New surveys of Palestinian attitudes toward their leaders revealed deep seated mistrust of either Hamas or Fatah. Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah organization received the endorsement of 39% of Palestinians, down from the 46% who had that feeling in November. Only 16% had a favorable attitude toward Hamas and as far as 41% think, a plague on both your houses! There is widespread dissatisfaction with leadership in Palestine and people are seeking honest government that will address their needs rather than play to the grandstand of rhetoric. A majority of those surveyed supported peace moves, but, they simply did not trust the current crop of leaders to actually make peace happen.
The Hamas figure is interesting, given that it probably was influenced by Israel bombings in Gaza. Most probably close to 12% of Palestinians actually endorse Hamas as an effective leadership group. The tragedy of the Palestinian movement from day one has been its inability to bring forth a statesman who could bring together divergent factions and work on a genuine compromise solution with Israel. Instead, Palestinians have been led by the corrupt and incompetent Arafat and today by an ineffective Abbas. Is there anyone around who can step up and exert effective leadership?