Groundbreaking poll: American support for one democratic state equal to support for two state solution

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A new poll conducted by Shibley Telhami at the University of Maryland shows unprecedented support among Americans for the one-state solution in Israel/Palestine, and stronger sanctions against Israel for the occupation, as well as growing criticism of the Israeli role in U.S. politics.

Here are some of the findings of the poll (PDF), which was conducted in September and October among 2,352 Americans:

  • 35 percent support a single democratic state in which both Jews and Arabs are full and equal citizens;
  • 36 percent support Israeli and Palestinian states side by side;
  • 11 percent support maintaining the occupation indefinitely;
  • 8 percent support Israeli annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories without offering equal citizenship to Palestinians.

And when broken down by age the results are even more stark; among 18-and-34-year-olds support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

In addition, the poll asked what a two-state supporter would back if the two-state solution was no longer possible. In this scenario, 64 percent supported a single democratic state and only 26 percent supported “the continuation of Israel’s Jewish majority in the government even if it means that Palestinians will not have citizenship and full rights.”

The poll also reveals support for stronger U.S. sanctions against Israeli colonization of the West Bank, and rising criticism of the Israeli role in American politics.

When asked “How do you believe the U.S. should react to new settlements?” 40 percent of poll respondents support economic sanctions against Israel, and this number rises to 46 percent among registered Democrats.

And finally, when asked “How much influence do you believe the Israeli government has on American politics and policies?” 38 percent of Americans say “too much influence” and this number goes up to 55 percent among Democrats.

There is much to take in here but some obvious takeaways are that we have entered the post-two-state era and the political ramifications are already being felt. Support for stronger U.S. policy towards Israel is growing in the face of the ever-expanding colonization of the West Bank. The poll also helps explain what we have seen among the new progressive wing of the Democratic party, which supports BDS and is not beholden to the Israel lobby. This new political terrain will undoubtably be contentious as Israel supporters fight in Washington, as well as in the discourse, to stem this tide.

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Thanks Adam. Today on Cspan’s Washington Journal the former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan stated at 8:58 am that “Israeli’s have very little interest in finding a solution” This was astounding since Washington Journal has closed down to honest brokers and facts about the I/P issue. They now block callers from getting through about this issue. Camera campaigned against callers who stated facts from getting through…they successfully closed down Washington Journal as being a… Read more »

I would suggest that readers look at the entire pdf file- by clicking on it on this site- before drawing any conclusions. The above account does not present an accurate description of the findings in this poll.

Thanks for this article, this is great news. Looking through the PDF file of the study, it clearly shows the Israeli grip on American public opinion slipping. I also appreciate professor Telhami’s careful construction of the survey. The options are written in a clear and objective way, and all the logical options are included. Hopefully this will help more politicians stand up for the truth about Israel and Palestine.

On the topic of one-state/two-states, the Forward just ran an interview with Naftali Bennett that shows some interesting attitudes (clear your browser history if you’re having trouble with the link): “Batya Ungar-Sargon: In 2017, you said that your peace plan, the Stability Plan, would offer Palestinians all rights except when it comes to security and the right of return for Palestinians. You said it was “unrealistic” to offer them full self-determination….” Bennett’s idea is… Read more »

A one state solution is never, ever, going to work. With Israel’s endless apartheid policies, and the racism shown throughout the years, towards Africans and Arabs within the country, Jews of East European descent will always act like supremacists, and treat others with the same disdain, and treat them like second class citizens. What about equality one of the hall marks of democracy?