Hilal Khashan is associate professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, and author of Inside the Lebanese Confessional Mind (University Press of American, 1992).
Opposition to peace with Israel appears to be decreasing in the Levant. The Egyptian and Jordanian governments have survived the repercussions of signing accords with Israel, as has the PLO. Negotiations are now underway with the Syrian and Lebanese governments. M. Graeme Bannerman, formerly of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff, comments with satisfaction that
The genius of the current process is that it is evolutionary. Long-held views are being gradually reshaped. Differences are being narrowed, albeit at times at an imperceptibly slow pace. The slow pace, however, is important because it allows national leaders to prepare public opinion for change.1
In contrast, Jerusalem Post reporter Abraham Rabinovich notes that Israelis
Have won formal Arab acceptance--no small thing--of their presence in the heart of the Middle East, but not by persuading Arabs of the historical merits of Israel's cause. What Arabs have been persuaded of is that they cannot now defeat Israel and that it is in their interest to shelve the war option and come to terms with the Jewish state.2
Bannerman sees the Arab leaders' preparation of public opinion in their countries for peace and is optimistic; Rabinovich looks at public opinion itself and draws pessimistic conclusions. Who is right, Bannerman or Rabinovich? Do changes at the state level signal the start of a larger shift in public opinion? Or are they ends in themselves, fragile and perhaps temporary?
THE 1993 SURVEY
In a prior article,3 this author published the results of a public-opinion poll completed in July 1993, which looked into Levantine Arab views on three subjects: the peace talks, the feasibility of peace, and Israeli intentions toward the Arabs. More than two-thirds of the one thousand Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian respondents opposed negotiating peace with Israel, while an overwhelming majority even of those supporting peace seemed unconvinced that it could last. The vast majority of respondents, including supporters of peace, evinced deep-seated apprehensions about Israel's intentions toward the Arabs. The results were very clear: the Arabs were not ready for peace with Israel.
Here we reexamine these same questions one-and-a-half years later. What has changed in light of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles, the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and Syrian president Hafiz al-Asad's offer of "full peace for full withdrawal"?4 Many Arabs appear to have become conditioned to see peace with Israel as an unavoidable option. They tolerate it, unhappily. In the end, fundamental attitudes remain intact: Arabs acknowledge the need to end military belligerency but preserve every form of political, cultural, and economic segregation. Opposition to Israel is now more subtle; peace is more accepted but normalization, the crux of the matter, remains unacceptable.
This update maintains most of the population groups and dependent variables of the previous one,5 and amplifies them by including more respondents and a fourth variable (testing for readiness to deal with Israelis after a formal peace has been established).
THE PEACE PROCESS
Stunned by the United States's becoming the only superpower, Arab rulers quickly understood that conflict with Israel could not be sustained much longer. They concluded that it was less costly for them to proceed with the peace process than to stay out of it. As a result of this decision, Arab publics in the past year-and-a-half have been inundated with information on peace with Israel. Even in Syria, where the state-controlled mass media barrages the population with tough anti-Israeli rhetoric, talk about a just and comprehensive peace with the Jewish state is now commonplace. On the negative side, regular coverage by Arab media of the peace talks have caused the negotiations to become, in the eyes of many, an unappealing and monotonous ritual. Frequent exposure to Israeli statesmen and officials discussing the prospects of peace with Arab counterparts may have bred a certain degree of (involuntary) familiarity with official Israeli views, thus enhancing Arab readiness to support a negotiated settlement with Israel.
Indeed, table 1 shows that the percentages of Arab supporters of peace have increased significantly since the previous study. The trend is a cause for optimism. The marked reduction in the respondents unsure about their position vis-à-vis peace implies that Arabs have largely absorbed the initial shock of their officials' formally talking peace with Israelis. Most Arabs now look at peace with Israel as a fait accompli that reflects the balance of power.
Opinions about peace with Israel vary dramatically among groupings of respondents when divided by religious affiliation, nationality, and religiosity. Indeed, the results that follow demonstrate how varied is the Arab world in its politics. Particular group perceptions break the monotony of apprehension about Israel.
Religion. In 1993, Lebanese Shi`is stood out as the religious group (of an all-Muslim sample) most positive toward peace with Israel, but no longer. Despite Shi`is' having undertaken most of the anti-Israeli military operations in southern Lebanon, the community is not of one mind. Indeed, Shi`is alone suffer from the direct consequences of Israeli retaliation, and this prompts many of them to support peace with Israel.
Even though Shi`i approval of peace increased by ten points, other groups seem to have stronger motives for joining in, especially the Lebanese Maronites. Many Maronites saw the outcome of Lebanon's civil war as detrimental to their privileged position in Lebanese politics, and became disenchanted with Israel. In their inexperienced in the dynamics of regional politics, most Maronites at the beginning of the civil war assumed that a close connection with Israel would protect their political prerogatives. Although there is in fact no evidence for supposing it to be Israel's intention, they believe peace with Israel would imply the withdrawal of Syrian military troops from Lebanon, and so restore Lebanese sovereignty. That in turn, they hope, will renew their leading role in the country's affairs.
Nationality. Jordanians and Palestinians from Amman rank considerably ahead of other Muslim Arabs as far as support for the peace talks with Israel is concerned. The PLO and Jordan having already signed agreements with Israel, peace talks are no longer an issue. Also, many residents in Jordan hope that peace will invigorate the country's economy.
Palestinians in Beirut stand out in their opposition to the peace talks. They are the only group of those surveyed whose support for the peace talks has gone down since 1993. Palestinians in Lebanon feel abandoned by the PLO, ignored by Israel, and unwanted by the Lebanese.
Syrian approval for the peace talks has increased by 17 percent--a very remarkable achievement in such a short period of time; Asad's preparation of his people for peace appears to be paying off. He does this through the media: Israeli political officials and diplomats now appear in the news on Syrian television; peace placards are displayed on highways and main city squares. Nevertheless, the process of transition to peace is bumpy. Syrian dailies laud their government's peace efforts, even as they disparage Israel's "intransigence." Asad and his government even badmouth the peace process. Vice-President `Abd al-Halim Khaddam brands the Israel-Jordan agreement "a peaceful aggression against the Arabs . . . the agreement should be looked at as an Israeli action to control the resources of the Arab world."6 Asad himself reportedly said in private meetings:
I will not sign an agreement of surrender. Israel seeks humiliating and insulting settlements. . . . I want to die in peace. . . . I shall not attach my name to an agreement that brings disgrace to my country. . . . The Israelis want more land. . . . They want to impose restrictions on inter-Arab cooperation, in favor of special ties with Israel."7
Religiosity. Table 2 reports religiosity levels for Muslim respondents, and registers a noticeable increase in intensity over the previous study. In 1993, increased religiosity among Muslims meant increased opposition to peace. This was especially the case in the presence of an active, militarily organized, fundamentalist Muslim group launching attacks against Israel. If Table 1 shows an increase in the level of support for the peace talks, Table 2 demonstrates a corresponding rise in religiosity levels among all groups of Muslim respondents. These two finding are interesting although they require different types of personal commitment. Support of peace is an attitudinal choice, whereas religiosity demands behavioral adjustment. Rapid expansion in levels of religiosity has, in the Arab world, shown itself to be a manifestation of intense social and political crises. Religiosity still represents a formidable opponent to peace with Israel, though at 72 percent, the number of highly religious Arabs opposed to peace with Israel has declined slightly.
Table 3 shows that highly religious Muslims are the main enemies of the peace process: some 72 percent of highly religious respondents oppose peace with Israel, as compared to a total of 38 percent for moderately religious and irreligious Muslims, and a mere 15 percent for Lebanese Maronite Christians. Arab bellicosity toward Israel increasingly is taking on a religious quality. The more intense a person's religious belief, the more likely he will oppose peace with Israel. The Arab East is becoming polarized along two camps, one fundamentalist and another modernizing.
The daily news confirms the fundamentalists' enmity toward Israel. They violently attack Jews in an effort to stop the negotiations. For them, the war against Israel is not over; in fact, it has not really yet begun. The peace talks are a meaningless exercise, for Israel seeks to impose its will on the Arabs and to control the Middle East. Fundamentalists constantly remind the world that they ultimately intend to eliminate Israel. A spokesman for Hamas commented on the results of a recent suicide bus attack in Tel Aviv by emphasizing that "it is part of our religious duty to combat Zionism until it is eradicated."8 The secretary-general of Hizbullah, Hasan Nasrallah, assured new recruits that the party "is committed to fighting until [Israel] disappears from the map of the region."9
PEACE WITH ISRAEL?
The basic logic underlying the 1993 responses has remained unchanged concerning the prospects of peace with Israel.
Against peace. What alternative ideas do respondents opposed to peace with Israel espouse? Of the nearly two-thirds of them who replied to this question, a majority of 55 percent advocated suicide attacks along the lines of those carried out by Islamic Jihad and Hamas (table 4, question 1). Among these are a great majority of highly religious Muslims (even though popular Islam traditionally knew nothing about suicide attacks). In contrast, most of their less religious counterparts call for self-restraint, while a minority of them choose limited cross-border attacks against Israeli settlements. A few opponents of peace are content to stall the negotiations with the sort of low-intensity skirmishes carried out by Hizbullah. None of the Lebanese Maronite Christians opposed to peace sanction violence. Overall, more than one-third of respondents opposed to peace call for self-restraint. This choice should not be interpreted to mean a state of transition from belligerence to peace. It simply means maintaining a low profile until such time as Israel no longer retains the military upper hand.
For peace. Most Arabs cast serious doubt about the prospects of lasting peace. The 35 percent of respondents supporting peace who believe it will endure (table 4, question 2) marks a significant increase from the 12 percent in 1993; still, this does not signal a general shift in Arab public opinion. Bivariate analysis shows that the added support comes from two new population groups added to the 1995 study -- Lebanese Maronites and Jordanians. In contrast, Syrians, Palestinians, and Lebanese Muslims show no increase in faith that peace will last. Maronites and Jordanians, feeling increasingly vulnerable to Muslim and Palestinian competition, respectively, may have a vested interest in seeing peace prevail.
Have the reasons for supporting peace changed since the previous study? The distribution of responses in table 4, question 4 suggests so. In 1993, not a single respondent believed peace would lead to regional prosperity or saw peace as an end in itself; now, 14 percent hold each of these opinions. Further probing again shows that the vast majority of this 28 percent is either Maronite or Jordanian. A few Palestinians from Amman concur, but their small number makes it hard to say that they represent a new trend.
Would respondents continue to support peace even if the Arabs grew stronger and Israel weaker (table 4, question 5)? Only 5 percent said yes in 1993, but 32 percent do now. Again, it's an impressive increase, but once more, almost all of those who say yes are Maronites and Jordanians. In addition, some Palestinians from Amman will stick with peace. Interestingly, among the Muslims in this category, not one is highly religious. Why do some Palestinians from Amman state a lasting commitment to peace? Perhaps they realize that in the unlikely event of Israel's becoming weak, they will not gain, because the Arab states will not let them take advantage of Israeli weakness. In contrast, none of the Palestinians living in Lebanon who support peace (17 percent of the group) say they would do so were Israel weak; this outlook may reflect their being excluded from the peace process. Palestinians in Lebanon do not foresee benefits from the outcome of the current peace process; hence, they lack motive to support it. The minority of them who say they support peace do so out of a sense of resignation.
The Declaration of Principles has inspired a vast commentary in the Arab world, nearly all negative. Arab nationalists like Walid Khalidi of Harvard University do not disagree with fundamentalists in their dismissing peace with Israel as a capitulation to triumphant Zionism. They differ only in believing the Arabs cannot avoid making significant concessions because of the weakness of their position.10 Arab nationalist commentators are virtually unanimous in urging Arabs to be stubborn: According to Constantine Zurayk, "The Arab-Zionist conflict will not end because it rages between two contradictious rights, truths, and nations."11 Edward Said projects a cold peace from which the Arabs will suffer "continuous subjugation and continuous degradation."12
Against this backdrop, respondents pass judgment on the feasibility of peace with Israel. Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal exhorts Arabs not to despair: "I tell you honestly that I am not pessimistic about the new [Israeli] era. If it comes it will pass quickly, because geographic and historical realities will reassert themselves."13 Though weakened, Arab nationalists remain an important agent of political socialization in the Arab world; that they reinforce the views of the fundamentalists enhances their importance.
Arab commentators are virtually unanimous in dismissing peace with Israel as a capitulation to triumphant Zionism.
What are Israel's long-term intentions toward the Arabs? Perceptions expressed in 1993 remain in place today, with Israel's rise to economic preeminence in the region and its grabbing water supplies the key worries. Other cliché concerns -- the establishment of Greater Israel, the creation of puppet regimes in neighboring countries, and the instigation of intergroup conflict -- also score high. The minority of respondents who accept that Israel is interested in genuine peace are mostly Lebanese Maronites and Jordanians. Although the appearance of the genuine peace option is a welcome addition to an otherwise pessimistic list of projections, it does not constitute a very positive development. It is feasible to argue that respondents who articulate it (Maronites and Jordanians) do so from a utilitarian perspective.
Arab suspicions about Israelis and Jews are deeply rooted. Arab weakness and Israeli strength makes the former exceptionally defensive vis-à-vis the latter. Arabs continuously hear that Israel's existence threatens Arab nationalism or Islam. Writing in a Damascene daily, Syrian columnist Khayri Hama insists that "the conflict with the Zionist enemy has never been a border issue, nor an interstate conflict but rather a total confrontation concerning the survival of our [Arab] nationalism . . . against threats posed by the Israeli entity."14 Lebanon's Grand Sunni Mufti declared Israel "a vicious enemy . . . aiming at destroying our faith, culture, and identity."15 Others see Israel's taking on Islam on behalf of the West.16
Such comments have an effect on the broader public, influencing them to assess Israeli intentions negatively. In this atmosphere of steady anti-Israeli socialization, Arab publics find it very difficult to form positive impressions about Israel's intentions toward them.
INTERACTION WITH ISRAELIS
Until a few years ago, Arabs were generally preoccupied with combat against Israel. Concepts such as Syria's strategic parity and Iraq's nonconventional deterrence capability compellingly commanded the attention of Arab publics. Interaction with Israelis was unthinkable. Symptomatic of this, three unsuspecting Israeli soldiers strolled in a fashionable shopping street in Beirut in September 1982 and were gunned down; Beirut residents recall the incident not as a military hit-and-run operation but as a signal to Israeli sightseers that they were unwelcome.
Has the peace process made Arabs more willing to interact with Israelis after a peace has been signed? To find out, we asked seven questions on this subject. The results were disturbing, to say the least.
Accepting Israeli visitors. Hosting foreign visitors is a modest form of crossnational interaction. Do Arab respondents accept this basic form of contact with Israelis? Table 6, question 1 draws a stark picture, with only 5 percent responding positively; clearly, Arabs are not prepared to welcome Israeli visitors in their lands. Of respondents who support peace with Israel (mostly Maronites and Jordanians), just 9 percent show enthusiasm for Israelis' coming to visit.
Anecdotal evidence confirms the poll results. Take three incidents in Amman hotels. A staunch Jordanian supporter of peace, employed by the Friederich-Naumann-Stiftung (a German organization that promotes programs on civil society and democracy in Jordan and Lebanon) wept uncontrollably when approached by a friendly looking Israeli tourist who wanted to shake her hand; she then ran to her room and remained depressed for two days. In another case, Israeli tourists "bugged guests at a wedding party by participating in dancing, narrowly avoiding a fist fight."17 A famous Syrian singer refused to appear on a hotel stage, despite his lavish salary, after finding Israeli tourists in the audience. Obliging him, the hotel administration asked the Israeli tourists to leave; "The audience received the singer's decision with applause and supported his patriotic anti-Israeli stance."18
Vacationing in Israel. Would respondents be willing to visit Israel on vacation? Nearly one-third of the interviewees say yes (table 6, question 2). This is an impressively large proportion, but their reasons for visiting have a pattern: to see Palestine (47 percent), to visit religious sites (38 percent), and to attend family reunions (15 percent). Not a single respondent mentioned anything about interacting firsthand with Israelis.
Studying in Israel. Is Israel a potential destination for professional training or a child's college education (table 6, questions 3 and 4)? More than eighty percent of the respondents would refuse the former opportunity, even in fields in which Israeli institutions compare favorably with counterparts in the West. Those who would accept are either Maronites or irreligious Muslims; not a single highly or moderately religious Muslim respondent is willing to take courses in an Israeli institution. As if these replies were not disappointing enough, respondents sweepingly dismiss the idea of sending their children to study in Israel, even though they assume that studying in Israel costs significantly less than in Europe or North America. In chats with interviewers, many respondents expected the cost of living in Israel to be cheaper than in Western Europe or North America. Whether rightly or wrongly, they related inversely between per capita income (which is lower in Israel) and the cost of living.
Learning about Israel. Are the respondents interested in familiarizing themselves with aspects of life in Israel (table 6, question 5)? Only a small minority expresses interest, and of these, several told the interviewers they want to "know the enemy."
Learning Hebrew. What about learning Hebrew (table 6, question 6)? One-fifth says yes. Of these, 40 percent (or 8 percent of all respondents) would do so to strengthen peace. Twenty percent of them would do so to fend off possible Israeli schemes. A report published by a Lebanese daily observes that many Jordanians have enrolled in Hebrew-language courses since the conclusion of the peace treaty with Israel. Students of Hebrew include individuals likely to come in direct contact with Israelis (waiters, journalists, tourist agents, businessmen, border and intelligence officers). Learning Hebrew does not necessarily indicate a positive state of mind toward Israel.
It is not true that everyone studying Hebrew is doing it out of favorable disposition to Israel. . . . A bearded Palestinian refugee and father to eight children said: "although I am studying Hebrew, I shall resist normalization with all my might. . . . The Jews shall remain my enemy until the day of Judgement . . ." Leftists and Islamists who oppose peace with Israel, including all forms of normalization, stress that studying Hebrew in an academic way does not contradict their belief that the State of Israel has no right to exist.19
Learning Jewish history. What about a willingness to look at Jewish history from an Israeli perspective (table 6, question 7)? In other words, how ready are Arabs to reexamine entrenched perceptions? The answer was categorically negative. Respondents may be willing to accept peace with Israel but they are much less willing to change their perceptions about Jews in general, and the state of Israel in particular. This indicates a de facto acquiescence to peace on condition that it does not tamper with inherent values attached to the origins of the conflict.
PEACE VS. NORMALIZATION
These responses to interaction with Israelis are neither haphazard nor isolated. They reflect a deliberate choice by the respondents to shun any form of interaction with Israelis, even when they profess to support peace. This is turn points to a larger, more profound point about Arab opinion toward Israel.
The prospect of normalization has haunted Arab life since Arab-Israeli negotiations took a serious turn with the Madrid talks in October 1991. As global changes made the eventual transition to peace with Israel unavoidable, a new theory developed, one that distinguishes between peace and normalization. Yes, Arabs and Israelis would reconcile at the official level, but no, they would not interact. The peace is limited to regimes. This is made possible by the fact that Arab masses and their rulers share extremely little in terms of political values and aspirations. The former may acquiesce to policies adopted by the latter, but they do not, generally, view themselves bound to honor them.
Public opinion implies the peace is limited to regimes. Israel shall remain "our enemy even if Arab regimes sign peace treaties with her."20 The peace process is an "illegitimate newborn without a chance of acceptance or even survival."21 Zahiya Qaddura, a prominent Lebanese Arab nationalist, advocates the introduction of an all-Arab plan "for fighting normalization, and for defeating the cultural invasion which will overwhelm all aspects of our lives."22 Ahmad Sidqi ad-Dajani, director of the Palestinian Higher Council for Education, Culture and Science, exhorted Arabs "to employ Arab culture in opposing agreements engineered by the [Israeli] racists."23 This attitude prompted the shaykh of Egypt's leading Islamic institution, Al-Azhar University, not to receive Israel's head of state, Ezer Weizmann, during his first official visit to Cairo.24
In the same spirit, Arab professional associations impose sanctions on members who dare talk about normalization. The Union of Syrian Writers froze the membership of Adonis, a well-known Syrian poet, for "supporting normalization with the Zionist enemy."25 A recent resolution by the League of Jordanian Writers threatened to ostracize any Jordanian or Arab member of the intelligentsia if he takes a positive stand on normalization; it also voted to disallow participation by any Israeli scholar, irrespective of his political orientation or his views, in any activity held in Jordan.26 These moves not only show the preeminence of dogma over open-mindedness but they shut the door to new, moderating information.
Fundamentalist Muslims agree with this strategy, seeing the new confrontation with Israel as having a cultural rather than a military base. Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, Hizbullah's spiritual leader, explains that "the Qur'an-based Islamic culture . . . concentrates on the aggressiveness of the Jews, and describes the people of Israel in negative terms. [Our culture] may be one of the active ingredients in consolidating the already strong barriers against Israeli expansion in the region, and in producing a new reality in the future."27
An intellectual leader who endorses the peace process sometimes comes under so much pressure, he then recants. Shaykh `Abd al-`Aziz Ibn Baz, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, issued a fatwa (religious edict) on December 21, 1994, in which he legitimized "establishing lasting or temporary peace with Israel."28 Fundamentalists and leftists united in severely criticizing the fatwa, forcing the mufti to reinterpret himself. In a later statement, he claimed the fatwa "warranted by Arab weaknesses. Peace with the Jews does not require liking them. . . . As soon as the Muslims acquire the means to reverse the situation, they must fight the Jews who occupy Muslim lands."29
Peace with the Jews does not require liking them.
The Arab rulers' championing of peace with Israel has had only a limited impact on public attitudes. In contrast, Arab intellectual leaders -- politicians, scholars, religious activists, and journalists -- create a climate harmful to the cause of peace, and that is bound to affect the general public's views. Intellectuals can say what rulers cannot. Asad, for instance, can convince his people that a peace agreement with Israel is unavoidable in view of the prevailing international order. He can promise his countrymen "to minimize the concessions dictated by an essentially weak Arab position."30 But he cannot tell his people to oppose normalization, nor to prepare for another confrontation, for that would discredit him in American eyes; that's something the intellectuals can do. Asad tells the people they are weak and cannot avoid peace; the intellectuals provide a pep talk. People listen to both analyses. In the end, the public accepts peace without normalization, with an eye to possible geostrategic shifts in the future.
This intense campaign against normalization presumably does much to reduce the readiness of respondents to interact with Israelis or familiarize themselves with Israel.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS
If the present attitude holds -- accepting a legal agreement with Israel but not accepting anything more than that -- it may prove detrimental to peace. Entrenched beliefs survive formal agreements unless the latter are augmented by bonds of political, economic, and cultural association. A peace treaty does not have a life of its own; it becomes real only when people have faith in it and immerse themselves in its implementation. To consummate a peace treaty, erstwhile enemies must interact with each other.
The survey results show that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not being ended; it is being transformed. Most respondents who approve of peace see it as a truce, not a genuine end to hostilities. The Arab continues to see Israel as an illegitimate creature, and so rejects all types of interaction with it.
The imminent challenge to peace comes from highly religious Muslims, many of whom are fundamentalists. The future of Arab-Israeli relations does not hinge on formal peace agreements but on the strength of fundamentalist Muslim groups. If these succeed in controlling the reins of political power in their countries, they will revive dormant hopes among quiescent Arabs for renewing their stand against Israel.
To weaken fundamentalist Muslim groups, governments must accommodate as many social forces as possible in the political system. Arab regimes monopolize political power. Over the years, they have repressed opposition movements and silenced groups that sought to share power with them. Obsession with political centralization and inadequate response to popular demands facilitated the rise of more stubborn opponents, namely, fundamentalist Muslims. While power sharing in the absence of institutionalized forms of governance is problematic, Arab ruling elites must be urged to accept that the only way to prevent their political demise hinges upon tolerating pluralism. The Arabs, in brief, need a social and cultural opening, and the activation of their political processes.
Peace at the official level--significant as it may be--is not enough. Arab governments are fragile because they lack popular legitimacy. The survival of peace treaties with Israel cannot be entrusted to them. Unless Arab regimes manage to legitimize themselves--by broadening the base of national politics and by introducing liberalization and accountability measures--they will lose ground to fundamentalist Muslims.
A good number of Arab journalists and scholars may be willing to express favorable views about peace, but they are either afraid or unable to find a medium for the expression of their views. One of the major impediments to genuine peace is that the Arab mass media does not debate the issue; it simply condemns it outright. Academic institutions in the region should be encouraged to set up degree-seeking, peace-education programs in the curricula. Conferences promoting peace should be held in the region, not just in Europe and the United States. Arab mass media should be pressed to discuss the merits of peace and the value of intergroup relationships. This can be accomplished in the context of Washington's prompting of Arab regimes to usher in a process of political liberalization. Sponsorship of new publications that commit themselves to the cause of peace should help introduce a new, iconoclastic approach to the treatment of Arab-Israeli affairs.
Only an open dialogue can generate the support for peace that goes beyond formal agreements and makes those agreements into living documents. Unfortunately, if current trends persist, Arab publics will probably not become ready for peace with Israel.
Appendix: Research Methodology
The opinions reported here represent 1,205 respondents questioned between October 15, 1994, and January 6, 1995.
Of these, 995 are Muslims and 210 are Maronite Christians. The respondents are broken down by nationality according to the following distribution: 630 Lebanese, 245 Syrians, 180 Palestinians, and 150 Jordanians. Nonresponse rates came to 5 percent for Lebanese, 6 percent for Palestinians, 8 percent for Jordanians, and 9 percent for Syrians.
The sample includes ten subgroups, seven selected on the basis of quota sampling (necessitated by the fact that representative selection is not possible) and three selected randomly. The seven quota subgroups include 255 Lebanese professionals (divided equally among Sunnis, Shi`is, and Maronites), 245 Syrian professionals residing in Damascus, and 180 Palestinian professionals (divided equally between residents in Beirut and Amman). Unlike the earlier survey, Syrian laborers are not included here; they were replaced by Jordanian professionals, and Lebanese Maronite professionals and college students.
The three random subgroups made up of Lebanese Sunni, Shi`i, and Maronite college students (125 respondents for each subgroup) were selected from two private academic institutions: the Lebanese-American University (formerly Beirut University College) in West Beirut, and Notre Dame University in East Beirut. The low proportion of women in the study (185 respondents, 59 percent of whom are Lebanese college students) is an indication of the small professional role they play in the Arab world.
Twenty-five highly trained students (seventeen of them graduate students) at the American University of Beirut collected the data. They asked the same questions as in the earlier survey, plus the seven new items pertaining to interaction with Israelis found in table 6. The new questions were discussed at length with the group of field workers until their format was finally agreed upon by the entire group. It was deemed unnecessary to pretest the instrument since this was done already in the previous study. The same reliability measures of the previous study were used in the present one.
1 M. Graeme Bannerman, "Arabs and Israelis: Slow Walk Toward Peace," Foreign Affairs, Jan./Feb. 1993, p. 152.
2 International Herald Tribune, Nov. 4, 1994.
3 Hilal Khashan, "Are the Arabs Ready for Peace with Israel?" Middle East Quarterly, Mar. 1994, pp. 19-28; reprinted in As-Safir (Beirut), Oct. 27, 28, 29, 1994.
4 The New York Times, May 11, 1993.
5 For details, see the appendix on Research Methodology.
6 As-Safir, Dec. 8, 1994.
7 Ad-Diyar, Jan. 11, 1995.
8 As-Safir, Oct. 26, 1994.
9 Al-Hayat, Feb. 25, 1995.
10 Remarks at a public lecture, American University of Beirut, Feb. 1, 1995.
11 As-Safir, May 19, 1994.
12 Al-Hayat, Oct. 12, 1994.
13 Muhammad H. Haykal, As-Salam al-Muhasar baina Haqai'q al-Lahza wa Haqai'q at-Tarikh [The peace besieged by the truths of the moment and the truths of history] (Beirut: Mu'assasat ad-Dirasat al-Filistiniya, 1994), p. 40.
14 Al-Ba`th, July 26, 1994.
15 Al-Mustaqbal Television, Mar. 2, 1995.
16 For example, al-Mawaqif, no. 159, Dec. 1994, p. 3.
17 An-Nahar, Nov. 17, 1994.
18 Al-Majd, Dec. 26, 1994.
19 An-Nahar, Nov. 25, 1994.
20 An-Nahar, Aug. 23, 1994.
21 Al-Mawaqif, no. 109, Dec. 1994, p. 26.
22 Al-Liwa, Jan. 6, 1995.
23 Al-Manabir, no. 76, Nov. 2, 1994, p. 4.
24 An-Nahar, Dec. 20, 1994.
25 Ash-Shira', no. 666, Feb. 6, 1995, p. 43.
26 Umar Shabana, "Fi Ma`rakat at-Tatbi` wa Muqawamatuhu: al-Muthaqqafun fi'l-Urdunn bayn ar-Rafd wa'l-Qubul al-Mutahafit," [The battle of resisting normalization: the intelligentsia in Jordan between absolute rejection and unscrupulous acceptance] Majallat ad-Dirasat al-Filistiniya, Summer 1994, p. 161.
27 Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, "Ab`ad Ittifaq Ghaza-Uriha fi'l-Waqi` al-Filistini wa'l-`Arabi wa'l-Islami," [The Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic Dimensions of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement] Qira'at Siyasiya, no. 13, Winter 1994, p. 89.
28 As-Safir, Dec. 23, 1994. Ibn Baz grounded the fatwa in the Qur'anic verse that reads, "But if the enemy Incline towards peace, and trust in God" (Sura Al-Anfal, verse 61).
29 As-Safir, Jan. 20, 1995.
30 An-Nahar, Sept. 11, 1994.