Poll Shows Israelis and Palestinians Support Two-State Solution, Disagree on its Details

Jerusalem (Jonathan Benedek/TPS)A poll jointly conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) found that a slim majority of Palestinians and Israelis support a two-state solution.

Among the 1,184 Israelis and 1,270 Palestinians who participated in the survey called the “Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll,” 59% of Israelis (including 53% of Jewish Israelis and 87% of Arab Israelis) and 51% of Palestinians expressed support for a two-state solution.

However, the survey also found that a majority of participants from both populations oppose a two-state solution that is based on previous proposals that have included the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state, an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines with mutually-agreed territorial swaps, and a divided city of Jerusalem as a capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state.

A minority of 39% of Palestinians and an equal percentage of Israeli Jews would support an agreement that included such conditions. However, approximately 25% of both Israelis and Palestinians who opposed such a peace initiative said that they would be open to supporting it were it to take the form of a regional Arab-Israeli peace agreement.

Moreover, Israelis and Palestinians, 28% and 22% respectively, stressed a preference for multilateral negotiations to be led by a regional actor such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Jordan.

Israeli leaders have recently expressed support for such regional players to take an active role in an Israeli-Palestinian peace process that could also take the form of a wider Israeli-Arab agreement.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said in May that Israel is “ready to negotiate with the Arab countries on updating the Arab peace initiative in a way that would reflect the dramatic changes that have taken place since 2002 and to preserve the agreed-upon goal of two states for two peoples.” Netanyahu also welcomed Egyptian President al-Sisi’s efforts “and his willingness to advance peace in the region.”

At the time, newly-inaugurated Defense Minister Liberman affirmed Netanyahu’s remarks saying, “I agree that the Arab initiative has some very positive elements that allow for serious dialogue.”

Meanwhile, Israelis and Palestinians had differences of opinion regarding the involvement of other potential mediators, such as the US, EU, or UN. A total of 26% of Israelis and 8% of Palestinians accepted the legitimacy of American-led negotiations while 12% of Israelis and 22% of Palestinians supported UN-led negotiations and an even smaller percentage of Israelis (7%) and Palestinians (20%) supported EU-led talks.

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