Only one in three Palestinians (34 percent) accepts two states for two peoples
as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to an intensive,
face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip completed this week by American pollster Stanley
The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage
points, was conducted in partnership with the Beit Sahour-based Palestinian
Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Israel Project, an international
nonprofit organization that provides journalists and leaders with information
about the Middle East.
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The Israel Project is trying to reach out to the
Arab world to promote “people-to-people peace.” The poll appears to indicate
that the organization has a difficult task ahead.
Respondents were asked
about US President Barack Obama’s statement that “there should be two states:
Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland
for the Jewish people.”
Just 34% said they accepted that concept, while
61% rejected it.
Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal
should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one
Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% said it should
be the capital of Palestine, 1% said the capital of Israel, 3% the capital of
both, and 4% a neutral international city.
Seventy-two percent backed
denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported
kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or
teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.
When given a
quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and
Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a
quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet
Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.
only 45% said they believed in the charter’s statement that the only solution to
the Palestinian problem was jihad.
The survey’s more positive findings
included that only 22% supported firing rockets at Israeli cities and citizens
and that two-thirds preferred diplomatic engagement over violent
Among Palestinians in general 65% preferred talks and 20%
violence. In the West Bank it was 69-28%, and in Gaza, 59- 32%.
whether they backed seeking a Palestinian state unilaterally in the UN, 64% said
yes. The number was 57% in the West Bank and 79% in Gaza. Thirty-seven percent
said the UN action would bring a Palestinian state closer, 16% said it would set
back the establishment of a state, and 44% said it would make no
When asked what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas’s top priorities should be, 83% said creating jobs. Just 4% said getting
the UN to recognize a Palestinian state, and only 2% said peace talks with
Israel Project president Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said she was
encouraged that the Arab Spring would bring more accuracy to Arab media and by
the 59% of Palestinians who are on Facebook. The Israel Project has 80,723
friends for its Arabic site, which has had 9.5 million page views in two
“Some of the numbers in the poll are discouraging, but we are
trying to change them,” she said at a Jerusalem press conference in which
Greenberg presented the findings.
Greenberg said the survey proved that
there was a big need for public education and leadership on the Palestinian
Greenberg and Laszlo Mizrahi have presented the findings to
President Shimon Peres, opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
senior adviser, Ron Dermer.
Next week, they have meetings scheduled in
the White House and the Pentagon.
Israeli leaders told Greenberg and
Laszlo Mizrahi they were encouraged by Palestinian support for