Israelis and Palestinians are meeting in the middle on many issues in Israeli politics today, according to a recent poll jointly conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute of the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah.
More than half the Palestinians sampled favor a two-state solution, consistent with previous findings, with 54 percent of Palestinians and 62% of Israelis in favor of a negotiated settlement.
“The current finding is not surprising,” PSR director Dr. Khalil Shikaki said about the Palestinian statistic. “It continues a trend prevailing since the mid-nineties.”
Fully 66% of Palestinians believe that peace negotiations will continue without armed attacks, while 52% of Israelis also believe they will continue in a non-violent manner.
Shikaki said this statistic is a good representation of many Palestinian communities, adding, “A large majority of Palestinians is opposed to violence.”
In contrast, 28% of Israelis and 16% of Palestinians believe that the two sides will not continue negotiations and some armed attacks will occur, while 7% of Israelis and 13% of Palestinians believe that negotiations will not continue and there will be no armed attacks.
However, according to the poll, each side continues to see the other as an existential threat to the other’s cultures and traditions, with 55% of Palestinians believing that Israel’s goals in the long run are to expel its Arab citizens and extend its borders past the Jordan River.
Almost a third of Israelis – 31% – believes that the main Palestinian aspirations are to destroy the Jewish population in Israel and conquer the State of Israel as a whole, while 20% believe Palestinians want only to conquer the State of Israel without destroying the Jewish population.
The Palestinian poll interviewed 1,270 adults in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip between June 5 and 7, with a margin of error of 3 %.
The Israeli poll interviewed 605 adults by phone in Hebrew, Arabic, or Russian between June 8 and 15, with a margin of error of 4.5%.
The poll was conducted and supervised by Shikaki of the PSR and Dr. Ifat Maoz of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute.