Media release: Palestine-Israel Joint Poll
October 2020: Results of Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A joint poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah and the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Management at Tel Aviv University
Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll
Despite stable levels of support for a two-state solution, the two publics display substantial hardening of attitudes regarding a permanent peace package that implements that solution. Nonetheless both publics still prefer two states to any other framework for resolving the conflict. Pairs of zero-sum incentives can raise support somewhat on both sides, showing some flexibility. But trust is declining, and the majority of Palestinians, but also Israelis, agree that annexation will hinder progress towards peace.
These are the results of Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah and the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Management at Tel Aviv University with funding from the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah and the Representative Office of Japan to Palestine through UNDP/PAPP.
- Support for the two-state solution remains relatively stable at 43% among Palestinians and among Israeli Jews declines just slightly from 43% in mid-2018 to 42%. Among all Israelis, Jews and Arabs, 44% in total support the two-state solution. This is the lowest level of support for this concept among Israeli Jews, and all Israelis, since the beginning of the Pulse, in June 2016. Still, fewer people on both sides support two possible alternatives to a two-state solution: one state with equal rights and one state without rights.
- Palestinians and Israelis were presented with a peace package identical to the one we presented to them in mid-2018 and representing a modified version of the package we presented to both sides five times during the past four years. Findings show significant drop in support among the two publics. Only 27% of Palestinians (compared to 42% in mid-2018, a 15-point drop) and 36% of Israeli Jews (compared to 45% two years ago, a 9-point drop) support a permanent peace agreement package, along with 49% of Israeli Arabs. In total, 38% of Israelis support the detailed agreement. The peace package comprises: a de-militarized Palestinian state, an Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line with equal territorial exchange, family unification in Israel of 100,000 Palestinian refugees, West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty and the Muslim and Christian quarters and the al Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount under Palestinian sovereignty, Israeli and the future state of Palestine will be democratic, the bilateral agreement will be part of a regional agreement along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative, the US and major Arab countries will ensure full implementation of the agreement by both sides, and the end of the conflict and claims. Fifty one percent of all Israelis (56% of Israeli Jews) and 70% of Palestinians are opposed to this two-state comprehensive package.
- The survey also tested the likely impact of previously tested zero-sum incentives on the level of support for the peace package. Drawing on six such incentives, we paired measures that show reciprocal benefits but also costs for each side. This is the second time that we have conducted this experiment. In this experiment, which was conducted among half the sample, we changed the pairs that were tested as the goal has been to pair incentives that received similar levels of success in previous test. Findings in the previous experiment, in mid-2018, showed significant success among Israeli Jews but very little success among the Palestinians. The current findings show significant potential for success among both publics, but the success among Israeli Jews remains greater: six of the six pairs generated higher levels of support for the peace package among Israeli Jews while on the Palestinian side only four generated higher levels of support. As a result, three pairs caused a majority of Jewish Israelis to say they were more likely to support the package while none of the paired incentives convinced a majority of Palestinians to say they were more likely to support the detailed two-state package.
- Moreover, the current joint poll conducted a second experiment among the other half of the sample. In this one, we sought to understand the hierarchy of priorities for the two publics: what were their most important demands and what concessions were the most difficult for them to make versus those that were less difficult. Broadly, for Israelis the top priority for demands involved symbolic recognition of the Jewish connection to the land, and the demand that Palestinians imprison those involved in violence. However, a plurality did not believe Israel should have to make concessions in return for its own demands, indicating that Israeli demands should be unconditional. Similarly, on the Palestinian side, a majority declined to choose a specific concession Palestinians should make in return for its negotiators’ demands. Yet the top demand Palestinians prioritized was the release of Palestinian prisoners; the main concession they accepted – those who chose one – was removing incitement from textbooks.
- A second peace package was tested in this poll: Trump’s peace plan, or the deal of the century. Like the peace package we have tested over the years, this one was broken into its most important components. The public was asked about each one and the package as a whole. Findings are dramatic: 93% of the Palestinians opposed the plan and 5% accepted it. Among Israelis, a majority of Israeli Jews (51%) accepted it, 30% rejected it, and 19% did not know or were uncertain. A large majority of Palestinians (69%) thought that Israeli Jews would accept the plan. On the Israeli side, two thirds thought the Palestinians would reject the plan.
- As in previous surveys, levels of trust in the other side are very low: 90% of Palestinians and 79% of Israeli Jews think the other side is not trust worthy. When asked about the role of leadership in fostering distrust: 40% of Israeli Jews, 44% of Israeli Arabs, and 34% of the Palestinians expressed the view that their side’s leadership diminishes trust with the other side. By contrast, two thirds of Israeli Jews, 38% of Israeli Arabs, and 78% of Palestinians think the leadership on the other side diminishes trust.
- When both sides are offered four similar options for what should happen next on the conflict, 34% of the Palestinians (49% in the West Bank and 13% in the Gaza Strip) 41% of Israeli Jews choose “reach a peace agreement.” This represents a decrease in support for a peace agreement among Palestinians and Israeli Jews compared to only 41% and 45% respectively who chose this option in 2018. 37% of Palestinians (compared to 27% two years ago) opt to “wage an armed struggle against the Israeli occupation.” Among Israeli Jews, 19% call for “a definitive war with the Palestinians” compared to 20% in 2018.
The Palestinian sample size was 1200 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between 12-26 August, 2020. The margin of error is +/-3%. The Israeli sample includes 900 adult Israelis interviewed through the internet by Midgam in Hebrew and Arabic 12 August and 3 September 2020. The number of Jews interviewed inside Israel is 500, 200 West Bank settlers, and 200 Israeli Arabs. The combined Israeli data file has been reweighted to reflect the exact proportionate size of these three groups in the Israeli society, and to reflect current demographic and religious-secular divisions. The margin of error is +/-3.34%. The survey and the following summary have been drafted by Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of PSR, Dr. Nimrod Rosler from Tel Aviv University and Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin.
To view the full report, click here.
To view the Zoom press release video, click here.