'Israelis, Palestinians want US strides on conflict'

Pew Poll: Populations hold differing views on peaceful two-state solution, means to achieving an independent Palestinian state.

Obama talking with his hands 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Obama talking with his hands 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Israelis and Palestinians are both in favor of US PresidentBarack Obama increasing his involvement in resolving the ongoingIsraeli-Palestinian conflict, despite differing views on the reality of apeaceful two-state solution and the means to achieving an independentPalestinian state.

In a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, resultsshowed that about half (49 percent) of Israelis want Obama to have a largerrole in resolving the Middle East conflict, while 15% want him to be lessinvolved and 29% think his role should remain as it is. Results from Palestinianssurveyed showed similar responses with 41% favoring more involvement by theObama administration. About a quarter (26%) of Palestinians want Obama to downplayhis role in the region and 19% think the amount of US involvement on the issueshould stay the same.

The survey showed that West Bank residents were more likelythan those living in Gaza to encourage more involvement by Obama to resolve theconflict. Of those surveyed in the West Bank, 47% wanted in influx of USinvolvement, while 30% in Gaza favored such a move.

While results showed that Israeli and Palestinian pollstershold similar views on US involvement in resolving the stalemate conflict, thenumbers showed a staggering difference between the two populations’ belief thata peaceful two-state solution could be reached.

According to the survey, half of Israelis think a peacefulcoexistence with an independent Palestinian state is plausible, contrary to 38%that do not think such a situation could become a reality, while 9% said itdepends.  Poll results from Palestiniansshowed only 14% believe the prospect of living peacefully alongside Israel,while 61% do not and 22% believe it would depend.

While survey results showed a small percentage of Palestinianswho think the peaceful existence of an individual state was possible, almosthalf (45%) see armed struggle as the most effective means of achieving such statehood.An equal 15% of Palestinians polled believe statehood could be reached through negotiationsor nonviolent resistance, and 22% think an independent Palestinian state couldbe founded from a combination of initiatives.

The surveys was conducted from March 3 to April 12, 2013surveying 14,997 people in 12 countries and the Palestinian territories. InIsrael and the Palestinian territories polls took place after Obama’s trip tothe region in March.