25 January 2018


Support for the two-state solution in principle falls below half for Palestinians and Israeli Jews – 46% of both populations support this solution today; Arab citizens of Israel are the only population showing a strong majority in favor (83%). Palestinian attitudes become more pessimistic in general and support for militancy rose following US President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Jewish Israeli support for two states has not changed since June 2017 (47% in June). Still both sides prefer the two-state solution to all other conflict resolution options. Although only a minority of Israelis and Palestinians support the detailed package for implementation – 40% of Palestinians and 43% of Israelis (just 35% among Jews) – the opposition is still flexible: a package of incentives tested among those opposed to the solution showed that nearly half of Jews and 40% of Palestinians might change their minds to support the agreement under the right conditions, bringing support to a majority on both sides.



Table of findings 

These are the results of Palestinian-Israeli Pulse: A Joint Poll conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research (TSC), Tel Aviv University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah, with funding from the European Union (EU), the Netherland Representative Office in Ramallah, and the UNDP/PAPP on behalf of the Representative Office of Japan to Palestine..


●  Support for the two-state solution stands at 46% among Palestinians and Israeli Jews.  In June 2017, 53% of Palestinians and 47% of Israeli Jews supported that solution. Among Israeli Arabs, support for the two-state solution stands today at 83%.

●  Still, fewer people on both sides support three possible alternatives to a two-state solution: one state with equal rights, one state without rights, and expulsion or “transfer.”

●  Only 40% of Palestinians (compared to 43% in June 2017) and 35% of Israeli Jews (a three-point increase from the June survey) support a permanent peace agreement package, along with 85% of Israeli Arabs – typical of the high level support from Israeli Arabs in previous surveys. In total, 43% 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, and the end of the conflict and claims. Forty-eight percent of Israelis (55% of Israeli Jews) and 57% of Palestinians are opposed to the two-state comprehensive package.

●  The skepticism about the package appears closely related to serious doubts about feasibility. Palestinians and Israelis are both divided almost equally about whether a two-state solution is still possible, or whether settlements have expanded too much to make it viable. Among all Israelis, nearly half believes the solution is still viable (48%), while 42% think settlements have spread too much for it to be viable, although among Jews more think it is not viable (46% compared to 42% who think it is). Among Palestinians, 60% say the two-state solution is no longer viable (an eight-point increase), while 37% think it is. But fully 75% and 73% of Palestinians and Israeli Jews, respectively, do not expect a Palestinian state to be established in the next five years.

●  Despite the majority rejection of the two-state implementation package, their opposition can be shifted significantly based on added policy incentives. For example, 44% of Jews who are opposed would change their minds if the Palestinian government commits itself to ongoing security cooperation like today, including sharing intelligence with Israeli security forces, preventing attacks and arresting terror suspects – bringing total support to a 59% majority.  Among  Palestinians who are opposed to the package, 39% would change their minds to support the agreement if Israel recognized the Nakba and the suffering of refugees and provides compensation to the refugees. When the Palestinians who change their minds for this item are added to original supporters, 62% support the agreement.

●  When both sides are offered four similar options for what should happen next on the conflict, 26% of the Palestinians and 38% of Israeli Jews choose “reach a peace agreement.” However, in a departure from previous attitudes 38% of Palestinians (compared to just over one-fifth last June) opt to “wage an armed struggle against the Israeli occupation.” Among Israeli Jews, 18% (compared to 12% last June) called for “a definitive war with the Palestinians.”

The Palestinian sample size was 1,270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between 7-10 December, 2017. The number of interviewees in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) is 830 and in the Gaza Strip 440. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 900 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between 29 November to 14 December, 2017. The number of Jews interviewed inside Israel is 650, West Bank settlers100, and Israeli Arabs 150. 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%.  It should be noted that the entire Palestinian survey was conducted immediately after the announcement by President Donald Trump that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and during a period of limited Palestinian-Israeli confrontations. Most of the Israeli data was collected prior to the declaration, and about 20% of the sample responded immediately following. The survey and the following summary have been drafted by Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of PSR, and Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin together with the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research and its director, Dr. Ephraim Lavie.


The following sections compare and contrast findings regarding Palestinian and Israeli public opinion in general. However, when important differences, mainly between Israeli Jews and Arabs, or between Israeli Jews living inside the Green Line and settlers living in the West Bank, or between Palestinians living in the West Bank (West Bankers) and Gazans were found, we also provide the respective findings for these sub groups. 

(1) Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Two-state solution: In the current survey, less than half of Palestinians and Israeli Jews, (46% each), support the two-state solution. Last June, 52% of Palestinians and 47% of Israeli Jews supported this solution, when described as a general principle, without details.  Fifty-one percent of Palestinians and 47% of Israeli Jews are opposed; the remainder declined to give an answer. Among Israeli Arabs, support remains solid at 83%, bringing the total Israeli average to 52%. Among Israeli settlers, support stands today at 20% and 79% are opposed. As seen in the graph below, among Jews, support for the two-state principles has seen an incremental but steady decline since June 2016, when it stood at 53%. Among Palestinians support has varied: it fell from June to December 2016, when 44% supported the basic two-state solution in principle, rose to 52% last June, then declined once again. Unlike previous findings, support for the two-state solution among Palestinians is higher in the West Bank (48%) compared to the Gaza Strip (44%). Last June 61% of Gazans came out in favor of a two-state solution compared to 48% among West Bankers.

Among Israelis, as in the past, the significant variations are found among demographic groups defined by religious observance and age. Secular Israeli Jews show a majority who support two states, 63%, compared to less than one-quarter of religious Jews (23%). Among Jewish Israelis, support is lowest among the youngest group, and rises with age – thus among the youngest Jews, 18-24 years old, just 27% support this, and just 37% among the 25-34 group – compared to a 54% majority among those whose age is 55 years or over.

Perceptions of public support. When asked if they believe their own societies support the two-state solution, 27% of Israeli Jews believe the majority of Israelis support it, almost unchanged from June, and 57% believe the majority opposes it; thus perceptions of their society are inaccurately weighted towards rejection, rather than the reality of evenly divided opinions. Among Israeli Arabs, 32% think that most Israeli Jews support the principle of a two-state solution, a 19-points decrease when compared to the June findings.

Palestinian perception of their own side’s position has changed during the past six months. Today 42%, compared to 48% last June, believe that a majority of Palestinians support the two-state solution and 52%, compared to 45% last June, think a majority opposes it.

Regarding attitudes towards the other side, the portion of Palestinians who think Israeli Jews support the two-state solution is declining: 39% of Palestinians, compared to 42% last June, think the majority of Jewish Israelis support this solution and 50%, compared to 45% last June, think they oppose it. Among Israeli Jews, just one-third believe Palestinians support the two-state solution.

Declining support linked to low perceived feasibility. To understand the division of opinion about the two-state solution, it is useful to consider the findings regarding the feasibility and implementation of a two-state solution. These findings help to explain why large portions are skeptical and Palestinian attitudes have shifted in this poll. When asked about the chances that an independent Palestinian state will be established in the next five years, among Palestinians, only 4% view the chances as high or very high that such a state will be established in the next five years. Fully 75% of Palestinians, compared to 71% last June, say the chances are low or very low.

Among Israeli Jews a similarly large majority of 73% think the chances are low or very low, 53% of Israeli Arabs take this view, and the weighted average for all Israelis is 70% who do not believe a Palestinian state will be established in that time. The remainder, fewer than one-fifth of Israelis and Palestinians, say the chances are “medium.”

Further, the view that the two-state solution is no longer even feasible is increasingly widespread in general social and public discourse. We tested this belief directly, asking respondents on both sides whether settlements have expanded too much, making a two-state solution impossible, or whether settlements can still be dismantled or evacuated and therefore the solution is still viable. Among Palestinians, a majority of 60% believes the solution is no longer viable, an eight-point rise compared to 52% last June. The rate is higher in the West Bank, 62%, compared to 56% of Gaza residents. The increased pessimism among Palestinians regarding the viability of the two-state solution is probably linked to the announcement by President Trump in which he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the state on Israel. The Israelis on the other hand are once again divided: 48% among all Israelis think the solution is still viable, and a smaller portion, 42% think it is not. But among Jews, attitudes have shifted from June: at present a plurality believe the two-state solution is not viable, 46%, while 42% think it is. Six months earlier, the trend was reversed: 49% of Jews said it was still viable, and 43% said it was not. Among Arab Israeli respondents, three quarters believe this solution is still viable (74%).

            Peace and violence. Unlike our June findings which showed remarkable similarities between Palestinians and Israeli Jews regarding what should happen next, the current survey shows the Palestinians moving away from their preference for a peace agreement, to growing support for waging an armed struggle. This is also likely the result of President Trump’s statement regarding Jerusalem. While a plurality of Israelis continues to support a peace agreement, findings show a slight decrease in support for peace and a similar increase in preference for violence. As indicated earlier, part of the Israeli fieldwork took place after the Trump announcement and during a period of rising tensions and confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis. When given four options for what should happen next, only 26% of Palestinians, compared to 45% last June, said there should be a peace agreement, while 38%, compared to 21% in the previous survey, chose armed struggle. Among the Israelis, the plurality (38%) chose peace (still a decline compared to 45% last June) compared to 19% who chose “a definitive war,” against Palestinians. Last June only 12% opted for the war option.

Three competing alternatives to the two-state solution: One state with equal rights, one state without equal rights (apartheid), and expulsion or “transfer”

The joint poll sought to ascertain the breakdown of Palestinians and Israelis regarding various alternatives to the two-state solution. Three alternative options were offered: (1) one state solution with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians (one state), (2) one state solution in which one side or the other is denied equal rights (apartheid),  (3) a single state in which the other side is “transferred” or expelled from the entire territory of historic or Mandatory Palestine (expulsion). For options two and three, Israeli Arabs were asked the same questions asked of Palestinians, i.e., in which rights of Jews are denied in the second option and expulsion is applied to Jews in the third option.

The findings show a high level of overlap: in other words, a single respondent often supported more than one of the three alternative options. In the following analysis we sought to identify a “core constituency” for each alternative option: i.e., the greatest number of respondents who would support the most desirable response – for the purposes of this analysis, the two-state solution – even if they support other responses, since policymakers can count on their support for two states. We then quantified the greatest number who supported the second-best option, but who would not support the two-state solution, and so on for the third and least desirable options.

To explain how this was done - in the first stage of the analysis, respondents who support a two-state solution are removed from the constituencies that support any of the other alternatives. In a second stage, those who support a one-state solution are removed from the constituencies that support either or both of the remaining two alternatives, apartheid and expulsion. In the final stage, we separate the remaining two groups by removing those who support apartheid from the constituency that supports expulsion. 

As the two pies below show, the largest constituency is the one that supports the two-state solution. Once those respondents are excluded from the sample and the remaining public is assigned one alternative at a time, the public splits almost equally on each side, between the three alternatives without any one emerging as the most preferred. The category called “other” refers to respondents who either rejected all options or responded “do not know.” These findings are similar to those of June with two main differences: (1) those Palestinians who abandoned the two-state solution (46% support it at present, compared to 53% in June), shifted to the “other’ category, which increased from 11% to 18%. (2) On the Israelis side, support for the “apartheid” option decreased by 4 points from 15% to 11%.

On the Palestinian side, there is minimal difference between Gazans and West Bankers in their preferences for the two-state solution and its three alternatives. But gaps do emerge when looking at the political affiliation or vote preferences, with supporters of Fatah emerging as the only group that has a majority support for the two-state solution followed by the unaffiliated with about half supporting it.  Surprisingly, as in the previous survey, support among Hamas voters for the two-state solution emerges as the largest group, followed by expulsion.

A similar examination of the Israeli Jewish side shows that support for the two-state solution is highest only among secular and traditional Jews, but not among the religious. The latter prefer one equal state over all other and prefer the two-state and the expulsion options equally) and the Ultra-Orthodox (who also prefer the one equal state solution over all other followed by the two-state). But when looking at the political spectrum, support for the two-state solution is higher than all others among almost all groups, including those who define themselves as “moderate right.” Only among those who self-define as simply “right,” which can be considered firm right-wingers, two states and one equal state constituencies are tied with 20% each, while the expulsion group is largest. (The size of firm right category is 29% of the Jewish sample.)

Finally, when looking at Israeli Arabs, as the pie below shows, support for the two-state solution, as indicated above, is overwhelming, followed by support for the one state solution. This means that, as in the case of Israeli Jews and Palestinians, once the overlap in the Israeli Arab sample is removed, little support remains for the other two alternatives. There are no Israeli Arabs who support expulsion or apartheid, who do not also support a more moderate option.

Confederation: For the third time, we tested an alternative to the traditional two-state solution in the form of a confederation between two states. The confederation alternative was described as follows:

Some people recommend the following solution: the creation of two states, Palestine and Israel, which enter into a confederation whereby citizens of one country are allowed to live as permanent residents in the territory of the other but each national group votes only in its state for elections. There would be freedom of movement for all, and Jerusalem is not divided but serves as the capital of two states. Israel and Palestine would deal jointly with security and the economy..  


Support for the confederation concept is higher this time than it was in June 2017 and in December 2016, with 33% of Israeli Jews, a 7-point increase from June and 13-point increase from last December.

By contrast, Palestinian attitudes towards the confederation idea declined nine points, from 37% to 28% in six months, with 64% opposition – reflecting the general decline in supportive attitudes among Palestinians in the current survey. As is the case for the two-state solutions, support for the confederation idea is highest among Israeli Arabs, at 70%, with 25% opposed.

Separately we also tested one specific element that characterizes confederation or a semi-separation approach. The survey asked Israelis and Palestinians if they support each side being allowed “to live in the other state as permanent residents, if they are law abiding, and they will only vote in their own national parliament.” Among Palestinians, 38% are in favor (40% in the West Bank and 34% in the Gaza Strip) and 58% are opposed. Among Israeli Jews, findings are similar, with 40% in favor and 50% opposed (with one-quarter, 26%, of Jewish settlers supporting this). But Israeli Arabs show an overwhelming support (84%) for the idea, bringing the total average Israeli support to 47%.


Detailed package for implementation  

Palestinians and Israelis were then asked to support or oppose a detailed combined package of a permanent settlement, gathered from previous rounds of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. They responded first to each item separately, as component parts; following nine such items they were asked if they support or opposed the combined package, and given a short summary of the basic elements. Among Palestinians, reflecting the decline in support for the general concept of the two-state solution, we found that support for the overall package declines from 43% in June to 40% today. Support among West Bankers increased slightly to from 40% to 42% while in the Gaza Strip, support plummeted considerably from half in June to 35% in the current poll. Among all Israelis, 43% support this package: 35% among Israeli Jews and 85% among Israeli Arabs. Six months ago, 32% of Israeli Jews and 83% of Israeli Arabs supported the package – at that time, the Israeli average was 41% support, thus the current survey shows little change.  

In the current survey, 54% of Jews inside the Green Line and 77% of settlers oppose this package (55% for all Israeli Jews, compared to 61% six months ago). 57% of Palestinians, compared to 54% six months ago, oppose the combined package.

Items of an agreement. A detailed breakdown of attitudes regarding the nine components of the package follows (non-italicized questions were asked of Israeli Jews and if no other wording appears, also for Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Italics refer to the questions worded separately for Palestinians; some of the Palestinian wordings were used for Israeli Arabs):

1.    Mutual recognition of Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples. The agreement will mark the end of conflict, the Palestinian state will fight terror against Israelis, and no further claims will be made by either side. 59% of Israeli Jews support this, including 40% of West Bank settlers.


Mutual recognition of Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples. The agreement will mark the end of conflict, Israel will fight terror against Palestinians, and no further claims will be made by either side. 41%, of Palestinians support mutual recognition, 45% in the West Bank and 34% in the Gaza Strip. 85% of Israeli Arabs support mutual recognition.


2.     The independent Palestinian state which will be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be demilitarized (no heavy weaponry). Only 20% of Palestinians support this, and more than three-quarters (77%) oppose the demilitarized state. Among Israeli Jews, 56% support this item; a nearly-identical percentage of Israeli Arabs (55%) support it. 


3.     A multinational force will be established and deployed in the Palestinian state to ensure the security and safety of both sides. Among Palestinians, 36% support this. Israeli Jews were divided, with 48% for and 45% against this item; among Israeli Arabs, 69% supported it.


4.     The Palestinian state will have full sovereignty over its air space, its land, and its water resources, but Israel will maintain two early warning stations in the West Bank for 15 years. 30% of Palestinians support this (40% in the Gaza Strip and 24% in the West Bank). Among Israeli Jews, 38% support this, and among Israeli Arabs 56% support it.


5.     The Palestinian state will be established in the entirety of West Bank and the Gaza strip, except for several blocs of settlement which will be annexed to Israel in a territorial exchange. Israel will evacuate all other settlements. 34% of Palestinians support this, 39% among Gazans and 31% among West Bankers. 37% of Israeli Jews support this and just 12% of settlers (85% are opposed). 71% of Arabs support this item.


6.     The territories Palestinians will receive in exchange will be similar to the size of the settlement blocs that will be annexed to Israel. Just a little over a quarter of Palestinians (27%) support the territorial exchange. 35% of Israeli Jews support this, and 68% of Israeli Arabs, with settlers showing nearly the same breakdown as the previous item.


7.     West Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of the Palestinian state. Less than a quarter (23%) of Jews support this item, and only 5% among West Bank settlers. 


East Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state and West Jerusalem the capital of the Israel. 26% of Palestinians support this, with very little distinction between West Bank and Gazan respondents. 71% of Israeli Arabs support this item.


8.     In the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jewish quarter and the Wailing Wall will come under Israeli sovereignty and the Muslim and Christian quarters and Temple Mount will come under Palestinian sovereignty. 28% of Israeli Jews support the Old City arrangement, with 66% opposed.

In the Old City of Jerusalem, the Muslim and Christian quarters and al Haram al Sharif will come under Palestinian sovereignty and the Jewish quarter and the Wailing Wall will come under Israeli sovereignty. Here again, just over one-quarter (26%) of Palestinians support the division of the Old City, with only small differences between Gaza and the West Bank. 71%of Palestinians are opposed to this item. Almost two-thirds of Israeli Arabs support this (65%).


9.     Palestinian refugees will have the right of return to their homeland whereby the Palestinian state will settle all refugees wishing to live in it. Israel will allow the return of about 100,000 Palestinians as part of a of family unification program. All other refugees will be compensated.  A majority of Palestinians support this, 52%, and 45% are opposed. This item shows some difference between Gazans – with 57% support – and West Bankers, with 50% support. This item receives the lowest support from Israeli Jews out of all the items tested: 19% support the arrangement on refugees, while 74% are opposed, and 92% - essentially a consensus among West Bank settlers. Israeli Arabs show the opposite trend: 85% support it, with 13% opposed.


Perception of social support for package. On both sides, respondents also perceive their own society’s support for the plan to be low. Palestinians are more likely to say that among other Palestinians the majority supports the plan – 37% believe this, compared to 40% of Palestinians who actually support it – a slight difference. Over half (56%) of Palestinians believe the majority of Palestinians oppose it – close to the reality of 57%. Among Israeli Jews, however, a high portion accurately believe the majority rejects the agreement: 62%. Although 35% of Israeli Jews support the plan, only 19% believe that the majority supports it.

It is interesting to note that among Israeli Jews, a higher portion think Palestinians would accept the combined package, than those who think the majority of Jews support it: 29% say that the majority of Palestinians support the package. Among the Palestinians 37% think the majority of Israelis support the package – the same percentage who believe their own side has majority support.

Regional and demographic trends. Unlike all three previous surveys that asked about this package, support in Gaza is lower than that in the West Bank (35% to 42% respectively) – in the past support has been higher in Gaza. Moreover, it is worth pointing out that only minor differences exist between refugees and non-refugees (38% and 41% respectively). Support for the package drops to 34% among Palestinians between the ages of 18 and 22 years compared to all other age groups where support ranges between 40%-41%. Although young Jewish respondents are often more hard-line than older people, as seen earlier regarding the general two-state solution, in this survey support for the package varies only minimally by age among Jews.


Among Palestinians and Israelis, support for the package is higher among those who are less religious, and lower among those who are more religious. Among Palestinians who define themselves as “not religious” and “somewhat religious” nearly half (47% and 46%, respectively) support the package compared to those who define themselves as religious (32%). Fatah voters support the package with a large majority (58%) compared to only 28% among Hamas voters and 35% among supporters of other factions or third parties.

Just 21% of Israeli settlers support the full package, the same as among religious Jews. Slightly higher support is found among traditional Jews (27%) and the ultra-Orthodox (33%). The findings reflect a very consistent religious-secular divide, with 44% of secular Jews in favor of the full package. (A second demographic divide is found between younger and older Jews: 30% of the 18-22 year old Jews support the package, compared to 35%-36% among older age groups.) 

Among all Israelis, with Jews and Arabs combined, support varies most of all depending on where respondents place themselves on the right-left political continuum: over two-thirds, 68%, of those who consider themselves left-wing support the full package, a majority of centrists (55%), and 23% of right-wingers.

Feasibility - doubts. Beyond demographic and political differences that typically characterize those who support or oppose the two-state solution and the detailed package, background attitudes are also clearly linked to support. In previous surveys, it has been clear that trust in the other side is a powerful factor, and the belief that the other side wants peace. It also became clear that the perception of viability was important, therefore in the current survey we offer deeper analysis of this factor.

Among Israeli Jews who believe that the two-state solution is still viable, 50% support the combined package. Further, for Israeli Jews, support for the agreement rises in part on whether the respondents believe there is chance of establishing a Palestinian state within the next five years.

Among the Palestinians who believe that the two-state solution is still viable, 58% support the combined package. Further, support for the agreement rises incrementally the more the respondents believe there is chance of establishing a Palestinian state within the next five years.

Peace Incentives: Changing minds

Our joint poll sought to explore the extent to which the opposition to the combined package was “firm” or “flexible,” that is, whether additional policy items can act as incentives to change their minds in favor. To this end, we developed a series of policies that could be added to an agreement, and proposed them to respondents who originally said they opposed the full, detailed package. As noted above, this included 55% of Israeli Jews and 57% of Palestinians.

Each side was offered seven incentives. Some of the incentives were similar, reflecting either the same policy or a parallel item. Three items tested the same policy: making the Israeli-Palestinian agreement part of the Arab Peace Initiative, insuring that the Palestinian state would have a democratic and clean political system, and the creation of a joint commission made of the US, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to provide formal guarantees to ensure proper implementation of the agreement on both sides.  The other four items were designed to be specifically favorable to one side: for example, for Israelis – allowing Jews to visit at the Temple Mount/al Haram al Sharif or allow Israelis, including settlers, to live in the Palestinian state as permanent residents as long as they are law-abiding, and for the Palestinians, an Israeli recognition of the Nakba and the suffering of refugees, and providing compensation to refugees, and allowing Palestinians, including refugees, to live as permanent residents inside the state of Israel while maintaining their Palestinian citizenship, as long as they are law abiding.

The items were tested as follows (italics indicates questions asked of Palestinians). Once again these questions were asked only among those who opposed the full package of the detailed two-state agreement.

1.     And if the agreement is part of a larger peace agreement with all Arab states according to the Arab Peace Initiative? 37% of Israeli Jews who opposed the agreement at first, said that they would now support it. Added to those who already support the agreement, a total of 55% of Israeli Jews would support it with this item.


If in addition to the above items of the permanent settlement package, Israel agreed to accept the Arab peace initiative and in return all Arab countries supported this peace treaty? 24% of Palestinians who did not support the initial package said they would support it if this case.  Added to those who already support the agreement, a total of 54% of Palestinians would support it with this item.


2.    And if the agreement states that the state of Palestine will have a democratic political system based on rule of law, periodic elections, free press, strong parliament, independent judiciary and equal rights for religious and ethnic minorities as well as strong anti-corruption measures? 40% of Israeli Jews said this would make them support the agreement.


37% of Palestinians said they would support the agreement with this item.


3.     And what if the agreement includes formal guarantees by the US, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who will create a joint commission to ensure proper implementation on both sides? 39% of Jewish Israelis who initially opposed the agreement said they would support if it this item was included.


More than one quarter (27%) of Palestinians opposed would support the agreement if it included this item.


4.     What if the agreement states that Israeli Jews, including settlers, are allowed, if they wish, to live as permanent residents inside Palestine while maintaining their Israeli citizenship, as long as they are law abiding? 35% of Israeli Jews would support the agreement with this item.


And if agreement states that Palestinians, including refugees, are allowed, if they wish, to live as permanent residents inside Israel while maintaining their Palestinian citizenship, as long as they are law abiding? Among those opposed, 25% said they would change their minds and support an agreement if it includes this item.


5.     And if the Palestinians return to a Palestinian state, and the agreement states that they do not have the collective right to return to Israel proper, with exceptions only for family reunification? 31 of Jewish Israelis would support the agreement in this case.


And if the agreement states that the state of Israel will have a democratic political system whereby Israeli law formally guarantees equality of Arab Israeli citizens, who will have equal rights as Israeli Jews by law?  21% of Palestinians said this would make them change their minds and support an agreement.


6.    And if the Palestinian government will commit to ongoing security cooperation like today, including sharing intelligence with Israeli security forces, arresting terror suspects and preventing attacks? For this item, 44% of Israeli Jews said they would change their minds from opposing to supporting the agreement. When added to the original number of supporters of the original agreement, 59% of Israeli Jews in total would support the package if it includes this incentive.


And if the agreement allows the current Palestinian National Security Force to become an army with light weapons but without heavy weapons? 16% of Palestinians, said they would change their minds and support the original agreement based on this addition.


7.     And if the agreement allows Jews to visit at the Temple Mount? 47% of Israeli Jews said they would support the agreement in that case. Added to those who already support the agreement, about 61% of Israeli Jews would support it with this item.


And if the agreement states that Israel recognizes the Nakba and the suffering of refugees, and provides compensation to refugees? 39% of Palestinians said they would support the package in that case. Added to those who already support the agreement, about 62% of Palestinians would support it with this item.

The results above are shown in the following graphs:

In all, between 31% to 47% of Jews who were opposed to an agreement said they would change their minds and support it based on one of these incentives. Among Palestinians, from 16% to 39% of those who rejected the agreement could change their minds. With added support, several of the incentives could convince enough respondents to reach a majority, or even a strong majority. This indicates significant flexibility and openness of attitudes; it also implies that rejection of the two-state implementation package is not entirely ideological, but can be changed with the right policies. A democratic state of Palestine is a powerful incentive for both parties – while for Palestinians, Israeli recognition of the Nakba is the most powerful; for the Israelis, allowing visits to the Temple Mount/Al Haram al Sharif is the most powerful.


(2) Approaches to Conflict Resolution

Negotiation Framework and Third Parties: We sought to examine support for alternatives to the US-brokered negotiation processes that characterized the last two decades. In the last three surveys, we tested five models for a multi-lateral approach to negotiations: 1) an Arab forum in which Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan participate; 2) an American-led peace process; 3) an EU-led peace process; 4) a UN-led peace process; 5) and finally, a US-Russian-led peace process. Findings show that in all surveys, Palestinians are most receptive to the first, or Arab regional, approach (31% in December and June 2017 and 27% in the current survey) followed by an EU and a UN approaches (15% and 13% respectively at present); 4% choose an American-Russian led peace process, and 3% selected a US-led multi-lateral process.

Israeli Jews prefer practically the opposite approach, with a clear preference for US involvement: the plurality consistently chooses a US-led peace process, with 28% selecting it in the current survey, while 21% selected a US-Russian approach, and 16% selected a regional approach led by Arab states.

The deep polarization over the role of the US fulfills the finding from the December 2016 survey. At that time, large majorities of both Israeli Jews (69%) and Palestinians (77%) expected the incoming Trump administration to be pro-Israeli, and just a minority on both sides expected him to be neutral (or pro-Palestinian).

A UN-led process was selected by just 7% of Israeli Jews and support for an EU-led process is just 2% - this reflects ongoing perceptions in Israeli society that both bodies are biased against Israel, a theme regularly repeated in public discourse. 

Among Israelis Arabs, the Arab-led regional and UN-led approaches had the highest support (18% each). 16% chose an EU process, 13% chose the US-Russian approach, and only 6% preferred a US-led process.


(3) How Israelis and Palestinians View Each Other:

We asked the two sides about perceptions of both the other, and themselves: whether they want peace or believe the other side does, whether they trust and whether they fear the other side. We probed the extent of zero sum beliefs. The picture is mostly consistent with trends in our recent surveys, although assessment of each side of its own conditions, particularly among Palestinians in the West Bank, show significant decline.

Does the other side want peace? Among Palestinians, 37% agree that most Israelis want peace, a decline from June 2017, when 44% of Palestinians gave this response, but consistent with December 2016 when 38% thought Israelis want peace. Less than one-third (29%) of Israeli Jews think most Palestinians want peace; this is a steady decline from one year ago, when 41% thought this way, then just 33% in June 2017. Among Israeli Arabs 85% agree that most Palestinians want peace, and 57% agree that Israeli Jews want peace.

Trust/Zero-Sum Conflict: As in previous recent surveys, levels of trust in the other side are very low and distrust is overriding. Among Palestinians a solid majority feels Israeli Jews are untrustworthy (89% - almost unchanged from 87% in June). The majority of Israeli Arabs feel the opposite regarding Israeli Jews: 61% agree that Israeli Jews can be trusted, and 30% disagree.

On the Israeli Jewish side, three-quarters believe that Palestinians cannot be trusted, almost unchanged from 77% in June, and just 19% agreed with the statement that they can be trusted. Distrust is reinforced by a prevailing perception on both sides that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is characterized by zero-sum relations: “Nothing can be done that’s good for both sides; whatever is good for one side is bad for the other side.” Findings show that 51% of Israeli Jews (compared to 53% in June), 53% of Israeli Arabs, and 72% of Palestinians (unchanged from June) agree with this dismal zero-sum characterization.

Fear: More Palestinians fear Israeli soldiers and armed settlers more than they fear Israeli Jews. 46% agreed with the statement “I feel fear towards Israeli soldiers and armed settlers,” but 35% agreed with the statement made about Jews. This trend is nearly unchanged from December. There are significant differences between West Bank and Gaza respondents: 53% from the West Bank fear soldiers and settlers, while just 36% of Gazans do – this could reflect the fact that West Bankers have more significant daily contact with such figures.

Among Israeli Jews, a majority of 57% agree with the statement “I feel fear toward Palestinians,” a decline from June 2017 and December 2016 when two-thirds felt that way (in both previous surveys). Among settlers 79% agree. Regarding Arab-Jewish relations among Israeli citizens, 51% of Jews agree that they fear Israeli Arabs, but only 7% of Israeli Arabs agree with a statement that they fear Israeli Jews; 90% disagree.

General Conditions of the two sides: 71% of the Palestinians describe conditions in the Palestinian territories as bad or very bad (72% in the West Bank and 69% in the Gaza Strip). These finding is fully 26-points higher than the negative assessment of conditions among West Bankers in June (46%), and reflects the rising tensions in the West Bank in the aftermath of the Trump statement on Jerusalem. Assessment of conditions in the Gaza Strip remains almost unchanged. Among Israeli Jews 46% are satisfied, with settlers indicating the same level of satisfaction as other Jews. Six months ago, 54% of Israeli Jews (and 64% of settlers) described conditions as good or very good.  Among Israeli Arabs, only 27% describe conditions as good or very good. Around 37% among all Israeli groups, and 18% of Palestinians, say conditions are “so-so.”


(4) Values and Goals

Values and Goals: We asked Israelis and the Palestinians about the hierarchy of the values and goals they aspire to maintain or achieve. Jews were asked about the values of: (1) a Jewish majority, (2) Greater Israel, (3) Democracy, (4) Peace. Among Israeli Jews, peace and a Jewish majority are seen as the most important values (29% and 28% respectively), followed by greater Israel (19%) and democracy (16%). The portion who chose greater Israel rose between June 2016 (10%) and December 2017 (14%), to 17% last June, to 19% in the current poll.  Democracy however decreased between June and December 2017 by 3 points.

Among the Palestinians, we asked about the following goals: (1) Israeli withdrawal and establishing a Palestinian state, (2) Obtaining right of return for refugees to ’48 Israel, (3) Establishing a democratic political system, (4) Building a pious or moral individual and religious society. For Palestinians, the ranking has been relatively stable, with almost no change over the course of the year. The top priority for Palestinian goals remains Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem (48% chose this compared to 43% last June), followed by obtaining the right of return to refugees to their 1948 towns and villages (28%), building a pious or moral individual and a religious society (14%) and building a democratic political system (9%, a decrease of 4 points from the previous survey in June).