Palestinian Support for a Two-State Solution Is Declining

Examining several carefully conducted surveys of Palestinian public opinion from the past two years, David Pollock and Catherine Cleveland identify some disconcerting trends—along with some more encouraging ones.

Less than 40 percent of the Palestinian public—in the West Bank, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem—supports [a two-state solution] over one-state alternatives. Support for a two-state solution has declined steadily since 2018.

Further, most Palestinians believe that a two-state solution is unlikely to emerge from the conflict. Instead, a majority of them say they prefer to reclaim all of historic Palestine, including the pre-1967 Israel. A one-state solution with Arabs and Jews holding equal rights comes in second.

While the most recent . . . polls do suggest a spike in support for Hamas, [other] data . . . demonstrate some countervailing trends in Gaza. Since 2017 a small majority of Gazans have supported the idea that Hamas should “stop calling for Israel’s destruction, and instead accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.” Likewise, while support for this position in the West Bank has fluctuated, a notable 65 percent of West Bank respondents supported this view in 2020.

Even so, the sobering reality is that there is still no Palestinian popular majority that supports permanent peace with Israel, . . . even among the younger generation. Beyond the practical challenges of negotiating the final status of a two-state solution, real reconciliation remains a distant dream.

Read more at American Purpose

More about: Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian public opinion, Two-State Solution


An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy