The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada
43 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2008 Last revised: 25 Feb 2010
Date Written: February 1, 2010
This paper examines how violence influences the political preferences of an aggrieved constituency that is purportedly represented by militant factions. Using public opinion poll micro data of the Palestinian population linked to data on fatalities from the Second Intifada, we find that although Israeli violence discourages Palestinians from supporting moderate political positions, this "radicalization" is fleeting, and vanishes completely within 90 days. We do, however, find evidence suggesting that major political events in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have had a longer-term impact on political preferences. Individuals who were teenagers during the period of the Oslo negotiations tend to have relatively moderate preferences, while those who were teenagers during the First Intifada tend to be relatively radical.
Keywords: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, political violence, political preferences, public opinion
JEL Classification: D72, D74, H56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation