Poll: Israelis reject plan for PA state

Palestinian Arabs distrust Israelis, while Israelis fear Arabs, new poll shows. Support for recent peace plans low on both sides.

David Rosenberg ,

Israeli Arabs protest in Haifa (archive)
Israeli Arabs protest in Haifa (archive)
Flash 90

Few Israeli Jews and Palestinian Authority Arabs support the basic outline of a final status agreement along the lines of the offer made by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak to Yasser Arafat in the summer of 2000, a new joint poll reveals.

According to the survey, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, narrow majorities of both Israelis and Palestinian Authority Arabs support the two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Fifty-one percent of Palestinian Authority residents said they favored the two-state solution, compared to 54% in 2014. Among Israeli Jews, the level was only slightly higher, with 53% supporting a two-state solution. Among all Israelis, 58% said they favored the two-state solution, compared to 62% two years ago.

But few favored the implementation of the two-state solution along the parameters most often presented, including a final status agreement, the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state encompassing all of Gaza and nearly all of Judea and Samaria, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

According to the basic peace plan outline, Israel would also absorb 100,000 Arabs under a right of return. The Old City of Jerusalem would be divided, with the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter under Israeli control, while the Muslim and Christian Quarters and Temple Mount would be integrated into the new Palestinian state.

Only 39% of Israeli Jews and an equal number of Palestinian Authority Arabs said they would support such a framework for a peace deal, while 55% of Israeli Jews and 59% of PA Arabs said they opposed it.

The poll also revealed that despite narrow majorities on both sides in favor of a two-state solution, there is little trust between Israelis and Palestinian Authority Arabs.

The overwhelming majority of Palestinian Authority Arabs (89%) believe that Israeli Jews are not trustworthy.

Among Israeli Jews, roughly two thirds said that they fear PA Arabs (65%), and that Arabs were untrustworthy (68%). Few Palestinian Authority Arabs, however, said they feared Israeli Jews, with 54% responding they did not fear Israeli Jews.

Majorities on both sides also believe that no peace deal can be of mutual benefit for both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, agreeing with the statement that: “Nothing can be done that’s good for both sides; whatever is good for one side is bad for the other side”. Among PA Arabs 70% agree with that statement, compared to 61% of Israeli Arabs, and 50% of Israeli Jews.

Israelis and Palestinian Authority Arabs also agreed that the likelihood of a Palestinian state being established in the near future was low. Among Israelis 77% said a Palestinian state would probably not be formed in the next five years, compared to 73% among Palestinian Authority residents.