Does Israeli counter-terrorism radicalize Palestine?

What’s the impact of Israeli violence against Palestinians on Palestinian public opinion? Hatred, polarization, and a desire for revenge (at least in the short term) says a new NBER working paper.

Four economists look at the after-effects of the Second Intifada, and find that aggressive counter-terrorism leads to a temporary radicalization and mobilization of the Palestinians, encouraging yet more attacks against Israelis:

Using micro data from a series of opinion polls linked to data on fatalities, we find that Israeli violence against Palestinians leads them to support more radical factions and more radical attitudes towards the conflict. This effect is temporary, however, and vanishes completely within 90 days.

We also find some evidence that Palestinian fatalities lead to the polarization of the population and to increased disaffection and a lack of support for any faction. Geographically proximate Palestinian fatalities have a larger effect than those that are distant, while Palestinian fatalities in targeted killings have a smaller effect relative to other fatalities.

They also find a strategic incentive for Palestinian killings of Israelis:

Although overall Israeli fatalities do not seem to affect Palestinian public opinion, when we divide those fatalities by the different factions claiming responsibility for them, we find some evidence that increased Israeli fatalities are effective in increasing support for the faction that claimed them.

The full paper is here. I believe it’s gated. If you find an ungated version, please post it in the comments.

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