Dec. 5, 2018
Are Palestinians More Moderate than Their Leaders? – David Pollock (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
Two surveys conducted by different Palestinian pollsters in October show unexpected popular flexibility on core issues of an eventual peace deal with Israel, despite widespread skepticism among Palestinians about current prospects.
These findings suggest that policymakers should pay more attention to what the Palestinian people really want and less attention to what their politicians or partisans say they “should” want.
The data suggests that a peace plan advancing Palestinian aspirations, even at the price of major concessions, would be accepted at the popular level – despite its likely rejection by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Both surveys show that a solid majority of West Bankers think that “regardless of what’s right, the reality is that…most Palestinians will not return to the 1948 lands.”
55% of Palestinians in Gaza and 60% in eastern Jerusalem would accept Israel as “the state for the Jewish people,” though only 36% in the West Bank agree.
The writer is a fellow at The Washington Institute.