Poll shows most Israelis, Palestinians still seek peace

A new poll of Israelis and Palestinians released on Monday found that a slim majority on both sides still favour a peace settlement establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite years of conflict and deadlock in negotiations.

The results of the joint poll may provide some small signs of encouragement when peace prospects appear bleak. The last round of negotiations broke down two years ago, and a resumption of talks, much less progress between the sides, at this point seems unlikely.

VOA stated that Tamar Hermann, an Israeli political scientist who conducted the survey with Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, said that under the current circumstances, the results were “not amazingly encouraging,’’ but also “not discouraging.’’

“It showed there is still some basis for optimism with the right leadership,’’ she said. “Right now I don’t see on the horizon a leader on either side willing or capable of using this as a springboard for intensifying the negotiations. But it’s not impossible.’’

The poll found that 51 per cent of Palestinians and 59 per cent of Israelis still support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On the Israeli side, 53 per cent of Jews support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Among Israel’s Arab minority, the number is much higher, at 87 per cent. Conversely, just 34 per cent of Palestinians and 20 per cent of Israelis support the idea of a single shared state where they are both citizens with equal rights.