A set of recent polls of Palestinian "refugees" in the West Bank and Gaza, in Jordan, and in Lebanon asks "Are there conditions under which you could accept coexistence with Israeli Jews in peace and security?" The replies:
- West Bank and Gaza: Yes 20.3 percent, No 79.1 percent, Don't know 0.7 percent
- Jordan: Yes 9.7 percent, No 85.5 percent, Don't know 4.7 percent
- Lebanon: Yes 18.7 percent, No 77.8 percent, Don't know 3.5 percent
(1) These percentages confirm my sense that a not-trivial portion of Arabs – even Palestinians who trace their roots to the land Israel occupies – are willing to live in harmony with Israel. I estimate that they constitute one-fifth of each of the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim populations, with many and substantial variations existing within that overall estimate.
(2) This is an extremely important fact, pointing to an existing base for living in peace. Israel does not need to create this cohort, but increase its size. (July 24, 2003)
Aug. 26, 2004 update: A study of "Canada's Pro-Israel Muslims" finds 20 percent of them thinks "Israel is right on just about everything."
Mar. 26, 2009 update: The existence of a Palestinian cohort with pro-Israel views goes back further than most observers realize – right to the start of the Zionist enterprise. For background on the British Mandatory period, see my column today, "Palestinians Who Helped Create Israel."
Dec. 23, 2009 update: Polling in Egypt and Saudi Arabia finds 26 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of the surveyed populations accepting a Jewish State of Israel.
Apr. 12, 2010 update: Asked by An-Najah University, "Do you accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with some land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian problem," a representative Palestinian sample replied 28.3 percent "yes," 66.7 percent "no" and 5 percent "no opinion/do not know."
May 11, 2010 update: Polling in Jordan and Lebanon finds 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively, of their populations accepting a Jewish State of Israel. Combining these figures with those reported (above) on Dec. 23, 2009 and weighting them by size finds that almost precisely 20 percent accepting Israel as a Jewish state.
Nov. 9, 2010 update: An "Arab World for Research & Development" poll on October 20-22 with a sample of 1,000 Palestinians in the West Bank & Gaza found these results, with a margin of error of + 3 percent:
- 12 percent say yes, 85 percent say no to the question, "If Palestinian negotiators delivered a peace settlement that includes a Palestinian State but had to make compromises on key issues (right of return, Jerusalem, borders, settlements, etc.) to do so would you support the result?"
- 45 percent, however, say that "Two state solution - Two states for two peoples: Israel and Palestine according to UN resolution" is the "most realistic/achievable" scenario.
July 15, 2011 update: Asked about Barack Obama's statement that "there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people," 34 percent of http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/6-in-10-Palestinians-reject-2-state-solution-survey-findswww.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/6-in-10-Palestinians-reject-2-state-solution-survey-finds accepted the statement, while 61 percent rejected it, according to an intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip carried out by American pollster Stanley Greenberg and the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, sponsored by the Israel Project.
Lest one think that acceptance of two states means acceptance of the Jewish state of Israel, 66 percent said the Palestinians' goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state. So, if one takes 66 percent of 34 percent, one ends up 22 percent, which is around the usual figure of 1/5th.
June 25, 2014 update: The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy conducted a poll on June 15-17 in the West Bank and Gaza in which it asked two similar questions and got two similar results:
If the Palestinian leadership is able to negotiate a two-state solution with Israel, do you think that …
This should be the end of the conflict with Israel? 32 percent
Resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated? 64 percent
If the Palestinian leadership negotiates a two-state solution with Israel, do you think that …
That would be its final goal? 27 percent
That would be part of a "program of stages" to liberate all of historic Palestine later? 65 percent