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The Joint Israeli-Palestinian Polls

by Felix Dane, Jörg Knocha

A valuable instrument for the study of public opinion among the conflicting parties

Towards the end of every quarter, 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 (PSR) in Ramallah conduct a public opinion poll among Israelis and Palestinians. These surveys are supported by the KAS offices in Jerusalem and Ramallah. On the Israeli side, the scientific mentor is Prof. Yaacov Shamir, on the Palestinian side, it is Dr. Khalil Shikaki. The results always enjoy strong attention among the general public as well as among experts.

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March 2012: According to the March 2012 poll, chances for resuming talks between Israelis and Palestinians look slim at this point, with a majority of Israelis (68%) rejecting the Palestinian conditions to stop all construction in the settlements and to commit to return to the 1967 borders, and a majority of Palestinians (58%) opposing the return to talks without fulfilling these conditions.

December 2011: The results of the poll conducted in December 2011 show among other things that the populations of both sides are more willing to compromise in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The poll results are analyzed in depth by the KAS offices in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

September 2011: The Palestinian bid for UN membership is the focus of the poll conducted in September 2011. One of the findings shows that more than 80 percent of Palestinians support the request while 70 percent of the Israelis think that if the United Nations approves it, their country should accept it.

June 2011: According to the June 2011 poll Palestinians are determined to turn to the United Nations because in their view it is not possible to return to the negotiations with Netanyahu. This position corresponds to the expectations of the Israelis.

March 2011: A striking result of the poll conducted in March 2011 reveals that both sides still look pessimistically at the peace process. This is also reflected in how Israeli and Palestinian respondents view the impact of the protests in Egypt on the peace process and the prospect of near-term solution of the conflict. The poll results are analyzed in depth by the KAS offices in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

December 2010: The Joint Israeli-Palestinian poll of December 2010 focuses on the frozen direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and the coexistence between Jews and Arabs in the Israeli society. The results show that both sides view the current peace process even more pessimistically. In this poll Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel were interviewed separately.

September 2010: The results of the poll conducted in September 2010 show that Palestinians believe they need success in the negotiations more than the Israelis, while Israelis think both sides need it equally. However, but both publics are skeptical about the negotiations’ success.

June 2010: The results of the poll conducted in June 2010 reveal that despite the Gaza flotilla incident, there is a rise in willingness to compromise among Palestinians and Israelis. However, two thirds on both sides remain pessimistic about the future of the peace process.

March 2010: A clear conclusion can be drawn from the latest poll conducted in March 2010: A majority of Israelis and Palestinians prefer a two-state solution as the most acceptable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as opposed to a single binational state or a Palestinian-Israeli confederation.

December 2009: According to the most recent poll conducted in December 2009 a slim majority of Israelis (52%) believes that Israel should pay almost any price to return prisoners of war. Palestinians believe that if Marwan Barghouti will be released from the jail, he would beat Ismail Haniyeh for Presidency by a large margin.

August 2009: The results of the poll conducted in August 2009 show that Israelis are more apprehensive and Palestinians somewhat more favorable about US involvement in the region compared to their expectations after Obama’s election.

June 2009: Results of the poll conducted in June 2009 reveal that both Israelis and Palestinians view pessimistically the prospects for a settlement and a Palestinian state in the next few years. However, majorities on both sides support a two-state solution. Following Obama’s Cairo speech, Israelis’ pessimism decreased somewhat and support for the two-state solution increased slightly.

March 2009: The results of the recent poll of March 2009 reveal that in the aftermath of Israel’s military “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza and the February elections, Israelis and Palestinians share hawkish positions and gloomy expectations regarding the peace process. Among other findings of the poll: Both Palestinians and Israelis believe that given the outcome of the Israeli military operation in Gaza, Palestinians are worse off after than before. Two thirds of Israelis believe that Israel stopped its military operation in Gaza too early, but only 30% think that Israel should reoccupy the Gaza Strip and stay there if shelling of Israeli communities continues.

December 2008: Following Obama’s Election, Palestinians and Israelis seek a more active role of the US in moderating the Conflict. This is one of the results of the joint Truman- PSR poll of December 2008. Among other findings: Both publics support continuation of the cease-fire agreement with Hamas. Only about a quarter of Israelis support re-occupation of the Gaza Strip if shelling of Israeli communities continues.

August 2008: According to the latest poll of August 2008, the majority of Israelis and Palestinians continue to support a two-state solution. However, 31% of Israelis and 43% of Palestinians do not believe in the reconciliation between two peoples in the long run even if a peace agreement will be reached and a Palestinian state would be established.

June 2008: According to the June 2008 poll Israelis strongly oppose cease- fire with Hamas if agreement does not include release of Gilad Shalit; Palestinians strongly oppose such an agreement if it does not include the West Bank.

March 2008: Threatened Israelis and Palestinians disenchanted with the peace process and do not believe in a non-violent solution. These are the results of the most recent poll conducted in March 2008.

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Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll June 2011 KAS-Jerusalem


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