the Palestinians well-fed and satisfied.

    There is no other “refugee” problem in the world that has been allowed to fester like this one. Resettlement has been the solution everywhere EXCEPT “Palestine”. Tens of millions of Hindus, resettled in India. A similar number of Muslims, resettled in Pakistan. Several hundred thousand Jews, resettled in Israel’s 18,000 square kilometers after fleeing the Arab lands in 1946/7 and since. But the same number of Arabs from “Palestine”, no way. There is no such charity from the millions-of-square-kilometer Arab lands surrounding Israel, for THEIR displaced brethren.

    “On top of that, Israel literally gets away with murder because the Jewish lobby tail wags the congressional dog in the United States.”

    Er, does the Arabic Oil lobby not carry any clout in the US? MAKE UP YOUR MINDS, Bush-bashers. You can’t have it BOTH ways.

    Only the Jews seem to arouse such unreason in minds all over the world. Note that the “oppression” the Palestinians suffer is apparently justification for the largest scale terror the world has ever known, tens of thousands of victims so far. But if a few Jews form a “Stern Gang” and kill a few dozen people before they are disarmed, “The Jews” will never be forgiven, they will always be the moral equivalent of their foes or worse. They are supposed to be able to endure whole holocausts without a reaction, and endure a new one today without bothering to take any measures to defend themselves. There must be something very special about them.

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  19. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Phil, you’ve left out the bit about Armageddon.

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  20. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Just spotted these articles:

    “Fund the Palestinians? Bad idea.”

    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5276

    “Palestinian economy in shambles”

    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5300

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  21. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    Good post Phil — totally agree.

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