September 21, 2019

Poll: 5% of West Bank Palestinian Arabs Approve of Homosexuality

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A BBC News Arabic poll published on June 24 found that only 5 percent of Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank find homosexuality to be acceptable, the lowest percentage of the Arab countries and territories surveyed.

The poll, which was taken from the end of 2018 to the spring of 2019, found that 6 percent of the surveyed Arabs in Lebanon accepted homosexuality, as did 7 percent in Jordan and Tunisia, 17 percent in Sudan, 21 percent in Morocco, and 26 percent in Algeria.

On the matter of honor killings, where Islamists believe that a family member must be killed in order to restore honor to the family, 8 percent of Palestinian Arabs approved. That same percentage was found among Arabs in Lebanon and Tunisia, 14 percent in Sudan, 21 percent in Jordan, 25 percent in Morocco and 27 percent in Algeria.

When asked if which country they view as their biggest threat, 63 percent of Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank said Israel, second only to Lebanon at 79 percent.

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that only 4 percent of those in the Palestinian territories believed that homosexuality should be acceptable societal behavior. Pew’s analysis of the survey at the time noted the “a strong relationship between a country’s religiosity and opinions about homosexuality. There is far less acceptance of homosexuality in countries where religion is central to people’s lives – measured by whether they consider religion to be very important, whether they believe it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral, and whether they pray at least once a day.”

The BBC poll found a slight uptick from 2013 in Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank saying that they weren’t religious, but that number was still below 10 percent.

A 2014 Anti-Defamation League poll found that 93 percent of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank hold some type of anti-Semitic belief, including that Jews have too much influence over the United States government and the Israel dual loyalty trope.

H/T: Algemeiner