Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll Shows Increase In Palestinians’ And Israelis’ Willingness To Compromise Amidst Climate Of Feud And Mistrust

Jerusalem, December 28, 2011 — 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 Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

The Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll has been tracking the level of support and opposition to the Clinton / Geneva permanent settlement framework regularly since 2003. Amidst a turbulent Middle East and the political and diplomatic stalemate between the two sides, our December poll shows an increase in support for the Clinton permanent settlement framework on both sides. 58% of Israelis and 50% of Palestinians support a permanent settlement package along the Clinton parameters; 39% of Israelis and 49% of Palestinians oppose such a settlement. These results mark a significant increase in both sides’ willingness to compromise compared to recent years.

At the same time both Palestinians and Israelis perceive the other side as opposing such a settlement: 61% of the Palestinians and 53% of the Israelis think so. About two thirds on both sides do not believe that it is possible to reach a final status settlement these days and see the chances for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state next to the state of Israel in the near future as slim.

Palestinians and Israelis support their government’s position with regard to return to negotiations. 78% of Palestinians support Abbas’s conditions of an acceptable term of reference or a freeze on settlement construction for returning to negotiations, while 69% of Israelis think that Israel should not accept these conditions.

The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between December 15 and 17, 2011. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 605 adult Israeli Jews interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between December 11 and 14, 2011. The margin of error is 4.5%.

The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Yaacov Shamir, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).