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.
Greenberg, a key pollster for president Clinton who also worked with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, conducted the surveys for the Israel Project, a US-based non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel.
Greenberg told The Jerusalem Post that the shifts in attitudes reflected in the surveys were so dramatic that he "redid" some of the polls to ensure there had been no error.
As if to underscore recent discussions on victimology, Greenberg explains what's changed over the last three years:
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. ...
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."
Go to the link for the full article. Especially noteworthy for moderates: the change in perceptions of Ariel Sharon, and the reasons for this change.
Cross-posted at Dreams Into Lightning - TypePad.