Peace Process Poll

August 7, 2013 at 7:13 am (Guest post, israel, Middle East, palestine, Pink Prosecco)

East Jerusalem neighborhood Issawiya (Alex Levac)

Above: the East Jerusalem neighbourhood Issawiya

Guest post from Pink Prosecco

It’s frustrating not being able to know exactly how the questions for a recent poll of Israelis about their views on the peace process were framed, but (based on the information which is being reported) there is no great reason for optimism here. Although it’s no surprise to learn that most Israelis are opposed to a full right of return, it seems only a small minority support even a watered down solution to one of the biggest sticking points for any negotiated settlement.

Asked about major issues to be decided during the talks, 77 percent of Jewish Israelis opposed Israeli recognition in principle of the right of return, with a small number of Palestinian refugees being allowed to return and financial compensation for others.

I support a two state solution, and thought the majority of Israelis did too.  However:

62.5 percent opposed a withdrawal to the 1967 borders with land swaps; 58 percent opposed evacuating settlements except for Ariel, Maale Adumim and the settlement blocs.

Ariel, a controversial settlement, is another sticking point,  so it’s depressing to see that even a deal which would represent quite a concession from the Palestinians is viewed askance by so many in Israel.

An interesting finding  in another recent poll was that the transfer of Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem to the PA gets little more support from Israeli Arabs (55%) than from Israeli Jews (50%).  East Jerusalem always seems to be the knottiest problem of all for those seeking peace, so it’s useful to be reminded that those most immediately affected, Arab Israelis in Jerusalem, aren’t all jumping at the chance of being citizens of a Palestinian state.


  1. jimmy glesga said,

    I am surprised that some stupid Israelis actually think they can negotiate with Islamists that want to wipe them out. The gullible and insane are always with us.

  2. Pink Prosecco said,

    I’m not saying the Palestinian leadership has done all it might do – but it’s not just the Israelis who might wonder whether they have a partner for peace.

  3. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    So at what point do we finally give up all hope of a two state solution?

    Do we need to wait for 70% of Jewish Israelis to rejecting it 75%?

    Because at some point even we are going to have to accept that this parrot may in fact be well and truly dead.

    • jimmy glesga said,


  4. Kolya said,

    I don’t believe this poll tells the whole story. I think both Israelis and Palestinians put a lot of their hopes and fears into answering these kinds of questions. When people are feeling more positive about the prospects for peace, they give more conciliatory answers, and vice versa. This is not strictly logical, but it’s not at all surprising.

    I would suggest that the radical turn around in Israeli attitudes to Barack Obama following his recent visit to Israel, demonstrates how a show of goodwill can transform Israeli opinion in the blink of an eye.

    Provided the current peace negotiations are conducted in strict secrecy, and the resulting agreement is put to a referendum by both sides, I expect both populations will give their assent.

    This scenario has never been put to the test, so inferences based on what people have said in less auspicious circumstances are not necessarily a reliable guide to the attitudes they would adopt in the event of peace waiting only on their consent.

    • Pink Prosecco said,

      I hope you are right Kolya. This news is being reported most by opponents of Israel – as distinct from opponents of the current government. They (seem to) welcome the poll results because they fit their preconceptions, but there is nothing in them which is helpful to the Palestinians so such a response seems perverse.

      • Kolya said,

        I note that the interviews were conducted by phone and, based on the reported sample size of 602, the margin of error is ± 4.5%. But that may be overstating the accuracy of the results because there were in effect two separate populations being sampled: 502 Jews and 100 Arabs. On top of that, as you say, we don’t know how the questions were framed.

        Frankly, I think that if Netanyahu were to recommend a Yes vote in a referendum, it would almost certainly pass. And, although it’s by no means self-evident that the Palestinian voters would support an agreement – especially one that would not include a meaningful right of return – I’m quite optimistic on that score as well.

        I’m now pretty convinced that although Netanyahu is being very cautious (not least because he’s going against the consensus of his own party) he is quite open to the possibility of reaching an agreement. The fact that he put Tzipi Livni in charge of the Israeli negotiating team is also a seriously encouraging sign.

        I believe that all in all the prospects of success are much better than most people seem to think. I predict that Netanyahu will be to Palestine what de Gaulle was to Algeria.

  5. jimmy glesga said,

    PP & Koyla. Both of you live in fantasy world. Have you not noticed what muslims are doing to each other in the Middle East. The Jews, Christians and any others are their common enemy.
    Any Palestinian that attempts to sign a deal will be assassinated by the Islamic nutters. Those fruitcakes are too far gone in the heid. Even Billy Graham could not have saved them!

    • Kolya said,

      Jimmy, you may be surprised to learn that I agree with you 100% … that Billy Graham could not have saved the Palestinians – not in either place.

      • Pink Prosecco said,

        Sadly, I think there is also some truth in the assassination point – though let’s not forget that it’s not just Muslims who assassinate their leaders who seek peace in the region.

  6. Kolya said,

    Yes, there is both a political and a physical risk to leaders of both sides.

    While would-be assassins don’t necessarily act rationally, I think that by keeping the content of negotiations strictly secret, and then – in the event of an agreement being announced, also immediately announcing referendums to approve the agreement, the personal and political exposure of the respective leaders can be reduced.

    The one thing that I would find discouraging – and for which the responsible parties should be held publically culpable – is if the two leaderships continue to sanction negative spinning against the other side.

    This is not the time to be going on and on about about how insincere the other side is. I hope Kerry will tell both sides to bottle it.

    • Daniel young said,

      The other day Hezbollah leader Nasrallah, said of Israel “a cancer that must be eradicated’.

      Perez on the other hand said,”Nasrallah is not the leader of a political party,he is the leader of a terrorist organization”.

      Both comments entrenched retoric that does little if at all anything to bringing a peaceful resolve for the people of Gaza.

      • Kolya said,

        What a strange comment!

        Hezbollah is based in southern Lebanon and controls a military force stronger than the Lebanese Army. It has been designated a terrorist organization by: Australia, Bahrain, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Canada, France, the European Union, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

        Other than being committed to the destruction of Israel (and maintaining a hostile posture towards Palestinian refugees in Lebanon), Hezbollah has no connection with the Palestinians in general, and the people of Gaza in particular.

        And it has no role, either positive or negative, in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority / PLO.

  7. Kolya said,

  8. jimmy glesga said,

    Old stone age men and women struggled to survive only for religious predators and perverts to exploit their decendents. Where are the socialists!

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