International

Israeli Arabs and Jews oppose binational state

Harry’s Place reader Noam provides a link to a recent poll of Israeli public opinion on support for the separation fence, for the “Geneva Initiative,” and for a single binational state as opposed to separate states for Israelis and Palestinians.

Perhaps the most interesting finding is that most Israeli Arabs, as well as Jews, oppose a binational state and believe it would be unable to protect the rights of all citizens:

Thus, among the Arabs as well a majority, albeit smaller – 60 percent – believes Jews and Arabs could not live as citizens with equal rights in a binational state, while 36 percent said this would be possible and the rest did not know.

A majority of 75.5 percent prefers the two-state solution, only 7 percent preferring the binational-state solution. Unlike the Jews, however, the Arabs are divided on the question of whether it would be possible to maintain the Jews’ security in a binational framework – 46 percent think it would be possible, 47 percent believe it would not and 7 percent do not know.

As for the question of preserving the Jews’ identity in a binational framework, among the Arab interviewees a majority of 53 percent thinks or is certain that this would be impossible, whereas 39 percent say it would be possible.

Among Israeli Jews, only 6 percent support a single-state solution, whereas 78 percent favor a two-state solution.

Noam comments:

Notwithstanding the obvious limitations of polling and the need not to get into the quasi-numerological havoc that can be brought on by debating them, there are some hypotheses that can be bandied about here. The most crucial is that if one starts from the assumption that a binational framework would be unjust if Jewish security and identity could not be reasonably guaranteed, the fact that so many Israeli Arabs believe these rights would not be met is quite significant. Unlike with the Jewish concerns about binationalism, one cannot try to pin it on racist ulterior motives deep in the psyche.

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