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Most Israelis Oppose Two-State Solution, Support Annexing Judea and Samaria

03-27-2019
Israelis remember the Six-Day War
Israelis remember the Six-Day War

A new poll from Israel's Haaretz newspaper found that most Israelis oppose a two-state solution.

According to the poll, only 34 percent of Israelis support creating a Palestinian state in the Holy Land. A quarter of the poll's respondents include non-Jews, most of whom are Israeli Arabs.

On the issue of the West Bank, which is historic Judea and Samaria, 42 percent of Israelis are in favor of annexing the biblical lands either partially or fully, while 28 percent oppose annexation. Even those who prefer the two-state solution are in favor of annexing the West Bank, which is currently partly under the control of Israel and partially governed by the Palestinian Authority.

The Zionist Organization of America says Israel's opposition to the two-state solution "makes eminent sense."

"Such a state would be an Iranian-Hamas-PFLP-Fatah terrorist state, dedicated to Israel's complete destruction," the organization explained in a statement. "It is ludicrous to even think of creating a Palestinian-Arab state when that would-be state's predecessor, the Palestinian Authority (PA), continues to pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year in 'pay to slay' payments to terrorists to murder Jews.'"

Haaretz's poll lines up with previous findings about Israel's attitudes about the two-state solution.

Khalil Shikaki is a Professor of Political Science and director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. He oversees a project called Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll which measures both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the conflict.

The 2018 joint poll found that support for the two-state solution among Israelis and Palestinians is the lowest it's been in more than a decade when a steady decline in support began.

The study says skepticism about a future Palestinian state is related to serious doubts about feasibility.

"Palestinians and Israelis are both divided almost equally about whether a two-state solution is still possible, or whether settlements have expanded too much to make it viable," the report says.

Among Israelis, 48 percent believe a two-state solution is viable while 45 percent believe West Bank settlements have spread too much to make a Palestinian state possible. Meanwhile, 56 percent of Palestinians say the two-state solution is no longer viable, while 39% think it is.

"Still, fewer people on both sides support three possible alternatives to a two-state solution: one state with equal rights, one state without rights, and expulsion or transfer,'" the report says.

According to the report, the values and goals of both Israelis and Palestinians have changed very little over time.

"Jews were asked about the values of: (1) a Jewish majority, (2) Greater Israel, (3) Democracy, (4) Peace. Among Israeli Jews, peace and a Jewish majority are seen as the most important values (28% and 27% respectively)....followed by democracy (21%) and greater Israel (18%)."

The researchers also asked the Palestinians to rank the following goals:(1) Israeli withdrawal and establishing a Palestinian state, (2) Obtaining right of return for refugees to '48 Israel, (3) Establishing a democratic political system, (4) Building a pious or moral individual and religious society.

"For Palestinians, the ranking has been relatively stable, with little change over the course of the past two years. The top priority for Palestinian goals remains Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem...followed by obtaining the right of return to refugees to their 1948 towns and villages (29%)."

Building a democratic political system (14) and building a pious or moral individual and a religious society (13%) rank the lowest among the list of goals for Palestinians.

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