Apparently, the the two state solution isn’t dead just yet.
That’s according to a poll conducted by the dovish pro Israel lobby J Street, which found that 68% of Israelis favor an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, reported by Haaretz.
Pundits have been sounding the death knell for the two state solution for years. That assessment has gained mainstream traction since Donald Trump’s appointment of an Israel envoy, bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, who has backed Israeli annexation of the land Palestinians claim for a state.
Surprisingly, the J Street poll found that support for two states has actually grown since a 2014 poll that said that 62% of Israelis prefer two states.
No parameters for such a solution or possible borders for the two states were suggested to respondents, making it impossible to know what form Israelis believe a Palestinian state might take.
The recent J Street poll was conducted after United States Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech detailing his vision for a solution to the conflict. Five hundred Israeli Jews and Arabs were polled.
Predictably, religious, nationalist and right wing party voters were less likely to support a two state solution than center and left party voters. But a surprisingly high percentage of right wing voters supported the two state solution, too. As Haaretz noted, two out of five Israelis who vote for the pro-settler Jewish Home party said they supported the creation of a Palestinian state.
The poll seemed to contradict another survey by the Israel Democracy Institute which found that only 35% of Israelis agreed with Kerry’s assessment that Israel could not remain both Jewish and democratic without a two state solution. Fifty-four percent did not agree.
The poll was released as a peace summit in Paris was getting underway in which representatives of 70 countries reaffirmed their commitment to the two state solution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to attend the conference, calling it “useless” without direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
Naomi Zeveloff is the Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.