Most Israelis support referendum on two states

The founders of “Decision at 50” sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on him to adopt the referendum proposal for “the most critical decision for the future of Israel."

September 5, 2016 23:15
2 minute read.
Oslo Accords

Slain Israeli Prime Minister Rabin with former US President Bill Clinton and former PLO President Yasser Arafat after signing the Oslo Accords at the White House on September 13, 1993. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

Sixty percent of Israelis support having the government hold a referendum on whether the public backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a poll found on Monday.

The research also found that 58% of Israeli adults support the idea of “two states for two nations” as the way to solve the conflict. Of Israelis with an opinion on the matter, 87% voiced opposition to “one, binational state” as a solution.

The poll by Smith Research was commissioned by MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union), who has joined a campaign together with left-wing NGOs called “Decision at 50,” advocating for a national referendum on the matter. The “50” in the name represents 50 years since the Six Day War, which will be marked in June.

Broshi pointed out that “most of the public wants two states for two nations and to preserve a Jewish State, and the vast majority oppose a solution of one, binational state. The Right in Israel is lying to itself when its leadership in practice promotes a binational state through uncontrolled construction in Judea and Samaria, trying to break the Palestinians’ territorial continuity and prevent the future possibility of separating from the Palestinians.”

This policy, Broshi said, goes against the will of the people, as reflected in the poll he ordered as well as past ones.

Broshi expressed hope that he could garner a broad consensus around his proposal.

Among the organizations and figures backing “Decision at 50” are Peace Now, Blue White Future, former Shin Bet chief and current Blue White Future Director Ami Ayalon, former Labor chairman Amram Mitzna, ex-Labor MK Rabbi Michael Melchior, and former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rothman, among others.

The founders of “Decision at 50” sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on him to adopt the referendum proposal for “the most critical decision for the future of Israel...regarding where Israel is heading, and [will] provide guidance to Israeli governments in their policy-making on this crucial matter.”

Israel currently has a Referendum Law on the books, which has yet to be used. It requires any government that wishes to concede sovereign territory – meaning any part of Israel, including east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, but not the West Bank – would have to hold a referendum on the agreement.

“Every day in which our control over the Palestinian territories persists brings us closer to the end of Israel as the democratic state of the Jewish People,” said Ayalon. “Netanyahu sees the disaster ahead, but he is not courageous enough to act.”

The poll was taken among a representative sample of 500 Israeli adults, Jewish and Arab, and has a 4.5% margin of error.

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