palestinian youth participating in military drills 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Despite recent attempts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart the peace
talks, only 10 percent of Israelis and 27% of Palestinians believe negotiations
with Palestinians will resume and violence will end, according to a poll
released on Tuesday.
The Hebrew University’s Harry S. Truman Research
Institute for the Advancement of Peace conducted the survey jointly with the
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
According to the 601
Israelis and 1,270 Palestinians polled, each side views the other as a continual
threat to its existence.
On the Palestinian side, 57% of those surveyed
believe that Israel’s long-term goals are to extend its border into Palestinian
territory and drive out the Arab citizens. An additional 25% of Palestinians
believe Israel’s goals are to annex the West Bank and deny Palestinians their
Likewise, 17% of Israelis believe that Palestinians
ultimately hope to conquer the State of Israel, while an additional 37% believe
Palestinians hope to eradicate as much of the Israeli Jewish population as
The survey came about in light of the new modifications to the
Saudi-inspired Arab Peace Initiative accepting minor territorial swaps, and an
intensive United States effort to revitalize Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
that have been halted since 2008.
The original initiative, first offered
in 2002, called for the establishment of a Palestinian state and an Israeli
retreat from all territories captured in 1967, including Gaza, the West Bank,
east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
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In April, Kerry persuaded the Arab
League to revive interest in the initiative by allowing the final borders
between Israel and a future Palestine state to deviate from the 1967 lines
through agreed land swaps.
The modification was supposed to provide a way
for Israel to keep some of the West Bank settlements and holy sites in east
However, the poll suggests that the new Arab modification did
not make the plan more popular with Israelis.
A year ago, only 36% of
Israelis supported the plan, but since the modifications, that percentage has
dwindled to 24%. Even though 54% of Palestinians support the plan, only 17%
believe Israel will actually withdraw from one or all of the territories
conquered in 1967.
Although Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has been
officially nudging toward a twostate solution based on the pre- 1967 lines, and
the Israeli government supports a two-state solution under Israeli sovereignty,
68% of Israelis and 69% of Palestinians view the chances of an independent
Palestinian state’s formation in the next five years as low or
Despite the low expectations, 62% of Israelis and 53% of
Palestinians support a two-state solution. However, 51% of Israelis believe it
is bound to fail because of the settlements, and 58% of Palestinians believe it
is no longer viable.
Both sides were even more critical of a proposed
one-state solution in which Arabs and Jews enjoy equality: 63% of Israelis and
69% of Palestinians reject such a result.
The peace-process pessimism is
not just limited to boundary disputes, but encompasses intense fear of violence
as well. The study found that 50% of Israeli participants are worried that their
families may be harmed by Arabs, while 74% of Palestinians are worried that
Israelis will harm their families, confiscate their land or demolish their
The poll, conducted in mid- June, has a 4.5% margin of error. The
Palestinian sample was interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, east
Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip; the Israeli sample was interviewed by phone.
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