She Polled Gazans on Oct. 6. Here’s What She Found.

On the eve of the Oct. 7 attacks, Amaney Jamal asked Gazans what they thought about Hamas, their economic circumstances and their hopes for long-term peace.

The day before Hamas’s horrific attacks in Israel, the Arab Barometer, one of the leading polling operations in the Arab world, was finishing up a survey of public opinion in Gaza.

The result is a remarkable snapshot of how Gazans felt about Hamas and hoped the conflict with Israel would end. And what Gazans were thinking on Oct. 6 matters, now that they’re all living with the brutal consequences of what Hamas did on Oct. 7.

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So I invited on the show Amaney Jamal, the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and a co-founder and co-principal investigator of Arab Barometer, so she could walk me through the results.

And, it’s a complicated picture. The people of Gaza, like any other population, have diverse beliefs. But one thing is clear: Hamas was not very popular.

As Jamal and her co-author write: “The Hamas-led government may be uninterested in peace, but it is empirically wrong for Israeli political leaders to accuse all Gazans of the same.”

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(A full transcript of the episode is available here.)

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