This is important. Americans are beginning to open their eyes to a one-state outcome in Israel and Palestine. A new poll says the number of Americans who want the U.S. to push for a one-state outcome “with equal citizenship” is now close to the number who want the US to push for two states– 34 percent for one-state as opposed to to 39 percent for two. And the number who would push for One has jumped by 40 percent since last year.
The same poll also suggests that Democrats are expressing greater and greater skepticism about Israel, which could give politicians freedom to say something (maybe?).
The Brookings Poll of American attitudes on the conflict was conducted by Shibley Telhami in November, with 1000+ American respondents.
Here’s the main finding:
Two states, One State, Annexation, Status Quo
The percentage of Americans who want the US government to push for a two-state solution remains constant at 39% from last year; but the percentage of those who
want the US to push for one state with equal citizenship has increased from 24% to 34%.
Among those who support two states, two-thirds would support one state if two states are not possible.
If a two-state solution is not possible, 71% of Americans (84% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans) favor a single democratic state with Arabs and Jews as equal over a
one in which Israel’s Jewish majority is sustained and Palestinians will not have equal citizenship.
There are starkly different levels of partisanship for Israel between Democrats and Republicans. Which side should we favor?
Among Democrats, 77% say neither side, 17% say Israel, and 6% say Palestinians; Among Republicans, 51% say Israel, 46% say neither, and 2% say Palestinians.
The party break continues when it comes to the U.S. supporting a Palestinian state at the U.N.
If Palestinians ask for UN endorsement of a Palestinian state, only 27% of Americans want the US to oppose it, 45% recommend abstaining, and 25% want the US to vote
in favor. Only 15% of Democrats recommend opposing, 36% recommend supporting, and 46% recommend abstaining…
75% of Democrats oppose settlement-building (only half of Republicans do).
There’s a lot of work to be done here. As Lia Tarachansky, who’s here promoting her new film, said the other day, the two-state solution died 15 years ago; and when is someone going to tell Americans? Omar Barghouti said at Columbia University the other night that an “absolute majority” of Palestinians, inside and outside the occupied territories, including the diaspora, would support a one state outcome.
Update: Telhami stresses that even American Jews value democracy more than Jewishness re Israel, in this piece at Foreign Policy. Fifty Jews were among the respondents.
Sixty-one percent of those identifying themselves as Jewish either ethnically or religiously favor Israel’s democracy over its Jewishness. Even among the policy relevant group — those Americans who rank the Palestinian-Israeli conflict either as a top priority or among the top three issues — 54 percent favor democracy, and 42 percent favor Jewishness. In fact, the only group in the sample slightly favoring Jewishness over democracy is those who identify themselves as Evangelical/Born-again Christians (50 percent to 47 percent, which is within the margin of error)…
Telhami reflects another way that the leftwing discourse is affecting America. Concern about Israel/Palestine is concern about human rights, he finds:
many tend to look at this issue through the prism of human rights. In this poll, a plurality of Americans (31 percent) say that human rights are their primary concern when they consider the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — more than American interests (24 percent) and Israeli interests (14 percent).
A quarter of Americans rank human rights as their single most important priority for U.S. foreign policy (compared with 9 percent for international law, and 5 percent for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict). Those who rank human rights highest in their priorities tend to rank the Palestinian-Israeli conflict higher than other Americans do.
That finding, along with the one in my headline, demonstrates that America is listening to the concerns we express on this site.
Thanks to Alex Kane.