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A Political Mental Map of the Palestinians


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  • パレスチナ人の「政治的認知地図」

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Palestinians have suffered greatly under the occupation of Israel, the expanded construction of settlements around Jerusalem, the fighting between Fatah and Hamas after the 2006 election, and the Israeli military attack on Gaza in the December 2008 and January 2009. It might be assumed that these pressures would cause the Palestinian people to lose hope for the future. But historically, Palestinians have overcome many difficulties, just like the ones they face now. They persevere and remain focused on regaining their sovereignty and dignity. Therefore, it is clear that many Palestinians hold their own opinions about Middle Eastern politics, even under such difficult conditions. Our research project team developed a method to illustrate a typical population’s perception of international relations in the Middle East. It is a Political Mental Map, which relies on public opinion data on the subjects of the contributions that their own government, other Arab states, and Western countries have made toward political stability in the Middle East. With the cooperation of the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre, our project team conducted a poll in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and occupied Jerusalem, in May 2009. The study attempts to sketch a broad outline of how Palestinians regard the image of the “Middle Eastern regional system,” based on their responses to our questions. The result is our “Political Mental Map of the Palestinians,” which examines Palestinian responses to the international contributions of 23 nations with regard to political stability in the Middle East. This Political Mental Map shows the relative positions of the Arab states, the neighboring non-Arab states (Turkey, Iran, and Israel), and the major powers outside the Middle East. The map shows us the relationship between Palestine and other countries, and gives us a visualization of Palestinians’ thoughts on Middle Eastern politics.


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