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Israeli, Palestinian support for two-state solution down since US Jerusalem move: poll

Palestinian supporters of the Islamic Jihad movement protest US President Donald Trumps's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
SAID KHATIB (AFP/File)
Poll finds less than fifth of Israeli Jews trust Palestinians, only 9% of Palestinians trust Israeli Jews

A new survey of Israeli and Palestinian attitudes towards the long-protracted conflict published Thursday showed decreasing support for a two-state solution among both groups, coupled with higher levels of mistrust and less support for US involvement in the peace process among Palestinians.

The poll, conducted in December 2017 after US President Donald Trump’s controversial backing of Israel’s claim over the disputed city of Jerusalem, found less than half of Israeli Jews and Palestinians (46% each) support the general concept of a two-state solution, indicating a perceived decline in the viability of that solution. Arab-Israelis showed the highest support for the concept of a two-state solution at 83%.

The pollsters attributed the declining support for the two-state solution as likely related to Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem. Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem was followed by more pessimistic attitudes among Palestinians in general as well as an increase in support for militancy, the poll found.

While a large majority of Israeli Jews showed clear preference for Washington’s involvement in leading peace talks, Palestinians overwhelmingly preferred a peace push spearheaded by Arab partners, followed by EU and UN approaches.

Musa AL SHAER (AFP)

The poll also found that large majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians believe the ‘other’ is untrustworthy. Less than one-fifth of Israeli Jews trust Palestinians and only 9% of Palestinians trust Israeli Jews, the poll found. Furthermore, the poll showed a decline in the percentage of Israeli Jews and Palestinians who think the other side wants peace.

Large portions of respondents (60% of Palestinians and 46% of Israeli Jews) also cited the rapid expansion of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as threatening the feasibility of a two-state solution.

The ‘Palestinian-Israeli Pulse’ poll, conducted jointly by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research (TSC), Tel Aviv University, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah, surveyed a representative sample of 1,270 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and 900 Israeli citizens, with sub-samples of Arab-Israelis and Israeli settlers.

In addition to surveying support for the general concept of a two-state solution, the poll assessed support for a detailed nine-point plan based on previous negotiations, including a demilitarized Palestinian state, Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 borders with equal territorial exchange, the right of return for some 100,000 Palestinian refugees, and recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine (with the Old City divided among the two sides), waned among both Israelis and Palestinians.

ABBAS MOMANI (AFP/File)

Support for the plan among Palestinians surveyed dropped from 43% a year ago to 40% in the current poll. Among Israelis (both Arab and Jewish) support for the detailed implementation package also stood at 43%, up from 41% in June 2017.

Specifically, Jewish Israelis surveyed showed increasing support for the detailed initiative, from 32 to 35%, but this was still a marked decrease in support from June 2016 when the plan was supported by 48% of Israeli Jews.

Among those opposed to the nine-point plan, a number of additional policy incentives held potential for swaying support, pollsters said. For both sides, a measure that ensures the democratic nature of a future Palestinian state was sufficient to reach a majority of support for the nine-point plan.

Furthermore, 39% of Palestinian respondents said that they would support the plan if Israel were to recognize the Nakba (an Arabic term for ‘catastrophe’ used to refer to the creation of Israel in 1948) and the suffering of Palestinian refugees. Added to those Palestinians who initially supported the initiative, total support would rise to 62%.

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

For Jewish Israeli respondents who initially opposed to the plan, 47% said their support could be swayed if the agreement permitted Jews to visit the Temple Mount/al Haram al Sharif compound raising total support in that case to 60%.

The initiative was tested against three alternatives: One state in which Jews and Palestinians share equal rights, one state in which Jews and Palestinians do not share equal rights, and a scenario involving the expulsion of one side. These alternatives were preferred by between 10 and 15% of respondents from both populations opposed to the two-state solution.

Asked separately about a confederation between two states, Israel and Palestine, 28% of Palestinians, 33% of Israeli Jews, and 70% of Israeli Arabs supported that solution.

The survey, with a +/- 3% margin of error, was completed with funding from the European Union (EU), the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah, and the UNDP/PAPP on behalf of the Representative Office of Japan to Palestine.

Comments

(3)

As long as the palestiniens brains are washed clean of islam there cannot be coexistence!

The Pal are the "daca" of Israel.

America did not give Jerusalem to the Jews GOD did over 2 thousand years ago we are just saying the same thing GOD said

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