Majority wants return to Israeli-Palestinian peace process - poll

51% would support a potential meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

Thousands of Jews and Arabs march in Tel Aviv for peace and coexistence, Saturday, May 22, 2021. (photo credit: STANDING TOGETHER)
Thousands of Jews and Arabs march in Tel Aviv for peace and coexistence, Saturday, May 22, 2021.
(photo credit: STANDING TOGETHER)

A majority of Israelis would like to see Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reignite the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by meeting with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, according to a December poll by the Geneva Initiative.

Amongst 504 responders, 51% would support a potential meeting between the prime minister and Abbas, while 39% would oppose such a meeting.

Interestingly, 40% of Bennett's right-wing party Yamina's voters also support a Bennett-Abbas meeting. 

In addition, 43% of responders noted that a move towards peace with the Palestinians would broaden support for the Bennett-Lapid government among Israelis. In contrast, 37% said it would decrease support.

If a meeting between Abbas and Bennett was to happen, the prime minister would not be the first in the current government to meet the PA president. In August, Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a rare meeting with Abbas in Ramallah.

Unsurprisingly, a large share of voters affiliated with more left-leaning parties, such as Labor, Yesh Atid and Gantz's Blue and White, stated they would support the government if such a move was made.

 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL, MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL, MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

Responders were also asked about the handling of terrorist organization Hamas, the Palestinian public and Donald Trump's comments on Netanyahu.

Almost half of responders (49%) stated they support a transparent, open approach to a dialog with Hamas, while 40% stated they oppose any dialog. 

Out of the responders who support talks, 57% of responders stated that dialog with Hamas would be beneficial to gain insight on the Palestinian public, while 43% disagreed with that statement.

Lastly, two-thirds of responders (67%) stated they agree that opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu "never wanted to make peace," as stated by former US president Trump.

The poll was ordered by Geneva Initiative, an Israeli NGO dedicated to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and conducted by Mano Geva's market research company Midgam.