If we see widespread indifference or apathy to what’s taking place in the political arena, it is because there’s a pessimism around the possibility of reaching a diplomatic solution in the near future. Within this climate, public opinion is especially susceptible to extremist voices. That is why it’s so important that the moderate majority raise its own voice and make sure that decision-makers and the public in general understand this truth: the majority of Israelis believe that the only solution to the conflict is a diplomatic solution that sees us separate into two states.
In a survey conducted by Darkenu at the end of May 2017, among a representative sample of Jewish Israelis, it was found that only 13% of the respondents disagreed with the statement that “Israel’s interests dictate separation from the Palestinians,” and only 16% disagreed with the assertion that “it is in Israel’s interest to promote a diplomatic solution to the conflict.” The survey found that even among Likud voters there was a significant majority in support of separation and a negotiated settlement as a means to end the conflict.
A survey conducted in January 2017 by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University found that 55% of Israelis support the two-state solution. This is a slight decrease compared to the same survey conducted in June 2016, in which 59% of Israelis supported this solution. The two-state solution has significantly greater support than the one-state solution (24%) or confederation (28%). Only 31% expressed support for the annexation of the West Bank, and then only without granting equal civil rights to the Palestinians.
There is a surge of public support, however, when a “regional package deal” is factored in. Such a deal would mean a comprehensive peace agreement with all Arab states, in accordance with the principles of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. A survey conducted by the New Wave Institute in June 2017 found that 84% of the public supports the “regional package deal” in all of its components, with only 16% expressing opposition. Such a settlement is also widely supported by right-wing voters. Of those who self-identify as voters of Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu, and the Likud, only 24% expressed opposition to the “regional package deal.”