Thursday, October 01, 2020

Palestinian-Israeli Survey: Only a small majority of Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution

By Editor - August 25, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Two State Solution] [Peace Process] [Israeli government] [Palestinian citizens of Israel] [refugees]

The majority of Israelis and Palestinians still support a two-state solution, despite a decline in the number of those supporting it.

This Monday, for the 1st time in a decade, a Joint Poll surveying Palestinians and Israelis was released. This poll has been published by The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) in Jerusalem and The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah, in partnership with and support from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and with funding from the European Union (EU).

The poll surveyed one thousand Palestinians and one thousand Israelis. It focused on the public views on a permanent peace agreement, ability to trust and compromise with the other side, and mistrust and fear of the other.

The results suggest that only a small majority of Palestinians (51%) and Israelis (59%; 53% of Jewish israelis and 87% of Arab Israelis) support a two-state solution. A quarter of Israeli and 35% of Palestinians support a one-state solution. And at the question who should broker a peace agreement. If posed with multinational negotiations, both Israelis (28%) and Palestinians (22%) would prefer support from an Arab forum

The poll also revealed that when presented with a peace agreement package based on previous negotiations, only 39% of Palestinians and 46% of Israelis (39% of Israeli Jews and 90% of Israeli Arabs) said they support such a deal.

The package included a de-militarized Palestinian state, Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line (pre-June 1967 lines) with equal territorial exchange as relevant, a family unification in Israel of 100,000 Palestinian refugees, West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

The issues over which neither side are willing to compromise include the status of Jerusalem, holy places, sovereignty, borders, and refugees.

Professor Tamar Hermann, the academic director of IDI, told a press conference at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, that this poll also reveals that, « in a way, these two society are mirrors of each other ».

There is little trust between Palestinians and Israelis. Some 89% of Palestinians feel Israeli Jews are untrustworthy, while 68% of Israelis Jews expressed similar sentiments. Further, 50% of Israeli Jews, 61% of Israeli Arabs and 70% of Palestinians agree, “Nothing can be done that’s good for both sides; whatever is good for one side is bad for the other side.”

This poll also suggested that Israeli Jews misunderstand their own side. Only 30,5% thought that the majority of Jewish Israelis support the two-state solution, when in fact 53% of the Israeli Jews are in favor of the two-state solution.

The findings do not indicate that we have reached a point of no return

This poll concludes that there are clear misunderstandings on both sides. Findings show that hard line perspectives are founded on misperceptions. In contrast, accurate perceptions about the views of the other side are positively correlated with greater willingness to compromise.

For Professor Tamar Hermann, despite the recent violence and the mistrust “The findings do not indicate that we have reached a point of no return”.

Her Palestinian counterpart Doctor Khalil Shikaki, the director of the PCPSR, agreed tha, “The findings are certainly not encouraging, but by no means are they discouraging. They leave room for us as researchers to see if we can bring these two publics closer together in terms of reaching a permanent agreement through various incentives.”

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