Poll Finds Hope for Peaceful Solution Dramatically Down

YERUSHALAYIM -

A new poll shows that hope among both Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful solution to the conflict between them has eroded dramatically in recent months, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

Almost twice as many Palestinians say they favor “armed struggle” against Israel to secure an independent state, while Israeli support for a military solution rose by some 60 percent, over the last six months.

The findings were published by Palestinian–Israeli Pulse, a joint project of the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research (TSC); Tel Aviv University; and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.

The poll, published every six months, was conducted in December 2017, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Yerushalayim, which angered Palestinians.

When asked what should happen next, only 26 percent of Palestinian respondents chose the option of a peace deal, a precipitous drop from 45 percent last June. Thirty-eight percent supported “armed struggle,” up from just 21 percent in the previous survey.

Among Israeli Jews, there was trend in the same direction, though more moderate. Thirty-eight percent said a peace deal was still attainable, compared to 45 percent six months ago. By contrast, support for a “decisive military offensive” to end the conflict rose from 12 percent to 19 percent.

While the international community continued to profess attachment to a two-state solution, support for the idea continued to wane among the putative inhabitants of said states. Just 46 percent of Israeli Jews and the same percentage of Palestinians support the two-state concept, with others supporting either a single democratic state or full expulsion. Support for the two-state solution among Palestinians dropped six points since the previous poll, while Israeli Jewish support remained about the same.

The poll was financed by the European Union, the Netherlands’ representative office in Ramallah, and the U.N. Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) on behalf of the representative office of Japan to Palestine.