Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc.

Sign up for IRmep's periodic email bulletins!

New IRmep book now available!


on Twitter!

Audio podcast.gif (1429 bytes)

Email list Subscribe
Audio Archive
Video Archive
Israel Lobby Archive
About IRmep
Policy & Law Enforcement

centle.jpg (8432 bytes)







Printable (PDF)

2/07/2006 MEASURE Survey Release:
US Policy Toward Hamas and Palestinians

The Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition project  polled 62 Middle East academics about US policy toward Hamas and the Palestinians.  The survey was fielded between January 29 and February 1, 2006.  Drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees in Middle East area studies, IRmep compiled and presents survey responses.  This poll should not be interpreted as a statistically significant reflection on the views of all US Middle East academic specialists.

Key Findings:

  1. 55% of Middle East Academics polled believe the Bush Administration will engage in "low intensity, limited diplomatic relations" with the new Hamas led Palestinian Authority and only 2% believe it will give full diplomatic recognition.
  2. 40% believe the administration should engage in "low intensity, limited diplomatic relations" with the new Hamas led Palestinian Authority while 50% believe it should give "full diplomatic recognition."
  3. 96% of Middle East Academics polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions are "influential" to "highly influential" on Bush Administration policy toward the Palestinians.
  4. Only 38% of Middle East Academics polled believe that the "roadmap to peace" and creating a Palestinian state are "influential" to "highly influential" on Bush Administration policy toward the Palestinians.
  5. 71% of Middle East Academics polled believe that current Bush administration toward the Palestinians is functioning "poorly", 19% believe it is working "not very well".

See the following charts and comments for elaboration on each survey question.

Document URL:

Question #1 How likely is it that the Bush Administration will pursue any level of engagement with a Hamas leadership?

chart1.jpg (22118 bytes)


At least not as long as Hamas sticks to its current ideology. Hamas will have to give a lot more before there will be engagement with its leadership

The administration continues to view Hamas in crude stereotypes as a terrorist group, rather than recognizing the nuances and plurality within it.

They cannot simply ignore a democratically elected government without exposing hypocrisy in Bush's position.

The administration wants to pressure Hamas, but recognizes that Hamas has effectively committed to a cease fire and is a more pragmatic organization than they appear to be.

The victory was so stunning that even the Bush administration can scarcely ignore it: there is also a strong chance that HAMAS will somewhat moderate its policies as it finds itself faced with the task of governing

The administration will look for any excuse to blame Hamas, such as putting up ridiculous obstacles at the outset rather than creating space and opportunities for moderate voices within Hamas to be able to pursue more centrist policies.

That is, of course, if 'they' 'renounce' the destruction of Israel and the right to self-defense.



This is unfortunate.  The United States can play a constructive role in persuading Hamas to modify its hardline course, and can also attempt to understand what drives Hamas into its position.  The United States needs to understand the Middle East through its players, and Hamas is one such player.

Much is done behind the scenes in ME; I'm sure Israel (if not the less competent Bush administration) has realistically assessed the need to deal with Hamas as a political organization.

Should recognize will of Palestinian people-if US wants democracy, support Hamas

The Bush administration may continue to pursue engagement with Abbas, as long as he remains in power, and this may the way for the US to continue to send support.  Unless Hamas is clear in changing its outlook, and even if it does, there is little to no chance the US will engage.

The Administration will approach Hamas on two levels, public and private.  On the first, the message will be loud and strongly negative, demanding an immediate change in the organization's stated outlook.  Privately, it will encourage greater moderation, but truck no acts of terrorism.

Talk is always better than refusal.

No public recognition or engagement, but I expect some private contacts will occur.

Lousy, tragic rhetoric.  Sad and incorrect policy.

Bush will, of course, take the worst and most stupid course of action, which is to shut them out.

The Bush admin has locked itself into no recognition, no exchanges. Hamas will not change re weapons or recognition of Israel given current Israeli settlement expansion = stalemate, especially re upcoming Israeli elections.

Realpolitik requires back channel communication even with one's "enemies."

This was democracy

Initially informal contacts behind the scenes


Time and circumstances will oblige US and Hamas to conduct negotiations - as with US and Iraqi insurgents.

This is a juvenile attitude. If the Israeli government is willing to consider talks, then the Bush Administration comes across as completely unreasonable to deny authority to Hamas--regardless of whether the ideology of the Hamas party is palatable to the U.S.

Question #2 Should the Bush Administration pursue any level of engagement with a Hamas leadership?

chart2.jpg (13184 bytes)



The damage to American foreign policy would be greater if it talks to Hamas.

Hamas will face daunting problems and need to provide tangible results.  The US should encourage them to focus on social and economic success and to find a modus vivendi to engage in talks with Israel. To do this requires a low level of engagements and carrots rather than sticks.

The US wanted an election; they got a free and fair election. So deal with the folks who won. Hamas now has far greater legitimacy than most regimes in the Middle East

Although I would prefer full recognition, such an act without the Israelis making similar moves and without Hamas giving anything would be too sharp a break with the past. Some pressure to follow through with commitments to clean up corruption in the PA bureaucracy is probably a good thing.

We have not kept up in the US with the evolution of Hamas over the years. 

It seems unlikely that the Bush administration can isolate itself entirely even from a group whose policies it disapproves. It doesn't have the capacity to reject entirely that it does with, say Iran.

Start with full engagement and a serious commitment to working with them, and then put the burden on Hamas to respond in a moderate manner.  Hamas will likely fail in this regard, but the administration is setting itself up to be yet another obstacle rather than letting Hamas fail politically on its own (and thus discredit itself with Palestinians).

This is their best chance to get it right.

Some form of respectful dialogue (even when differences are clearly articulated) is probably the best hope of moderating a group more accustomed to being in the opposition and taking radical positions.

It depends on how well they govern and what they show their intentions to be.

This will persuade the peoples of the Middle East that we are sincere in promoting democracy, and that we respect the people's choices, although we may disagree with them.  Imposing sanctions or shunning the democratically elected government will not be in the national interest of the United States.

This was an open, freely contested election. Bush admin needs to look at why Palestinians voted for Hamas and what needs of Pal state are (end occupation, dismantle settlements, contiguous territory, etc). Hamas can negotiate that as well as PLO could.

They are the elected officials of the Palestinian people, not some fake government imposed by US invasion. Far more legitimate than Afghan or Iraqi governments.

The Bush administration would run the risk of legitimizing Hamas by engaging, especially when it did not engage with the pre-Hamas government.

Nixon opened China and Sharon left Gaza. Maybe intelligent, pragmatic Hamas leaders will drop their aim to destroy Israel.

It is obvious what Gaza and West Bank Palestinians want, but few Americans would support Hamas's stated aims. However, some form of quiet contact should occur.

You have to talk, if you want to make peace.  There's no way around it.

No aid unless they renounce violence against Israel.

I was not surprised that Hamas won.  The Palestinians are desperate and voted for Hamas, an organization devoted to their welfare.  Most of Hamas member are NOT terrorist, but rather Palestinians looking for a way forward.  By sticking our head in the hole, we gain nothing.  Our policies are hypocritical.  We support "chosen governments" whether or not they are democratic.  Should the Bus administration cut back money to the Palestinians, they should also CUT BACK Israeli "support" which is way out of line.

We cannot go from Terrorist list to best friends, but we have to have dialogue.

This should be the objective but, in close coordination with the other members of the Quartet, we need to impress upon Hamas the importance of renouncing armed struggle and recognizing Israel if they want a two-state solution.  If they don't there will still be a lot of humanitarian work to accomplish through the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.


this could be justified despite the anti-Hamas rhetoric on the grounds of accepting results of democratic elections.

The electoral victory of Hamas provides the Bush administration with an opportunity to show that they are serious about the idea of embracing democracy in the Middle East.  If the Bush administration just continues with the support and engagement that it had when Fatah was the ruling party it would send an extremely positive message.  Note that Israeli public opinion polls show the majority of the Israeli population is in favor of dialoguing with Hamas.

But they aren't going to be smart enough to do this.  They have consistently demonstrated their complete lack of understanding of the Middle East; why would they start now to be smart?

This was democracy

They are a duly elected government and should be recognized as such and accorded all the respect of any democratically elected government.

They are the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinians

They have democratic legitimacy for better or worse so they can't be avoided

If the US were to be serious about a fair solution to the problem, some level of contact is necessary. Hamas has been popularly elected.

Radicalization is a function of lack of engagement and consequently lack of hope, and vice versa.

At a time with Bush has more than suggested that Democracy is the answer for ALL nations, to ignore a government elected through a democratic process is completely hypocritical. I do not agree with most of Hamas' plans, but the U.S. has lost so much respect and become the bully of the Middle East. This is an opportunity for the Bush Administration to put their diplomatic relations where their mouth is. It took Nixon to open relations with China, Regan to end the Cold War, so perhaps Hamas (a group not seen as weak by Palestinians and other Islamic groups) to make peace with Israel.


Question #3 How influential are each of the following factors on Bush administration policies toward Palestinians?

a. "Democratization" of the Middle East.

chart3.jpg (15359 bytes)

b. US regional military logistics and control  

chart4.jpg (17614 bytes)

c. Israeli regional ambitions.

chart5.jpg (10306 bytes)
d. "Global War on Terrorism"
chart6.jpg (10818 bytes)

e. The "Road map" & creating Palestinian state
chart7.jpg (16267 bytes)

f. Other

Domestic political considerations. The religious conservative base has been given a bone on Alito and may not mind some wavering on the unconditional support of Israel, but Bush is unlikely to completely ignore this interest base.

Oil Politics

U. S. Street opinion about Israel/Palestine.  The Bush administration (except for the neo cons who have lost face rapidly lately, is mostly on board with thwarting Israeli regional ambitions, backing them out of the occupied territories to the extent that the American public allows and stabilizing Palestine. Thus having the voters with the US gov. on this plan is very important.

The 'democratization' is merely rhetoric designed to allow the Bush govt. to appear they are trying to 'civilize' the primitive world. Rather, it is a combo. of the Israeli-military-industrial complex that are the primary movers of any Bush policy. Let's be honest.

This is a poorly designed question designed to solicit a biased answer.

The administration has an extremely naive understanding of democratization in this context. They have shown themselves to be uninterested in reading history, even the recent history of Algeria. Just about everything they have done so far has made things worse. The irony is that back in 2000-2001, when I was living in Morocco, many Moroccan intellectuals hoped that Bush would follow his father's lead in taking a tougher stand with the Israelis.

It seems that the Administration's policy toward the Middle East in general, and the Palestinian problem in particular is not driven by a sincere desire to find solutions, but as a tactical approach toward a program the Administration has for US economic and military programs in the Middle East.  This policy is one of the root causes of conflict, terrorism and low esteem for the United States throughout the Middle East, as well as the Islamic World.  US one-sided support for Israel, right or wrong, is not likely to help us attain stability and peace in that troubled region.  We must follow a more even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  We also need to rely more on diplomacy and negotiations rather than wars and military approach.  We can attain more by peaceful methods than we can by military actions.  This applies to Iran, Iraq and other conflicts.

Keep regimes in power that accord with US interests as defined by Bush administration and corporations with interest in the region.

Israeli regional ambitions trump everything--this makes us even more of a target for al-Qaeda and its satellites

Much show for public, but what Washington cares about is gaining and wielding power

I remain unconvinced that Bush was ever very interested in furthering peace in the region or in Israel/Palestine.

Bush's (and his cronies') total ignorance of the Middle East and the way it works.

The Neo-Cons so influential particularly in the Dep't of Defense in league with the pro-Israeli lobby and its congressional colleagues.

Since the administration does not speak with one voice, it is hard to rate these various contradictory pressures.  Maybe the need for EU support with respect to Iran and Iraq will pressure US policy makers to being more responsive to EU and Quartet concerns about following the Road Map...

American domestic politics, especially with the coming Congressional elections.

The Road Map is dead because Sharon never accepted it and Bush et. al. let him - so a double standard applied. Plus Sharon never engaged Mahmud Abbas, again with Bush tolerance. If true re Abbas, doubly true w/ Hamas in office.

If the Bush administration boycotts Hamas in what was an extremely fair and reliable election, then it shows that they are not really interested in democratization and it is only used as a guise for other aims.

Maintaining control of the sea lanes and the oil spigot for the US and its allies, e.g., Japan, South Korea, etc.; and ensuring water for the Israelis.

Domestic political considerations

It is clear that the Bush Administration uses the term "Democratization" loosely, as once a group is elected through a democratic process he can easily dismiss them.


Question #4. How influential should each of the following factors be on Bush administration policies toward Palestinians?

a. "Democratization" of the Middle East.

chart8.jpg (15139 bytes)

b. US regional military logistics and control
chart9.jpg (14047 bytes)

c. Israeli regional ambitions.

chart10.jpg (13761 bytes)

d. "Global War on Terrorism"
chart11.jpg (12854 bytes)

e. The "Road map" & creating Palestinian state

chart12.jpg (10238 bytes)

f. Other

US needs to focus on concrete achievements that give hope to Middle Easterners, a peace settlement and troop reductions in Iraq.

Domestic politics. Bush should ignore the pro-Israel Christian right when it comes to this issue.

Oil Politics

The U.S. should be very concerned about damping down Israeli regional ambitions and working to enable a viable Palestinian State.  This would be one of the central means, in addition to removing a military presence that looks "permanent" that would diminish terrorism.

1. The aspirations of the Palestinian people to a normal existence of their choosing, w/no WALL, or interference by Israel or the U. S.

I don't see any of the above factors as being positive. What would it take for the US to join in a broadly multilateral approach to the issues? 

We need to recognize that democracy has to come from within that region.  We can encourage it by example, but not by the stick.  We need to be sincere about it, and respect its effects, whether we like them or not.  Otherwise our credibility is destroyed.  We should attempt to understand the root causes of anger in the Middle East, most of which is related to our lack of sensitivity to the problems of the Middle East: hunger, disease, poverty, lack of education and wealth concentrated in the hands of ruthless dictators we support and deal with.

Just and equitable solution to Pal/Israeli conflict.

Helping create principled and just regimes in the ME with full recognition of the rights of all people in the area.

The Road Map has long been a dead project, given Sharon's 14 objections.  A real peace negotiation process is desperately needed, but the US is not an honest [or neutral] broker.

Positive reinforcement (investment, etc) for strides in this regard and in democratic policies set up by the Palestinians themselves. Reward their own development and the making of their government transparent and less corrupt for instance.

Seriously acknowledging the degree to which American Middle Eastern policy, particularly its unqualified support of Israel, has led to the "terrorism" so loudly condemned.

When I argue "Global WOT" should be extremely influential, I mean we are struggling for Muslim minds and can regain some support if we push strongly for a Palestinian Israeli peace process that could come at the expense of some Israeli regional ambitions.

Creating a truly viable Palest state would require pressure on Israel, highly unlikely. but allowing things to drift hurts our efforts in Iraq and elsewhere.

Bringing Israel to the table to become a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty; thereby rendering moot the real reason for Iran seeking nuclear weapons.

Recognition that past policy toward Palestinians has been misguided and future policy should make it clear that the US supports the return to Palestinian control over all of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem and the right of the Palestinians to live at peace in these areas.

Domestic political considerations -our own national interests should be paramount

A friendly and democratic Arab World is impossible without resolving the Palestinian issue and creating a viable Palestinian state, and the latter is impossible without highly engaged, vigorous and public US foreign policy to that effect. 

Palestinians who were displaced in 1948 and 1967 and had everything confiscated from them and their descendents should be granted the same right of return by Israel that Israel grants to Jewish people


Question #5 What is the probability that the following will occur within the next three years?


a. Renewed "Intifada" against Israel

chart13.jpg (24975 bytes)


b. Israeli annexation of E. Jerusalem & West Bank.

chart14.jpg (25764 bytes)


c. Return to "Road Map" and peace negotiation.

chart15.jpg (28336 bytes)


d. Effective Hamas leadership of Palestinians.

chart16.jpg (24948 bytes)


e. Other (rank, then comment below):


Israel will use the pretext of a 'terrorist' Hamas leadership to do more land grabs.

Israel is *very* likely to annex E. Jerusalem but very *unlikely* to annex the West Bank in total, though they will undoubtedly take parts of it where there are major Israeli settllements.

Declaration of a Palestinian state

Probably we will limp along as we are unless the U.S. gets the gumption to be firmer with Israel.   The intifada against continued occupation never really stops, the attempt by Israel gradually to take more and more of E. Jerusalem and the W.B. never stops as more fancy homes for Jewish Israelis are built and more Palestinian homes bulldozed.  Hamas wants to lead with Fatah now.  If Fatah wises up to their mistakes and helps Hamas, progress could be made.

The Hamas could only be effective w/out interference from: the U.S., Israel, special interests, OR using Fatah as puppets to ruin Palestinian society even further.

Notwithstanding international media accounts, Palestinians may well have thought that a harder line government might give them better leverage in forcing Israel to stop its policy of targeted assassinations, economic strangulation, etc.. If the US gets Israel to stop these things, perhaps there is some hope for an end to the violence. Otherwise, the Intifada will continue. The big worry is whether Hamas will prove effective in leading Palestinians through ruthless intimidation of enemies and suppression of dissent.

The chances are, unless we revise our policies in the Middle East, there will be more bloodshed, and destructive conflicts.  We can contain all this be devising a policy of economic assistance, and fair dealing with all concerned, without relying on domestic pressures to support Israel blindly.  We should also extricate ourselves from Iraq and avoid a military confrontation with Iran.  We should demand of Israel to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, and at the same time use this as a reason why the Middle East should be free of weapons of mass destruction.  We should find and honest solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict consistent with our tradition of fair play and integrity.

I think Palestinians are tired and just want to make their daily life work as free as possible from Israeli intrusion and occupation. Israel cannot annex the west bank because of the demographic problem. if Israel does annex these, then you have an overt apartheid regime. while this might be bad in the short term for Palestinians, in the long term it will give them the moral high ground and expose Israeli injustice. witness how many times people have repeated the phrase "Israel's right to exist" in the past few days. Israel NEEDS the high ground in order not to have the injustices exposed. I think Hamas would be internally effective if the international community would not meddle, cutting off its funding (90%).

Hamas has to show its competence to lead the Palestinians and cut a better deal than Arafat did with Israel & the US

b. is an inaccurate choice.  Israel has already annexed East Jerusalem in 1967. Israel is not very likely to annex all of the West Bank in the near future, but its goal is more land, less Palestinian people, so it will continuing annexing parts of the OPT, much as it is now doing via the Wall.  FYI, I live and work in a US NGO's peace building program in Jerusalem.

Continuation of Israeli policy of unilateral separation and effective border-drawing.

Continued Bush ignorance and mis-steps in the Middle East.

Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, expansion of its colonies in the West Bank, and its unilateral determination of its borders.

Unilateral Israeli withdrawal from certain areas in the West Bank.

Negotiations should begin but abandon the Road Map first as it is long dead and was never implemented fairly. Arrangements Wolfensohn [sp] worked out re Gaza were not implemented because Israel balked after the fact. U.S. has no assurance its policies will be implemented by its major ally.

Bringing Israel to the table to become a signatory the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Consequence:  Iran will have nuclear weapons capability within five (5) years.

Hamas is likely to at least clean up the PA. So it will be effective there. If "negotiations" are resumed without the US setting clear agenda and goals (rather than simply accepting Israel's agenda as its own), they will be acrimonious and short-lived at worst, cosmetic and ineffective at best.




Question #6 How well is the US foreign policy formulation process toward the Palestinians working?

chart17.jpg (12699 bytes)


Question #7 If you could give the Bush administration three recommendations for medium term policy toward Hamas, what would they be?

Expose the contradictions between the different goals of the group (eliminating Israeli while creating a prosperous Palestinian society). let them fail, expose their weakness and let them face the realities of holding power. don't be tempted to buy into the EU conciliation attempts, remember that a religious ideology like that of Hamas doesn't lend itself to any real accommodation. Palestinian Islamists are not Turkish Islamists 

-Talk to their leadership -Don't assume the worst, work toward moderation of the leadership -Continue economic aid to Palestine at all costs

1. Recognize Hamas as legitimately elected representatives of the Palestinians. 2.  Strongly encourage Israeli gov't to do the same. 3.  Take powerful steps to demonstrate to the Hamas government that the US is fully committed to a Palestinian state embracing both Gaza and the majority of the West Bank.

1. Treat Hamas as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinians: they won a free and fair election 2. Don't put US pressure Hamas -- let Israel and Hamas figure things out on their own first. Expect that the next two or three months are going to be a little rocky. 3. Don't precipitously cut all aid to the Palestinian Authority -- at that point, Hamas will truly have nothing to lose.

1. Quickly find compromise language that Hamas and the US can accept concerning Hamas accepting Israel's right to exist. 2. Find was to prevent humanitarian disaster if US and EU funding appears to be threatened. 3. Pressure Israel to continue to release custom's duties and other taxes due the Palestinian Authority.

(1) Full recognition of Hamas since they are the democratically preferred choice of the Palestinian people reflecting Palestinian mentality. (2) Pressure Israel to withdraw back to the UN-accepted 1967 "Green Line," including the Golan Heights, especially since Syria has publicly stated that they will declare peace with Israel pending the full return of occupied Syrian land.

Engage Hamas-led government Negotiate with them Seek international consensus on US policy

1.   As quickly as possible get up to speed on how Hamas is perceived in the region e.g. in Syria where they are seen as an aid organization as opposed to Hezbollah, which is seen as terrorist.  Reconsider the knee jerk rhetoric. 2.  Declare that East Jerusalem must be Palestinian 3.  STOP Israel from building and bulldozing in the West Bank in order to give the reasonable Palestinians Israelis hope.

1.   Stop being a proxy for Israel.  How long can the tail wag the dog> 2.  Pay serious attention to Palestinian aspirations. 3.  Develop a foreign policy that recognizes that there are other peoples/states in the Middle East besides Israel.

1. To remember that they have received the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian vote 2. To remember that most of those who voted for them want some way out of their situation rather than actively seek the creation of an Islamic state. 3. That the policy of relying on highly corrupt members of Fatah in the past (Dahlan in Gaza for instance) should be dropped. It's difficult not to regard Fatah as a spent force in Palestinian politics, especially if Hamas succeeds in governing at least tolerably well.

open talks with Hamas, that will moderate the movement direct help and support more towards the public rather than autocratic regimes enforce an Israeli-Palestinian solution that would be consistent with the achievement of the minimal claims of both sides

1) Recognize the government (not formally Hamas) and create opportunities for moderates within Hamas to achieve "successes" that will significantly discredit the radicals. 2) Insist Hamas abandon use of political violence toward Israel, but don't pressure the group to fully accept Israel at this point--it only creates a situation where the U.S. and Israel are again perceived as not serious about cooperation with Palestinians. 3) Act consistently to support democratization and human rights, which will include more vocal criticism of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

1. Recognize them and treat them civilly and diplomatically.  2. Spend $$$ to redevelop their society-that WILL create a civil society.   3. Engage Israel to see that it is in their best interests to see a stable Palestine-tie $$$ to both sides dependent on building bridges together-e.g. dual NGO's; Palest. and Israel. NGO's at ea. others' countries. Neutralize radicals with social stigmatization.

Insist on revoking the covenant give up on destroying Israel disarm

The best recommendation is to seek out people with real, concrete knowledge of the area and of Hamas. Not neo-conservatives, not ideologues. You may not like what you hear.  Personally, I do not think the US is in a position to be an honest broker; the internal political stakes are too high. Better that another country, Spain or Sweden or Norway, perhaps, sponsor talks.

1. Try to get PA President Mahmud Abbas to call a referendum, with approval of Hamas, on whether Palestinians accept 2-state division of former Palestine mandate. 2. Offer economic aid to Hamas gov't if it agrees to 2-state future. 3. If above achieved, press Israel to agree.

Treat the newly elected members of the Palestinian parliament as newly elected parliamentarians Hamas members have the majority of seats, but that does not mean that the parliament is the same entity as HAMAS. Remember that before the declaration of the State of Israel many of those who later held positions in Israel's government had used violence in the pursuit of their goals - how can they now refuse to deal with those who act now as did the founders of Israel? Remember that many of Hamas' leaders have recently been violently assassinated by Israel - recent violence has gone both ways.

Congratulate the Palestinians for their democratic process.  Announce that the US will respect their choice and will work with the new government they selected.  Work with Hamas through diplomacy and negotiations and show impartiality by insisting that Israel must withdraw from all the occupied territories and dismantle all the settlements including East Jerusalem.  Work with Hamas to establish a democratic Palestinian state that will live in peace with an Israel that will not violate the rights of its neighbors.

1. Accept that Pal people freely chose their leadership and urge Israel to negotiate. 2. Recognize that Pal people voted for Hamas for its extensive and successful service programs and its stand against corruption. 3. Reward and encourage Hamas' stand against corruption (which US and others criticized PA and Arafat for) and potential moderation with movement toward full Palestinian political self-determination. 

1. Do not deal with Hamas as a political party but rather with elected Palestinian officials whether they are Hamas or not, in their capacity as elected Palestinian officials. 2. Expect them to respond on the basis of the interests of their constituency. 3. Offer the following compromise: abandon the call for armed conflict with Israel and we shall support the Palestinian right of return in principle, with the understanding that we shall cooperate with an Israeli attempt to compensate as many refugees s are willing to voluntarily accept compensation in lieu of return.

Recognize it and as part of a coalition regime and push for a 2-state solution based on Israeli withdrawal from all occupied lands and E. Jerusalem

1. Recognize and work with them 2. Stop doing what Israel wants 3. Promote real democratization

1. It is in our own long-term security interests to have Hamas succeed because they will have to deal with corruption and will not have the excuse that they were shut out by foreign imperialist powers. 2. You will make a grave mistake if you cut off funding; this will be perceived as punishing the Palestinian people. Hamas is perceived by the larger Arab world, not as a terrorist but a liberation group in a colonial war. (Hamas= al-Qaeda-like) terrorist is Israel's line in trying to identify a common interest between us in the war on terror.) 3. Negotiate and broker deals behind the scenes if you must maintain the appearance of "not dealing with terrorists" but DO NOT cut them off. they now have legitimacy. You will ruin whatever credibility you have gained in promoting democracy.

1. Wait and watch until Israeli elections. 2. Initiate a proxy dialogue with Hamas. 3. Keep an open mind.

Encourage democratic transition and transparent governance Keep pressure on to recognize Israel with no other additional requirements at first, aid money contingent upon such recognition Keep pressure on Israeli administration to allow time for Hamas to evolve politically and for Fatah or other parties to regroup or emerge

1. Diplomatic and economic engagement 2. Demand full disarmament 3. Work with moderate leaders to secure moderate leadership of Hamas

1. Recognize legitimacy of Hamas election 2. Continue aid to Palestinians, via government 3. Engage the Israeli-Palestinian conflict immediately so that the US can gain some capital in the region.

Talk, explain US policies, and push the Road map

Watch closely, say as little as possible, and work for reconciliation despite the Hamas Charter and bellicose remarks by Israel and its supporters

1. Constructive engagement through low level negotiations,  2. Increase aid to Palestinian Authority and NGOs,  3. Pressure Hamas to distance itself from Syria and Iran.

Recognize, support economically, and negotiate

(1) Stay out of Palestinian politics--you just made it worse via the $2 m you gave Fatah for electioneering; (2) become even handed: the MAJOR injustice is the Israel Occupation, as is the vast majority of the violence.  For example, 4 times as many Palestinians have been killed by Israelis than vice versa in the last five years. (3) Stop funding the Israeli Occupation, the Wall, settlements, military expenditures, as these are all in opposition to peace progress.

1. No aid to Hamas-led Palestinian Authority unless violence is eschewed. 2. Don't be so anxious to push democracy elsewhere in the Arab world. 3. be willing to talk to them, but not give them money unless they renounce violence.

1.   REALLY LISTEN and acknowledge as extremely influential Middle Eastern experts - both academic and otherwise.  2.  Recognize Palestinians and their right to their own state.  3.   Don't use "the war on terror" as an excuse to disregard, disrespect, and devalue Palestinian rights.

Keep the door open. Go slow. Reward any positive steps by Hamas.

Recognize that the process that has empowered them was democratic and a step in the right direction though we do not necessarily embrace all that HAMAS stands for. 2. SPEAK to them and really find out what will satisfy them. Negotiate new or improved platform language and actively help the Palestinian Authority gain greater legitimacy while there is still time. 3. Don't just pontificate, but actually work actively for a Palestinian State, first step being helping out in Gaza, which Israel left as a sewer pit.

1) Deal with Hamas. 2) Oblige Israel to adhere to the Road Map. 3) Moderate the Zionist influence on US Middle Eastern policy that has already had dire consequences for the American national interest.

Work closely with the other members of the Quartet, especially EU, to convince Hamas of the viability of a two-state and hence for Hamas to alter its positions on Israel and armed struggle. Stay flexibly engaged, working together to make life less unbearable for the Palestinians even without a meaningful peace process Impress upon Israel the need for positive engagement with Hamas (after all, they invented them to offset the PLO and Fatah in 1986-87!)and the perils of unilateral solutions to their demographic problem.

1) Use track-two diplomacy. 2) Use third parties. 3) Work to lessen the influence of Iran and Syria over Hamas.

Only 1. Engage Hamas regardless. But this is unrealistic given upcoming Israeli and then US elections The US is captive to its own and Israel's domestic politics; despite the fact it seriously harms its foreign policy interests.

1.   See the victory of Hamas as an opportunity to enter into dialogue and to seriously return to the road map and peace negotiations.    Remember that Begin and Sharon were both considered "terrorists" by many, yet maybe because of that brave steps were made toward peace.  Boycotting Hamas is a lose-lose proposition. 

Welcoming them to community of nation leaders; Entering talks immediately around the issue of recognition of Israel's right to exist and the Palestinians to have a state; enlist them in the global fight against the real, root causes of terrorism.

Diplomacy, using intermediaries such as Sweden or Norway, Being evenhanded

Recognize the legitimacy of the Hamas government.  Increase foreign aid to the Hamas government to a level equal to US aid to Israel. Treat the Hamas government as an equal basis as the treatment of the Israeli government.

1. Recognize that the national leaders of many states, including Israel, committed terrorist acts before - and after - their states were established; 2. A balanced policy toward the Arabs and Israel is in the interest of the US; and 3. Talk informally with Hamas - and Israeli - leaders to gain an understanding with and concessions from them. Be an unbiased partner in the peace process. Be proactive on both sides of the equation.

1. Salvage whatever credibility you have by giving HAMAS a chance to prove themselves. 2. get the Israelis to understand (which of course requires that you realize this yourself) that power projection and military rule is not going to achieve a LASTING peace. 3. Facilitate exchange of all sorts on individual and institutional level with the Palestinian society. Give the younger generation the hope of being able to influence and build their own future without tying them to the ritualistic mantras you usually dish out in order to score points with LIKUD.

Try seriously to address the Palestinians' cause in a fair way. Adopt a less direct form of intervention in the area. Look to existing Arab proposals for a solution - King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia.

1. Engage, while demanding change in position.  2. Give hope. State that US wants two states, and does not support occupation, including the settlements. 3. Lay out a US-led plan for peace and two states. This should be clear and concise, do not leave it up to Israel. 

Patience show less favoritism to Israel, appear more even handed, do not withdraw foreign aid ($)

The Palestinians refugees should be granted their legal right of return. 

1. Acknowledge that the "people" have chosen Hamas out of frustration resulting from corruption and lack of action by the Fatah party.  2. Ask Hamas what it would take for them to take the "Removal of the Israeli people" out of their Charter.  3. Suggest that Jerusalem should become an international City of Peace, belonging to no nation, and open to all.

1) Take a hard line publicly, until/unless Hamas softens its stance toward Israel, but try to keep covert lines of communication open. 2) Try to work with European and other allies toward a common policy. 3) DON'T cut off economic aid to Palestine except as an absolute last resort.


m2_12.gif (3674 bytes)Measure is the acronym of Middle East Academic Survey Research and Exposition.  MEASURE is a grant funded research tool that advises policy makers and the American public on highly relevant topics.   MEASURE surveys are fielded by the Washington DC based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, (IRmep) a non-profit, non-partisan, non- ideological public policy institute.


MEASURE surveys academics via a series of multiple choice and open questions to compile and aggregate of informed opinion on timely policy issues.


62 MEASURE survey candidates were drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees in Middle East area studies.  Not all MEASURE candidates teach or write about contemporary Middle East issues, but are generally more informed and involved in regional issues than their counterparts in academia, and reside within Middle East university departments.  The terminal degree profile of this pool reveals a majority at the PhD and Master level.

MEASURE survey results are presented in aggregate form only.  Individual responses are anonymous.  MEASURE survey results are presented to the public in a timely fashion and also made available to policy makers and the press.    MEASURE avoids uninvited or multiple survey responses by soliciting response by invitees only and discarding repeat responses.


Distribution (v)

v President

Department of Justice

v House of Representatives

v Public

v Senate

v Foreign Diplomatic Representatives

v State Department

v UN

v Department of Defense

v Congress Watch level supporters





 |  home | search | site info | privacy policy  | contact us! | MEASURE | CPLE

spacer.gif (905 bytes)
Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. (IRmep)
Telephone: (202) 342-7325 E-mail: IRMEP Info Comments about this Site

Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 IRmep. All Rights Reserved.
Content may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole

or part without the expressed written consent and
citation of IRmep unless otherwise directed.

This site is optimized for Internet Explorer 5 or higher and a

screen resolution of 800 x 600 and above