The results of two parallel polls released this morning indicate that two-thirds of Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians, if a referendum on such an accord were held by Israel’s government.
The Dahaf Institute and the Smith Institute were commissioned by the S. Daniel Abraham Centre for Middle East Peace to research Israeli public opinions on how they would vote if asked to approve a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Respondents were told that the agreement would come into effect only after the Palestinians fulfilled their security obligations, which would be monitored by the United States. The agreement itself would include two states, with the Palestinian state demilitarised. Palestinian refugees would have the right to return only to the new State of Palestine, while borders would be based on the 1967 lines, including land swaps equal in size that take into consideration Israel’s security needs and maintain the large settlement blocs under Israeli sovereignty. Jewish neighbourhoods of Jerusalem would come under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighbourhoods under Palestinian sovereignty with joint administration of the holy sites alongside of the United States.
The Dahaf survey found that 67 per cent of respondents would vote in favour of such an agreement, 21 per cent would oppose it and 12 per cent did not answer. The Smith poll indicated that 68 per cent would support the agreement (of them 40 per cent would strongly support it), 25 per cent would oppose it (17 per cent strongly oppose it) and 7 per cent had no opinion. Both polls found that 75 per cent of Israelis would be highly supportive of a similar agreement which also included the demilitarisation of Hamas in Gaza, a defence alliance with the United States and a pan-Arab readiness for full diplomatic relations with Israel.