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Belief in 2-state solution falls to all-time low

Players in the conflict: cameras (activist and Oren Ziv), national flag (Palestinian protester) and guns (IDF) during  protest in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Saturday, July 9, 2011. Photo by Oren Ziv/AP/Press Association Images

Support for two-state solution decreases among Israelis, Palestinians

By Ma’an news
July 14 /15, 2015

BETHLEHEM –Support for the two-state solution has decreased among both Palestinians and Israelis over the past year with just 51 percent of both populations vouching support, a recent poll showed.

Since June 2014, support for the two-state solution has decreased among Israelis from 62 percent to 51 percent and among Palestinians from 54 percent to 51 percent, according to a poll conducted jointly by the Harry Truman Research Institute and the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research.

Perception by both groups of the other as an existential threat remained the same.

The poll reported that 56 percent of Palestinians believe that Israel’s long term goals are to extend its borders to cover the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, expelling all Palestinian citizens.

Forty three percent of Israelis polled, meanwhile, think that Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

The majority of the current Israeli government pieced together by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following elections in March publicly opposes the establishment of an independent continuous Palestinian state.

The Palestinian leadership has said repeatedly that the continued expansion of settlements throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank is making the option of a two-state solution championed in past peace negotiations nearly impossible.

Over 60 percent of the land area of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank is controlled by Israeli forces and is home to over half a million Israelis living in Jewish-only settlements deemed illegal under international law.

In spite of this, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said in the lead-up to Israeli elections that Palestinian leadership would embark on renewed negotiations with any Israeli government that supported the two-state solution.

Netanyahu unequivocally ruled out the possibility for an independent Palestinian state during his election campaign, in a statement he later back-peddled on following international criticism.

Among Palestinians, the poll results were based on face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults in 120 randomly selected locations, while 802 adults were interviewed among Israelis. The margin of error is for both samples was 3 percent.
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Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll – 56

In the past year, support for the two state solution decreases among Palestinians and Israelis; today only 51% on each side support it. Meanwhile, each side continues to view the intentions of the other as posing an existential threat.

Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research
June 2015

These are the results of the most recent poll conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Compared to our findings in June 2014, support for the two-state solution decreases among Israelis from 62% to 51% and among Palestinians from 54% to 51%.

At the same time – consistent with previous results – each side perceives the other side as constituting a threat to its very existence.

 56% of Palestinians think that Israel’s goals in the long run are to extend its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens.

 25% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians.

 43% of the Israelis think that the Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel;

 18% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel.

The Palestinian sample size was 1200 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 120 randomly selected locations between June 3 and 6, 2015. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 802 adult Israelis interviewed in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between June 2 and 14, 2015. The margin of error is 3%.

The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Ifat Maoz, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, and the Department of Communication, and Director of the Swiss Centre for Conflict Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

MAIN FINDINGS

(A) Conflict management and threat perceptions

Now, after forming a right-wing government in Israel led by Benjamin Netanyahu, we asked both sides about their expectations for the future:

 6% of the Israelis and 27% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will soon return to negotiations.

 28% of the Israelis and 29% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will return to negotiations but some armed attacks will take place.

 43% of the Israelis and 20% of the Palestinians think that some armed attacks will take place and the two sides will not return to negotiations.

Finally,
 8% of the Israelis and 18% of the Palestinians think that the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks.

In December 2014, 32% of the Israelis and 37% of the Palestinians thought that the two sides will not return to negotiations and some armed attacks will take place and 8% of the Israelis and 10% of the Palestinians thought that the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks.

Among Israelis,
 56% are worried and 41% are not worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life.

Among Palestinians,
 79% are worried and 21% are not worried that they or a member of their family could be hurt by Israel in their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or home demolished.

The level of threat on both sides regarding the aspirations of the other side in the long run is very high.

 56% of Palestinians think that Israel’s goals are to extend its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens, and
 25% think the Israel’s goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians.

 43% of Israelis think that Palestinian’s aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel;
 18% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel.

 Only 17% of the Palestinians think Israel’s aspirations in the long run are to withdraw from all (6%) or some (11%) of the territories occupied in 1967 after guaranteeing its security.

 27% of Israelis think the aspirations of the Palestinians are to regain some (12%) or all (15%) of the territories conquered in 1967.

At the same time:
 9% of the Israelis say the aspirations of Israel are to withdraw to the 1967 borders after guaranteeing Israel’s security.
 33% say that Israel’s aspirations are to withdraw from parts of the territories after guaranteeing Israel’s security.
 18% say that Israel’s aspirations are to annex the West Bank without granting political rights to the Palestinians living there.
 14% say that these aspirations are to annex the West Bank and expel the Palestinians living there.

Among the Palestinians
 38% say that the aspirations of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO are to regain some of the territories conquered in the 1967 war.
 30% say the Palestinian aspirations are to regain all the territories conquered in the 1967 war.
 13% say that the Palestinian aspirations are to conquer the State of Israel and regain control over the pre- 1948 Palestine.
 10% say that these aspirations are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

(B) Negotiation Tracks on the Agenda

The Saudi Plan

 21% of the Israelis and 52% of the Palestinians support the Saudi peace plan,
 67% of the Israelis and 44% of the Palestinians oppose it.

In December 2014, 27% of the Israelis and 43% of the Palestinians supported the Saudi peace plan, while 63% of the Israelis and 53% of the Palestinians opposed it.

The plan calls for Arab recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel after it ends its occupation of Arab territories occupied in 1967 and after the establishment of a Palestinian state. The plan calls for Israeli retreat from all territories occupied in 1967 including Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The refugee problem will be resolved through negotiations in a just and agreed upon manner and in accordance with UN resolution 194. In return, all Arab states will recognize Israel and its right to secure borders, will sign peace treaties with Israel and establish normal diplomatic relations.

The Israeli-Palestinian Track

Dismantling settlements
 38% of the Israelis support and 54% oppose the dismantling of most of the settlements in the West Bank as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

 51% of Israelis and 51% of Palestinians support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, known as the two-state solution and 43% of Israelis and 48% of Palestinians oppose it.

In June 2014, 62% of the Israelis and 54% of the Palestinians supported this solution and 34% of the Israelis and 46% of the Palestinians opposed it. In December 2014, 58% of Israelis and 48% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution and 37% of Israelis and 51% of Palestinians opposed it.

Mutual Recognition

As we do periodically in our joint polls, we asked Israelis and Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that

 44% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 45% opposes it. Among Palestinians,

 44% support and 54% oppose this step.

In December 2014, 54% of the Israeli public supported such a mutual recognition and 36% opposed it. Among Palestinians, 39% supported and 60% opposed this step.

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