Palestinians are determined to go to the UN in September and not to return to negotiations with Netanyahu, in line with Israelis’ expectations.
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 Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
65% of the Palestinians believe they should go to the UN in September to obtain recognition for their state, despite President Obama’s statement that it would be a mistake for them to do so. 65% of Israelis believe the Palestinians will indeed go to the UN.
61% of the Palestinians think they should not accept President Obama’s call to return to negotiations with the Netanyahu government, and 60% of Israelis do not expect them to do so. In light of President Obama’s speech, a majority of 88% of the Palestinians think the US position is closer to Israel, while only 8% think it is closer to the Palestinian position. Israelis are split in their assessment: 42% think the US position is closer to Israel and 40% think it is closer to the Palestinians.
Majorities on both sides, 57% of Palestinians and 51% of Israelis, believe that if the Palestinians turn to the UN General Assembly for recognition of a Palestinian state, they will succeed to obtain a two thirds majority. Majorities on both sides, 76% of the Palestinians and 65% of the Israelis, also believe that the US will use its veto power in the UN Security Council in order to prevent the UN from admitting the state of Palestine as a UN member.
Almost 60% of Israelis think Israel should accept the decision if indeed the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians; 20% believe Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 5% think that Israel should annex to Israel the PA territory; and 6% think Israel should invade the PA and use force in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Palestinians are split in the ways they think they can force Israel to withdraw from the territories, if the UN recognizes the Palestinian state. About a third thinks they can do so through armed attacks on army and settlers, and another third thinks peaceful non-violent resistance can force Israelis to withdraw; 26% think negotiations with Israel can bring it to withdraw.
Israeli and Palestinian attitudes regarding Obama and Netanyahu’s recent speeches
- A majority of 50% of Palestinians support President Obama’s call for a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines with territorial swaps; 46% oppose it. A majority of 54% of Israelis opposes this plan and 40% support it.
- With regard to the security issues, Israeli opinion is split, while Palestinians oppose Obama’s proposal that the Palestinian state will be demilitarized, it will have no airplanes, tanks, missiles, or any other heavy armaments, and the Israeli army would carry out a full and phased withdrawal from the Palestinian state. 66% of the Palestinians disagree with this principle, and only 31% support it; 46% of Israelis disagree and 48% agree with it.
- President Obama also said that a permanent peace should be based on the principle of two states for two peoples, the state of Israel as a Jewish state and a homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people, each would have the right to self determination, mutual recognition, and peace. 51% of the Palestinians and 67% of Israelis support this principle, while 47% and 29% respectively oppose it.
- President Obama stated that it would be a mistake for the Palestinians to go to the UN in September to obtain recognition for their state. Despite this statement, 65% of the Palestinians believe they should go to the UN in September and 31% believe they should not go. 65% of Israelis believe the Palestinians will go to the UN, while 24% think they will not go.
- President Obama also called upon the Palestinians to return to negotiations with the Netanyahu government, even though Prime Minister Netanyahu declared during his stay in Washington DC that Israel will not freeze settlement construction and refuses to accept the principle of returning to the lines of 1967 with swaps. 61% of the Palestinians think they should not accept the call to return to negotiations, and 60% of Israelis do not expect them to do so.
- In light of President Obama’s speech, a majority of 88% of the Palestinians think the US position is closer to the Israeli position, while only 8% think it is closer to the Palestinian position. Israelis are split in their assessment: 42% think the US position is closer to the Israeli position and 40% think it is closer to the Palestinian position.
- Considering the two speeches by Obama and Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s visit to the US, we asked Palestinians whom they think decide what the other should do regarding the peace process. 63% said Israel decides what the US should do and 32% said the US decides what Israel should do. 2% said neither decides what the other should do.