Sunday, November 21, 2010

60% of Palestinians Support 2-States as a Step Toward 1-State

Here's a poll every Israeli should see, most importantly on the left. Every international negotiator trying to help Israel and the Palestinians reach a peace deal should see it, too. According to the poll, reported in Haaretz (English or Hebrew, the Hebrew being more detailed), 60% of Palestinians support a two-state solution as a temporary solution until one state in all of Palestine is created. Only 30% support a permanent two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine existing side by side forever without merging into one entity.

Right wingers may see this as a reason never to end the occupation. That's the wrong conclusion.

I think this poll means we must be extra-vigilant about making sure that any agreement creating a Palestinian State would include an end to all claims and security provisions that would make it impossible for Palestine to try to create a unified state by force. It's also a sign that anything unilateral would be a disaster. If we decide to pull out of the West Bank, or parts of it, without an agreement, we'll keep ourselves open to the threat of more demands. Also, if we allow things to get to a point where the Palestinians unilaterally declare independence and the United Nations recognizes them, we'll be facing a hostile entity on our borders with more demands it never had to renounce.

In other words, make peace and follow the two-state solution, but don't be naive about who we're dealing with.

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