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Most Palestinians Feel a Deep Ambivalence About the War

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CMES researcher Nina Gren has been interviewed in Sydsvenskan about the Palestinian ambivalence towards war with Israel.

The article "De flesta palestinier känner en djup ambivalens inför kriget" (English translation: "Most Palestinians feel a deep ambivalence about the war") was written by Albert Capuder and published in Sydsvenskan on 10 October, 2023. The article discusses Palestinian demonstrations in Sweden, among other things. Below are some excerpts from the article in English.

Today, many Palestinians are struggling with divided feelings about the attack of the terrorist organization Hamas on Israel, according to Nina Gren. As recently as Wednesday last week, Nina Gren was at a conference in the Palestinian-ruled West Bank. Just a few days later, the fragile relationship between Israel and Palestine exploded into a bloody war.

Most Palestinians, regardless of whether they live in the Middle East or Sweden, feel a deep ambivalence about this war.

– On the one hand, it is fairly certain that those who will pay the price for Hamas's attack on Israel are the people of Gaza, who have already experienced severe oppression over the years. On the other hand, people have lived under siege for so long that the attack also feels like a liberation, that something is happening that can change the extremely pressured lives of the Palestinians in Gaza from which they cannot escape, says Nina Gren, lecturer in social anthropology at Lund University.

How do jubilant Palestinians reason about the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization?

– There are of course different opinions among Palestinians. They do not necessarily agree with Hamas on an ideological level. After all, Hamas remains far to the right and is characterized by a religious Islamist ideology, which not everyone wants to be the ruling party around which Palestinian society is to develop.

How does the bloody conflict in Israel affect the already infected relations between Jews and Palestinians in Sweden?

– The more people who die in Gaza, the greater the chance that demonstrations will be organized in Sweden in support of Palestinians and Palestinian independence, as well as for the right to resist.

Read the article in Swedish

Nina Gren's research profile