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Middle East Peace Report

by Americans for Peace Now Wednesday, Jul. 09, 2003 at 5:35 AM

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University issued the results of their latest survey of Israeli and Palestinian public opinion, with a two-state solution and the Road Map drawing strong support.

Middle East Peace Report
July 7, 2003
Vol. 4, Issue 50

Two-State Solution, Road Map Big Winners In Israeli-Palestinian Poll, Part I: The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University issued the results of their latest survey of Israeli and Palestinian public opinion, with a two-state solution and the Road Map drawing strong support. For the first time, the sensitive and disputed issue of national identity was addressed in a joint poll. Both Israelis and Palestinians were asked whether they agree or disagree that after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the settlement of all disputed issues, there will be a mutual recognition of Israel as a state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people. 52% of Palestinians agreed and 46% disagreed with this proposal, while 65% of Israelis agreed and 33% disagreed. However, neither public was aware of this mutual level of support, which suggests that it is still not in the open and not fully normative. Only 40% of Palestinians believe (and 53% do not believe) that a majority of Palestinians support such recognition, and only 37% believe that a majority of Israelis supports that recognition. Among Israelis, only 32% believe (and 56% do not believe) that a Palestinian majority supports this issue, but 58% believe and 31% do not believe that a majority of Israelis supports it. In the same vein, 80% of Israelis and 71% of Palestinians support reconciliation between the two peoples after reaching a peace agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian state. (PSR/Hebrew University Press Release, 6/30/03)

Two-State Solution, Road Map Big Winners In Israeli-Palestinian Poll, Part II: The Road Map is supported by 56% of Palestinians and 61% of Israelis, according to the joint survey. However, support for different steps required from Palestinians and Israelis varies. Among Palestinians, 70% support consolidation of the security services into three organizations; 56% back ending incitement against Israel; 41% support restoring pre-Intifada Arab links with Israel; 36% support arresting individuals conducting violent attacks on Israelis; 30% back establishing a state with provisional borders before settling the refugee and Jerusalem issues; and 25% support cutting off funding for terrorist groups. Among Israelis, 77% support ending incitement against Palestinians; 67% support ceasing deportations, home demolitions, and destruction of Palestinian infrastructure; 65% support IDF withdrawal to pre-Intifada posts and the deployment of Palestinian security forces in these areas; 54% support reopening Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem that have been closed; and 61% support dismantling illegal settlement outposts. A majority on both sides believes that its own leader will abide by his commitments to the Road Map (57% of Palestinians and 59% of Israelis), but they suspect the intentions of the other’s leader, with only 15% of Palestinians trusting Ariel Sharon to fulfill Israel’s obligations and 30% of Israelis believing that Abu Mazen will meet Palestinian commitments. (PSR/Hebrew University Press Release, 6/30/03)

9% Of Settlers Would Live Under Palestinian Rule: The Harry S. Truman Institute at the Hebrew University also polled 500 settlers over age 18 about their attitudes towards the peace process. The survey found that just 13% would use any means at their disposal to resist a decision to evacuate settlements that were established by a government ruling, while 84% would either comply with such a decision (24%) or would oppose it by legal means (60%). Further, the survey found that 9% of settlers think that it is permissible to endanger other Jews when settlements are evacuated, and if a decision is made to evacuate a settlement in which they live, they would prefer that the government allow them to stay there under Palestinian rule. Only 58% of the settlers recognize the authority of the government to decide on evacuating settlements, 54% recognize the Knesset’s authority to evacuate them, 60% recognize the Knesset’s authority to order an evacuation but only on condition that a Jewish majority approves this, and 68% believe that a referendum should be held to decide the matter. Only 38% of the settlers recognize the authority of the rabbis to make a decision on evacuating settlements. 57% of settlers believe that if a Palestinian state is established in the framework of a peace agreement that promises evacuation, the right thing to do would be to pay the settlers compensation and allow them to decide on their own where to live inside the Green Line. 3% said they prefer that the government decide where to settle them inside Israel and 19% prefer that the government settle them somewhere in the territories. (Ma’ariv, 7/2/03)
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