Israeli-Palestinian peace hopes – the latest poll

December 25, 2014 by J-Wire News Service
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58% of Palestinians believe that Israel wants to extend its borders – 37% of Israelis believe the Palestinians want to conquer Israel. 

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These are the results of the most recent poll conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Following the war in Gaza in the summer of 2014, 50% of Israelis and 38% of Palestinians support a permanent settlement package along the Clinton parameters and the Geneva Initiative. These results are lower than the figures in December 2013 when 54% of the Israelis and 46% of the Palestinians supported the package.

—Given the Gaza war and the increasing tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, 47% of Israelis and 36% of Palestinians think that the two sides will not return to negotiations: 39% of the Israelis and 26% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will not return to negotiations and some armed attacks will take place; 8% of the Israelis and 10% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks. By contrast, in June 2014, 28% of the Israelis and 16% of the Palestinians thought that the two sides will not return to negotiations and some armed attacks will take place and 7% of the Israelis and 13% of the Palestinians thought that the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks.

—At the same time—consistent with previous results—each side perceives the other side as constituting a threat to its very existence. 58% of Palestinians think that Israel’s goals in the long run are to extend its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens. 24% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians. 37% of the Israelis think that the Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel; 18% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel.

The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between December 3 and 6, 2014. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 616 adult Israelis interviewed in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between December 7 and 12, 2014. The margin of error is 4.5%.

The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Ifat Maoz, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, and the Department of Communication, and Director of the Swiss Center for Conflict Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

 The results in detail:

(A) Conflict management and threat perceptions

  • Following the war in Gaza in the summer of 2014 and the increasing tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, we asked both sides about their expectations for the future: 7% of the Israelis and 24% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will soon return to negotiations. 32% of the Israelis and 37% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will return to negotiations but some armed attacks will take place. 39% of the Israelis and 26% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will not return to negotiations and some armed attacks will take place. Finally, 8% of the Israelis and 10% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks. In June 2014, 28% of the Israelis and 16% of the Palestinians thought that the two sides will not return to negotiations and some armed attacks will take place and 7% of the Israelis and 13% of the Palestinians thought that the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks.
  • Among Israelis, 62% are worried and 36% are not worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life. Among Palestinians, 82% are worried and 19% are not worried that they or a member of their family could be hurt by Israel in their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or home demolished.
  • The level of threat on both sides regarding the aspirations of the other side in the long run is very high. 58% of Palestinians think that Israel’s goals are to extend its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens, and 24% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians. The modal category among Israelis is that the Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel (37%); 18% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel. Only 16% of the Palestinians think Israel’s aspirations in the long run are to withdraw from part (6%) or all (10%) of the territories occupied in 1967 after guaranteeing its security. 33% of Israelis think the aspirations of the Palestinians are to regain all (17%) or some (16%) of the territories conquered in 1967.
  • At the same time: 11% of the Israelis say the aspirations of Israel are to withdraw to the 1967 borders after guaranteeing Israel’s security. 32% say the aspirations of Israel in the long run are to withdraw from parts of the territories after guaranteeing Israel’s security. 18% say they are to annex the West Bank without granting political rights to the Palestinians living there. 13% say the aspirations of Israel in the long run are to annex the West Bank and expel the Palestinians living there.
  • Among the Palestinians 38% say that the aspirations of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO are to regain some of the territories conquered in the 1967 war. 31% say the aspirations of the Palestinian Authority in the long run are to regain all the territories conquered in the 1967 war. 14% say they are to conquer the State of Israel and regain control over the pre 1948 Palestine. 12% say the aspirations of the Palestinian Authority in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

(B) Attitudes, perceptions and expectations regarding a permanent settlement

Clinton/Geneva Parameters

The Clinton parameters for a Palestinian-Israeli permanent settlement were presented by President Clinton at a meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials on December 23, 2000, following the collapse of the July 2000 Camp David summit. The Geneva Initiative, along similar lines, was made public around the end of 2003. These parameters address the most fundamental issues which underlie the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: (1) Final borders and territorial exchange; (2) Refugees; (3) Jerusalem; (4) A demilitarized Palestinian state; (5) Security arrangements; and (6) End of conflict. We address these issues regularly since December 2003, and in the current poll we revisited these crucial issues, amidst a turbulent Middle East and the recent war in Gaza.

  • 50% of Israelis and 38% of Palestinians support a permanent settlement package along the Clinton parameters. The results are lower than the figures in December 2013 (54% support among Israelis and 46% support among Palestinians).
  • Since 2003, we observed only once majority support for such a settlement on both sides: in December 2004, shortly after the death of Arafat. The level of support then was 64% among Israelis and 54% among Palestinians.

Below we detail support and opposition to the individual items in the Clinton / Geneva permanent status package.

(1) Final Borders and Territorial Exchange 

Among Palestinians 45% support or strongly support and 54% oppose or strongly oppose an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the exception of some settlement areas in less than 3% of the West Bank that would be swapped with an equal amount of territory from Israel in accordance with a map that was presented to the Palestinian respondents. The map was identical to that presented to respondents in December 2013, when support for this compromise, with its map, stood at 52% and opposition at 48%.

Among Israelis 41% support and 47% oppose a Palestinian state in the entirety of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip except for several large blocks of settlements in 3% of the West Bank which will be annexed to Israel. Israel will evacuate all other settlements, and the Palestinians will receive in return territory of similar size along the Gaza Strip. In December 2013, 44% of the Israelis supported this component while 48% opposed it.

(2) Demilitarized Palestinian State 

Among Palestinians 28% support and 71% oppose the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that would have no army, but would have a strong security force and would have a multinational force deployed in it to ensure its security and safety. Israel and Palestine would be committed to end all forms of violence directed against each other. A similar compromise received in December 2013 28% support and opposition reached 71%.

This item receives the lowest level of support by Palestinians, as in previous polls. Unlike the refugees and Jerusalem components, this issue has not received due attention in public discourse, as it should, since it may become a major stumbling block in the efforts to reach a settlement.

Among Israelis 59% support and 33% oppose this arrangement compared to 60% support and 33% opposition obtained in December 2013.

(3) Jerusalem 

Among Palestinians 29% support and 71% oppose a Jerusalem compromise in which East Jerusalem would become the capital of the Palestinian state with Arab neighborhoods coming under Palestinian sovereignty and Jewish neighborhoods coming under Israeli sovereignty. The Old City (including al Haram al Sharif) would come under Palestinian sovereignty with the exception of the Jewish Quarter and the Wailing Wall that would come under Israeli sovereignty. In December 2013, an identical compromise obtained 32% support and 68% opposition.

Among Israelis, 32% support and 59% oppose an arrangement in which the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem including the old city and the Temple Mount will come under Palestinian sovereignty, the Jewish neighborhoods including the Jewish quarter and the Wailing Wall will come under Israeli sovereignty. East Jerusalem will become the capital of the Palestinian state and West Jerusalem the capital of Israel. In December 2013, similarly, 37% supported this arrangement and 56% opposed it.

(4) Refugees

Among Palestinians 40% support and 58% oppose a refugee settlement in which both sides agree that the solution will be based on UN resolutions 194 and 242. The refugees would be given five choices for permanent residency. These are: the Palestinian state and the Israeli areas transferred to the Palestinian state in the territorial exchange mentioned above; no restrictions would be imposed on refugee return to these two areas. Residency in the other three areas (in host countries, third countries, and Israel) would be subject to the decision of these states. As a base for its decision Israel will consider the average number of refugees admitted to third countries like Australia, Canada, Europe, and others. All refugees would be entitled to compensation for their “refugeehood” and loss of property. In December 2013, 46% agreed with an identical compromise while 52% opposed it.

Among Israelis 36% support such an arrangement and 48% oppose it. In December 2013, 39% supported it and 50% opposed.

(5) End of Conflict 

In the Palestinian public 61% support and 37% oppose a compromise on ending the conflict that would state that when the permanent status agreement is fully implemented, it will mean the end of the conflict and no further claims will be made by either side. The parties will recognize Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples. In December 2013, 63% supported and 36% opposed this item.

In the Israeli public 64% support and 27% oppose this component in the final status framework. In December 2013, similarly, 66% of the Israelis supported it while 28% opposed it.

(6) Security Arrangements 

In the Palestinian public 46% support and 53% oppose a compromise whereby the Palestinian state would have sovereignty over its land, water, and airspace, but Israel would have the right to use the Palestinian airspace for training purposes, and would maintain two early warning stations in the West Bank for 15 years. A multinational force would remain in the Palestinian state and in its border crossings for an indefinite period of time. The task of the multinational force would be to monitor the implementation of the agreement, and to monitor territorial borders and coast of the Palestinian state including the presence at its international crossings. In comparison, in December 2013, 52% of the Palestinians supported this parameter while 48% opposed it.

In the Israeli public 49% support and 37% oppose this arrangement compared to 52% who supported it and 39% who opposed it in December 2012.

The Whole Package

Among Palestinians 38% support and 60% oppose the whole package combining the elements as one permanent status settlement. In December 2013, 46% supported and 53% opposed such a package.

Among Israelis 50% support and 40% oppose all the above features together taken as one combined package. In December 2013, 54% supported and 37% opposed such a package.

We asked the Palestinians who opposed the full package how they would react if Israel, as part of the permanent peace package, also accepted the Arab Peace Initiative and the Arab states supported in return the peace treaty. 23% said they would in this case change their mind and accept the full package and 68% said they would not change their mind.

(C) Negotiation Tracks on the Agenda

The Saudi Plan

  • 27% of the Israelis and 43% of the Palestinians support the Saudi peace plan, 63% of the Israelis and 53% of the Palestinians oppose it. In June 2014, 29% of the Israelis and 50% of the Palestinians supported the Saudi peace plan, 64% of the Israelis and 46% of the Palestinians opposed it. The plan calls for Arab recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel after it ends its occupation of Arab territories occupied in 1967 and after the establishment of a Palestinian state. The plan calls for Israeli retreat from all territories occupied in 1967 including Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and the establishment of a Palestinian state. The refugee problem will be resolved through negotiations in a just and agreed upon manner and in accordance with UN resolution 194. In return, all Arab states will recognize Israel and its right to secure borders, will sign peace treaties with Israel and establish normal diplomatic relations.

The Israeli-Palestinian Track

  • Dismantling settlements – 42% of the Israelis support and 50% oppose the dismantling of most of the settlements in the West Bank as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
  • 58% of Israelis and 48% of Palestinians support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, known as the two-state solution and 37% of Israelis and 51% of Palestinians oppose it. In June 2014, 62% of Israelis supported a two-state solution and 34% opposed it; 54% of Palestinians supported it and 46% opposed it.
  • Mutual Recognition – As we do periodically in our joint polls, we asked Israelis and Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that 54% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 36% opposes it. Among Palestinians, 39% support and 60% oppose this step. In June 2014, the corresponding figures were similar to the current poll, 52% of the Israeli public supported such a mutual recognition and 38% opposed it. Among Palestinians, 40% supported and 59% opposed this step.

The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between December 3 and 6, 2014. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 616 adult Israelis interviewed in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between December 7 and 12, 2014. The margin of error is 4.5%.

The Clinton Parameters:

“The parameters I put forward contemplate a settlement in response to each side’s essential needs, if not to their utmost desires. A settlement based on sovereign homelands, security, peace and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians. These parameters don’t begin to answer every question, they just narrow the questions that have to be answered.


Here they are. First, I think there can be no genuine resolution to the conflict without a sovereign, viable, Palestinian state that accommodates Israeli’s security requirements and the demographic realities. That suggests Palestinian sovereignty over Gaza, the vast majority of the West Bank, the incorporation into Israel of settlement blocks, with the goal of maximizing the number of settlers in Israel while minimizing the land annex for Palestine to be viable must be a geographically contiguous state. (Applause.)

Now, the land annexed into Israel into settlement blocks should include as few Palestinians as possible, consistent with the logic of two separate homelands. And to make the agreement durable, I think there will have to be some territorial swaps and other arrangements.

Second, a solution will have to be found for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered a great deal — particularly some of them. A solution that allows them to return to a Palestinian state that will provide all Palestinians with a place they can safely and proudly call home. All Palestinian refugees who wish to live in this homeland should have the right to do so. All others who want to find new homes, whether in their current locations or in third countries, should be able to do so, consistent with those countries’ sovereign decisions. And that includes Israel.

All refugees should receive compensation from the international community for their losses, and assistance in building new lives.

Now, you all know what the rub is. That was a lot of artful language for saying that you cannot expect Israel to acknowledge an unlimited right of return to present day Israel, and at the same time, to give up Gaza and the West Bank and have the settlement blocks as compact as possible, because of where a lot of these refugees came from. We cannot expect Israel to make a decision that would threaten the very foundations of the state of Israel, and would undermine the whole logic of peace. And it shouldn’t be done. (Applause.)

But I have made it very clear that the refugees will be a high priority, and that the United States will take a lead in raising the money necessary to relocate them in the most appropriate manner. (Applause.) If the government of Israel or a subsequent government of Israel ever — will be in charge of their immigration policy, just as we and the Canadians and the Europeans and others who would offer Palestinians a home would be, they would be obviously free to do that, and I think they’ve indicated that they would do that, to some extent. But there cannot be an unlimited language in an agreement that would undermine the very foundations of the Israeli state or the whole reason for creating the Palestinian state. (Applause.) So that’s what we’re working on.

Third, there will be no peace, and no peace agreement, unless the Israeli people have lasting security guarantees. (Applause.) These need not and should not come at the expense of Palestinian sovereignty, or interfere with Palestinian territorial integrity. So my parameters rely on an international presence in Palestine to provide border security along the Jordan Valley and to monitor implementation of the final agreement. They rely on a non-militarized Palestine, a phased Israeli withdrawal, to address Israeli security needs in the Jordan Valley, and other essential arrangements to ensure Israel’s ability to defend itself.

Fourth, I come to the issue of Jerusalem, perhaps the most emotional and sensitive of all. It is a historic, cultural and political center for both Israelis and Palestinians, a unique city sacred to all three monotheistic religions. And I believe the parameters I have established flow from four fair and logical propositions.

First, Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all. It should encompass the internationally recognized capitals of two states, Israel and Palestine. Second, what is Arab should be Palestinian, for why would Israel want to govern in perpetuity the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians? Third, what is Jewish should be Israeli. That would give rise to a Jewish Jerusalem, larger and more vibrant than any in history. Fourth, what is holy to both requires a special care to meet the needs of all. I was glad to hear what the Speaker said about that. No peace agreement will last if not premised on mutual respect for the religious beliefs and holy shrines of Jews, Muslims and Christians.

I have offered formulations on the Haram Ash-Shareef, and the area holy to the Jewish people, an area which for 2,000 years, as I said at Camp David, has been the focus of Jewish yearning, that I believed fairly addressed the concerns of both sides.

Fifth and, finally, any agreement will have to mark the decision to end the conflict, for neither side can afford to make these painful compromises, only to be subjected to further demands. They are both entitled to know that if they take the last drop of blood out of each other’s turnip, that’s it. It really will have to be the end of the struggle that has pitted Palestinians and Israelis against one another for too long. And the end of the conflict must manifest itself with concrete acts that demonstrate a new attitude and a new approach by Palestinians and Israelis toward each other, and by other states in the region toward Israel, and by the entire region toward Palestine, to help it get off to a good start.

The parties’ experience with interim accords has not always been happy — too many deadlines missed, too many commitments unfulfilled on both sides. So for this to signify a real end of the conflict, there must be effective mechanisms to provide guarantees of implementation. That’s a lot of stuff, isn’t it? It’s what I think is the outline of a fair agreement. (Applause.)

Let me say this, I am well aware that it will entail real pain and sacrifices for both sides. I am well aware that I don’t even have to run for reelection in the United States on the basis of these ideas. I have worked for eight years without laying such ideas down. I did it only when both sides asked me to, and when it was obvious that we had come to the end of the road, and somebody had to do something to break out of the impasse.

Now, I still think the benefits of the agreement, based on these parameters, far outweigh the burdens. For the people of Israel, they are an end to conflict, secure and defensible borders, the incorporation of most of the settlers into Israel, and the Jewish capital of Jerusalem, recognized by all, not just the United States, by everybody in the world. It’s a big deal, and it needs to be done. (Applause.)

For the Palestinian people, it means the freedom to determine their own future on their own land, a new life for the refugees, an independent and sovereign state with al Quds as its capital, recognized by all. (Applause.) And for America, it means that we could have new flags flying over new embassies in both these capitals. (Applause.)

Now that the sides have accepted the parameters with reservations, what’s going to happen? Well, each side will try to do a little better than I did. (Laughter.) You know, that’s just natural. But a peace viewed as imposed by one party upon the other, that puts one side up and the other down, rather than both ahead, contains the seeds of its own destruction.

Let me say those who believe that my ideas can be altered to one party’s exclusive benefit are mistaken. I think to press for more will produce less. There can be no peace without compromise. Now, I don’t ask Israelis or Palestinians to agree with everything I said. If they can come up with a completely different agreement, it would suit me just fine. But I doubt it.”

The Geneva Initiative

Accord principles:

  • End of conflict. End of all claims.
  • Mutual recognition of Israeli and Palestinian right to two separate states.
  • A final, agreed upon border.
  • A comprehensive solution to the refugee problem.
  • Large settlement blocks and most of the settlers are annexed to Israel, as part of a 1:1 land swap.
  • Recognition of the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and recognition of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
  • A demilitarized Palestinian state.
  • A comprehensive and complete Palestinian commitment to fighting terrorism and incitement.
  • An international verification group to oversee implementation.

The Initiative’s signatories included Amos Oz, Yossi Beilin and Yasser Rabo.

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Israeli-Palestinian peace hopes – the latest poll”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Israel has never had an eastern border, only an armistice line that is subject to negotiations.
    That reality was created in 1949 at the end of the War of Independence through the agency of the United Nations itself, the same agency that is now disingenuously condemning Israel for allegedly crossing a non-existent international border in the 1967 war in response to Jordan’s shelling.
    It was Jordan that had illegally been occupying “the West bank” / Judea – Samaria for 19 years with the UN’s tacit consent.
    That territory is part of the Jewish National Home as delineated in the 1922 League of Nations-endorsed Mandate for Palestine.
    It was only Jordan’s flagrant aggression against Israel in 1948, and Israel’s inability to push the Jordanian forces back, that robbed Israel of its heartland.
    At the time the UN itself branded the Arab states as the aggressors.
    Times change; fashions change;rights do not.

    All of the above might be well known to readers, but it bears as much constant repetition as do the stories of all the other crucial events of Jewish history.

  2. Eion Isaak Israel says:

    Verification of Demilatirization or at least Non -Belligerance is one of the most Difficult issues.Gaza is Arming and Building Tunnels Setting up Civilian
    Human Hostages as Matyrs like Iran with Teenagers with Keys around their Neck Wrapped up to run through Minefields in the War against Iraq a war of great cruelty and Barbarity this concept is strong in
    Hamas stronger in the Islamic Jihadi .Hamas has 66% support ingest the Palestinians .
    .

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