Most Palestinians Reject Both the Two-State Solution and the Creation of a Binational State

Feb. 28 2020

Drawing on recent surveys of Palestinian public opinion in both Gaza and the West Bank, David Pollock notes the gap between the opinions generally attributed to Palestinians and what they actually tell pollsters:

[W]hile some [observers] attribute Palestinian rejection of President Trump’s [peace] plan to its new limits on the traditional two-state paradigm, most Palestinian respondents now reject that [paradigm]. Asked to choose “the top Palestinian national priority during the coming five years,” two-thirds of West Bankers [picked] “regaining all of historical Palestine for the Palestinians”; a mere 14 percent chose “ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, to achieve a two-state solution.” Gazan respondents, surprisingly, are a bit more moderate: 56 percent want all of Palestine, while 31 percent opt for the two-state solution.

These maximalist long-term aspirations are also reflected in responses to other survey questions. For example, when asked about next steps “if the Palestinian leadership is able to negotiate a two-state solution,” just 26 percent of West Bank respondents say that it “should end the conflict with Israel.” In Gaza, that figure climbs to 40 percent. Around 60 percent in both areas say “the conflict should not end, and resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.”

At the same time, contrary to common misconception, the idea of a binational state . . . does not seem to be gaining much popular Palestinian support.

Nonetheless, few West Bank Palestinians want a new intifada, or even want the Palestinian Authority to continue paying terrorists and their families:

Regarding Palestinian Authority bonuses to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons, West Bank respondents are strikingly at odds with their political leaders. Two-thirds now agree at least “somewhat” with this proposition: “The PA should stop special payments to prisoners, and give their families normal social benefits like everybody else—not extra payments based on their sentences or armed operations.” This figure represents a marked increase over the previous three years. Similarly, West Bank respondents . . . reject the official PA policy against “normalization” with Israelis.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Palestinian public opinion, Palestinians, Two-State Solution

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy