With only 40% support, Israelis still think 2 states best option - poll
A PALESTINIAN protests outside Jerusalem. The international community and some Israelis and Palestinians are once again talking about the two-state solution.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Past IDI polls on this question have shown that Israeli support for two states has fluctuated widely over the past 28 years since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords in Washington.
Only 40% of Israelis support a two-state resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians, even though it remains the most popular choice, according to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute.
Past IDI polls on this question have shown that Israeli support for two states has fluctuated widely over the past 28 years since the signing of the 1993 Oslo I Accord in Washington.
Past polls on this topic by IDI show that support for a two-state resolution peaked at 70% in 2007 during the Annapolis peace process brokered by former president George W. Bush between former prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
It was at its lowest point in 1995 with only 36.9% support, based on IDI data.
From July 27 to 29, the IDI polled 750 Israelis over the age of 18 by phone and over the Internet, including 151 Arabic-speakers. The margin of error is 3.59% for the poll on a wide array of topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Participants were asked if they would back a “two-state solution with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
Israeli-Arabs were much more likely to support a two-state resolution than their Jewish peers.
Out of the 39.7% who said they found such a resolution to the conflict acceptable, 33.8% were Jewish Israelis and 68.8% were Israeli-Arabs.
That answer flipped when it came to the 48% of Israelis who opposed it, of which 53.6% were Jewish and 20.5% Arab.
The poll was conducted in the absence of any peace process, with the United States and Israel appearing to prefer maintaining the status quo for the moment.
According to the IDI poll, out of the 37.1% of Israelis who support maintenance of the status quo, 41.5% were Jewish-Israelis and 15.4% were Israeli-Arabs.
Similarly, Israeli-Arabs were more likely to oppose the status quo, with 69.5% finding it unacceptable compared to the 37.2% of Israeli Jews finding it acceptable. Overall, 42.6% of those polled disapproved of the status quo.
The least popular option was a one-state idea. Participants were asked whether they would back a “one-state solution incorporating both Israeli and Palestinian territories in which Israelis and Palestinians are treated as equal citizens,” implying a country that was no longer intended to be an ethnic nationalist democracy for either Israelis or Palestinians.
That idea received only 21.1% support among Israelis and 64.2% opposition. Some 71.1% of Israeli Jews found a one-state idea unacceptable, and only 14.1% found it acceptable.
A majority of Israeli-Arabs favored it, with 56.1% backing it, compared to the 29.5% who dismissed it.
The poll was conducted within the context of the Israeli Voice Index published by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research.
IDI researcher Or Anabi clarified that while there is a drop in support for the two-state solution, it is hard to look at it comparatively over time, because IDI often asks the question in different ways, which impacts the results.
It is also possible that the lack of support could correlate to the absence of a peace process, Anabi explained.
People respond differently to concrete events as opposed to theoretical ones, he said. Initial polls showed low support for a Sinai withdrawal, Anabi said, but the moment former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat landed in Israel, the attitudes changed.