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

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.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Palestinian public opinion, Palestinians, 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