TWO STATE SOLUTION REMAINS ACCEPTABLE RESOLUTION
FOR VAST MAJORITY OF ISRAELIS & WEST BANK/GAZA PALESTINIANS
74% of Palestinians in West Bank & Gaza willing to accept Two State Solution
78% of Israelis willing to accept Two State Solution
MAJORITIES ON BOTH SIDES SUPPORT A NEGOTIATED PEACE
71% of Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza & 77% of Israelis feel Negotiations are ‘Essential’ or ‘Desirable’
ONEVOICE LAUNCHES TOWN HALL MEETINGS SERIES IN ISRAEL & PALESTINE
TO ADDRESS FINAL STATUS & MUTUAL RECOGNITION ISSUES
22 April 2009 / Jerusalem / Despite growing fears that the “Two State Solution” is losing purchase on the ground in Israel and Palestine, today the OneVoice Movement (www.OneVoiceMovement.org) released the findings of a new poll which demonstrates that the two state solution remains the only acceptable resolution for the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians.
OneVoice is an international grassroots collective using civic engagement to mobilize citizens and their leaders to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a mutually-acceptable two state agreement which ends the occupation, guarantees the security of Israel , and establishes a viable, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel.
The poll was commissioned by OneVoice in collaboration with Dr. Colin Irwin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool (www.peacepolls.org), and in conjunction with Dr. Nader Said of Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) in Ramallah and Dr. Mina Zemach of Dahaf Institute in Tel Aviv. The methodology, which had been piloted by Dr. Irwin in Northern Ireland and subsequently used in places as varied as Sri Lanka and Macedonia, involved a questionnaire designed through a series of interviews with civil society leaders and political figures on each side. The field work was conducted by Zemach in Israel and by Said in Palestine during February 2009, in the wake of the Gaza war and the Israeli elections.
The results indicate that 74% of West Bank & Gaza Palestinians and 78% of Israelis are willing to accept a two state solution77% of Israelis and 71% of Palestinians consider a negotiated peace ‘essential’ or ‘desirable.’ (an option rated on a range from ‘tolerable’ to ‘essential’), while 59% of Palestinians and 66% of Israelis find a single bi-national state ‘unacceptable.’ Additionally, according to the data, Ninety-four percent of Palestinians and 74% of Israelis think that the people must be continually informed on the negotiations process.
The poll also reveals that consensus still needs to be built. The findings imply that mainstream Israeli and Palestinian populations still have yet to acknowledge the significant priorities and fears on the other side. While the issue of greatest significance for Palestinians is freedom from occupation (94% deem it a ‘very significant’ problem in the peace process, ranking it the primary issue on the Palestinian side), only 30% of Israelis find it to be ‘very significant,’ ranking the issue 15th on the Israeli side. Similarly, the primary issue on the Israeli side is stopping attacks on civilians (90% rate it a ‘very significant’ issue). This issue meets with 50% approval on the Palestinian side, and ranks as 19 in a list of 21 issues. Significant gaps in public consensus persist as well on the issues of settlements and refugees – two issues on which there was no single proposed solution which met with majority approval on both sides.
To address the critical gaps that still exist on some recognition and final status issues, OneVoice is launching a Town Hall Meetings Series in Israel and Palestine to present the findings of the poll and discuss the various issues – from mutual recognition to settlements, refugees, and Jerusalem – that both sides will need to confront in order to reach a two state agreement. Progress at the negotiating table is only one step in the process of reaching an agreement that can be implemented. An end to the conflict will only come when the leaders come to an agreement that their peoples are ready to understand, accept, and support. The series will be launched in May and will be implemented throughout the rest of 2009. It will use the findings of the poll as a starting point for discussions.
Five hundred interviews were completed in Israel and six hundred in the West Bank and Gaza to produce representative samples of both populations in terms of age, gender, social background and geographical distribution. As the polls were conducted during a particularly difficult time on both sides – immediately following the Gaza war and the Israeli elections – the continued insistence of both sides on a negotiated and mutually-acceptable resolution could offer significant legitimacy to political leaders looking to push for negotiations toward a two state agreement.
About the OneVoice Movement: The OneVoice Movement is an international mainstream grassroots movement with over 600,000 signatories in roughly equal numbers both in Israel and in Palestine , and 2,000 highly-trained youth leaders. It aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution guaranteeing both the end of occupation and the establishment of a viable Independent Palestinian state as well as the safety and security of the state of Israel - allowing both people to live in peace with all their neighbors. OneVoice counts on its Board over 60 foremost dignitaries and business leaders across a wide spectrum of politics and beliefs, joining as OneVoice for conflict resolution. Learn more by visiting www.OneVoiceMovement.org
Full Polling Report Available for Download