A +972 poll puts the details of one such plan to the Israeli public, and finds that a majority supports the general approach.The new year begins with speculation about the possibility of a change of government in Israel. But it is not at all clear that even a more centrist government can advance a two-state peace process with the Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians are pessimistic about both the potential for successful negotiations or the feasibility of the two-state solution. On this point, the two publics, frankly, are more realistic than various policy circles.
In response, some people this past year began exploring other options, rather than succumb to the status quo. The initiatives center mostly around various confederation-style models, not as pipe dreams but as realistic alternatives.
One such effort by the Israel-Palestine Center for Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI) (as mentioned in +972’s initial poll report, full disclosure: I participate in it) has tried to break through some of the non-negotiable elements of Israeli and Palestinian two-state demands. IPCRI’s “Two States One Space,” is similar to another initiative called “Two States, One Land,” with Israelis and Palestinians who have been working together for about two years. Both visions involve two separate entities with distinct national identities, based on rough geographic definitions. There would be open borders, high cooperation, and phased but broad freedom of residence. The idea is to avoid uprooting most Israeli settlers, and accept Palestinian refugee return claims in a way that avoids trampling Jewish identity in Israel. Jerusalem is united but shared.
Our survey was the first to put these ideas to a quantitative test, with questions developed together with IPCRI. And after hearing all of the specific items in detail, a majority of Israelis – 56 percent – and even an absolute majority of Jews (51 percent) supported the general approach – precisely the same level that currently support the classic two-state formulations such as the Clinton and Geneva plans in Hebrew University surveys.
As we very often see in research about conflict resolution in this region, the whole – public support for the total framework package – is greater than the parts. Support for nearly all...Read More