Opinion

Did Christiane Amanpour just make up a poll?

“The latest polls from the Palestinian side also show that they want a peaceful two-state solution,” the CNN journalist told former Israeli ambassador Yael German.

Christiane Amanpour. Source: Facebook.
Christiane Amanpour. Source: Facebook.
David M. Litman
David M. Litman
David M. Litman is a media and education research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).  

In yet another display of Christiane Amanpour’s prioritization of disdain for Israel over journalistic integrity, the CNN anchor appears to have fabricated poll results to falsely suggest that the Palestinians support the two-state solution.

The comments came during her interview with former Israeli ambassador Yael German on Feb. 14. Toward the end of the interview, Amanpour asked German: “I want to know from you, as a diplomat, is there any hope for anything resembling negotiations on a two-state solution, given that the settlements and the settlement-believers are emboldened by now their backers who are in government?”

German answered by pointing out the unwillingness of Palestinian leaders to agree to repeated offers of statehood and to live side by side with Israel. She also argued that the Palestinian people generally refuse to accept the existence of a Jewish state.

Amanpour responded first by downplaying the extent of Palestinian rejectionism of the Jewish state, saying only “some people” believe that, and then, without providing any specific source, claimed: “The latest polls from the Palestinian side also show that they want a peaceful two-state solution, to co-exist with you.”

It’s unclear what “latest polls” Amanpour might have been referring to, given that every major recent poll of Palestinian opinion shows exactly the opposite.

Recent polling by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) has consistently shown low support for a two-state solution. A June 2022 poll found that only 28% of Palestinians support the two-state solution. In September, that figure rose to 37%, but dropped again in December to 32%.

Other Palestinian polls show the same. An August 2021 poll from the Ramallah-based Arab World for Research & Development (AWRD) found that only 36% of Palestinians supported the principle of a two-state solution. A July 2022 poll by the Palestinian organization Jerusalem Media & Communication Center (JMCC) found that only 26% preferred a two-state solution. The data is further supported by polling data from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (TWI), which found in June 2022 that only 37% of Gazans and 25% of West Bank Palestinians would “definitely accept” or “probably accept” the principle of “two states for two peoples.”

The PCPSR polls also dispel the notion that the “Palestinian side” seeks a peaceful solution. As the December 2022 poll showed, a “majority of 55% support the return to an armed intifada.” The figure was 55% and 48% respectively in June and September 2022. TWI found in June 2022 that approximately 70% of Gazans and 61% of West Bank Palestinians either strongly or somewhat agree that “Palestinians should move to a new intifadah and make armed struggle their top priority.”

The December 2022 PCPSR poll also found that 72% of Palestinians “support the formation of armed groups such as the ‘Lions’ Den’,” a terrorist organization behind a significant portion of the uptick in terror attacks in the last year, including by sending a 16-year-old to attack Jewish worshippers.

Given these consistent findings of relatively well-respected Palestinian polls, it seems likely that Amanpour simply fabricated findings from nonexistent “latest polls.” A request for substantiation sent to Amanpour has so far gone unanswered.

Even if a recent poll does exist that shows dramatically different results than the consistent figures from PCPSR, AWRD, TWI and JMCC, it would be intellectually dishonest to omit any mention of the other “recent polls” contradicting Amanpour’s preferred results.

David M. Litman is a media and education research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA).

This article was originally published by CAMERA.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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