'Huge majority opposes one-state solution between Israel, Palestinians'

80% of Israeli Jews don't believe a Palestinian state will be created soon

February 16, 2017 18:05
3 minute read.
Netanyahu Abbas

PM Netanyahu and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in Washington, 2010. (photo credit: GPO)


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In what can be seen as a memo to US President Donald Trump, a poll released Thursday at a Jerusalem press conference found that a massive majority of Israeli Jews and Palestinians oppose a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll” was conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, with funding from the European Union. Its findings were presented at a press conference by pollsters Dr. Khalil Shikaki of the Palestinian Center and the Steinmetz Center’s Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin.

Trump indicated no preference for a two- or one-state solution at his White House press conference on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But the poll found that the preference of the relevant parties to the deal he is seeking is clear.

The joint poll sought to ascertain the current level of support for the idea of a one-state solution “by which Palestinians and Jews will be citizens of the same state and enjoy equal rights.”

Support for the idea was high among Israeli Arabs, standing at 56%. But only 36% of Palestinians and 19% of Israeli Jews said they support it. Support among Israeli Jews was higher among Judea and Samaria residents, 26%.

When Israeli Jews were asked if they are for or against the annexation of the West Bank without granting the Palestinians full citizen rights, twothirds said they were against and only 31% said they supported it. Forty-six percent of Judea and Samaria residents supported annexation without full rights for Palestinians and 45% opposed it.

The pollsters also sought to assess the level of support for the idea of a confederation between Israel and a state of Palestine, whereby citizens of one country would be free to reside in the territory of the other, live under its own laws and where the two states jointly decide on matters of political, security and economic policy.

Like with the one-state solution, support for the confederation idea was highest among Israeli Arabs, 74%. The idea was supported by only 34% of Palestinians and just 20% of Israeli Jews.

The two-state solution is supported by a majority of Israelis, including 50% among Jews and 82% among Arabs.

But among Palestinians, only 44% supported what is known as the two-state solution in a general question testing the concept without giving specific details about an agreement.

In a similar survey by the same pollsters six months ago, 59% of Israelis (53% among Jews and 87% among Arabs) and 51% of Palestinians supported that solution, which had the backing of 71% of Israelis and 57% of Palestinians as recently as 2010.

Wide majorities reported being skeptical about the implementation of such a solution. More than 80% of Israeli Jews and 72% of Palestinians said they do not believe a Palestinian state will be established in the next five years.

Support for a detailed permanent agreement package, one based on previous rounds of negotiations, is lower than the backing for the two-state solution.

Only 42% of Palestinians, 41% of Israeli Jews, and 88% of Israeli Arabs support a peace agreement package based on what was offered in the past.

The package is comprised of: a demilitarized Palestinian state; an Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line with equal territorial exchanges; a family unification in Israel of some 100,000 Palestinian refugees; west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine; the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty; the Muslim and Christian quarters and the Temple Mount under Palestinian sovereignty; and the end of the conflict and claims.

One-quarter to one-third of Israelis and Palestinians who oppose the permanent agreement package would be willing to reconsider their opposition to the peace deal if it was accompanied by incentives for the Israeli public, like a peace agreement with all Arab states, and an Israeli acceptance of elements of the Arab Peace Initiative, for the Palestinian public.

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