Khalil Shikaki

Director of the Palestinian Center for Political and Survey Research in Ramallah and the Goldman Senior Fellow at the Crown Center



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Can Hamas Moderate? Insights from Palestinian Politics during 2005-2011

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Khalil Shikaki
Middle East Brief 88, January 2015


The events known as the Arab Spring and uprisings have provided two different models of possible integration of Islamic movements into politics: the example of al-Nahda in Tunisia, where participation in politics led to moderation, and that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, where it did not. But what about the Brotherhood’s sister Palestinian movement, Hamas? Did the latter's participation in Palestinian politics lead to its moderation? In this Brief, Khalil Shikaki addresses this question using seven years of survey research and other data collected by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Based on this data an effort is made to ascertain whether or not Hamas has changed its views with regard to three crucial issue-areas: governance, the social agenda, and the Arab-Israeli peace process. This Brief concludes that despite important examples of opinion change, Hamas has essentially failed to moderate its views.

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