Trending Topics:

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

on 32 Comments

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.

Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Executive Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

32 Responses

  1. Kathleen on December 12, 2018, 3:06 pm

    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 neutral avenue to get information about the conflict through.

    Check it out.
    Washington Journal | Series |

    Robert Jordan on U.S.-Saudi Relations

    Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan talked about U.S.-Saudi relations and the murder of journalist…

  2. wdr on December 12, 2018, 4:48 pm

    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.

    • johneill on December 13, 2018, 4:16 am

      are there any specifics in this article that you find inaccurate? it seems mostly to be direct quotes from the poll itself.

  3. JWalters on December 12, 2018, 6:37 pm

    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.

  4. bcg on December 12, 2018, 6:57 pm

    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 .8 of a state for the Palestinians.

  5. Kay24 on December 12, 2018, 7:31 pm

    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?

  6. davisherb on December 13, 2018, 8:30 am

    One state will exist and the only question is how much more hate and resentment the zionist faction wants to incur. The level of violence by both sides can only get worse as folks see their mom and dad killed or humiliated.

  7. Marnie on December 13, 2018, 8:58 am

    It was wonderful to see these poll numbers that are overwhelming in favor of one democratic state for all by both repubs and dems. It will be better to see it happen. Maybe once familia tRUMP (except Barron and the daughter he doesn’t like so much and that daughter’s mother), the idiot son-in-law in the saudi’s pocket, familia Netanyahoo (including ‘the idiot bastard son’) along with Mike Pence just to be safe and Nikki Haley just because, maybe something good in the world will happen. It’s a recurring dream.

  8. Misterioso on December 13, 2018, 9:27 am


    “German Court Confirms BDS Advocacy is Protected Freedom of Expression and Assembly” Dec. 6/18

    “A German court confirms that advocating for BDS and Palestinian rights constitutes freedom of expression and assembly, rights that are protected by the German constitution and are essential for democracy. The court ruled that the German city of Oldenburg unlawfully violated these fundamental rights when it revoked a permit for an event space, forcing a Palestinian solidarity group to cancel its public lecture on Palestinian rights. The court’s ruling is ‘an important step toward a more informed and democratic public discussion in Germany when Israel and the Palestinian people are concerned.'”

    • Marnie on December 13, 2018, 9:41 am

      Wow. Maybe the notion of boycotting apartheid, even if the offending body is the ‘state of israel’, is a right to any and all who see injustice and want to do something about it to end it. Why should the ‘state of israel’ be allowed to continue causing great pain and suffering to the palestinian people and go unchallenged and unpunished?

      • Misterioso on December 13, 2018, 3:33 pm



        “Pro-Israel Lobby Group Secretly Admits Boycott Is Effective, Leaked Report Shows” The Real News Network, Dec. 12/18

        “Ali Abunimah discusses a leaked report from Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a front for Israel government-backed lobby group StandWithUs, which admits the cultural boycott is ‘constantly growing’ and ‘innovative.'”

        “As the campaign to boycott Israel for Palestinian rights is growing internationally, even pro-Israel lobby groups are secretly admitting on the inside that the boycott tactic is effective. A new confidential report from Creative Community for Peace, CCFP, which is a Los Angeles-based pro-Israel lobby organization that targets the entertainment and art industry, a leaked report from this group reveals that the cultural boycott against Israel has an even deeper impact than was previously recognized.

        “The CCFP was recently exposed by the progressive organization Jewish Voice for Peace to be a front organization for Stand With Us. Stand With Us is a staunchly right-wing pro-Israel lobby group that is, in fact, partially funded by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, so it receives money from the Israeli government. And CCFP, its goal is to attack and organize smear campaigns against artists who participate in the cultural boycott of Israel.

        “So joining us to talk about what this means for the International BDS, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, movement against Israel is Ali Abunimah. Ali is co-founder of the award-winning online publication The Electronic Intifada, and he’s the author of One Country and The Battle for Justice in Palestine. Thanks for joining us, Ali.”

      • oldgeezer on December 13, 2018, 5:34 pm

        Catalan will be devastated by this report

      • catalan on December 13, 2018, 8:30 pm

        “Catalan will be devastated by this report” oldgeezer
        I would be even more impressed if they started doing BDS. However, Starbucks and Victoria Secret still seem very well attended.

  9. WebSkipper on December 13, 2018, 11:49 am

    What difference does it make what AMERICANS think? It’s not their land, their freedom, their lives at stake!

    • CigarGod on December 13, 2018, 12:16 pm

      Yeah, let’s take our money and go home.
      I’m sure no one else will step into the void…

    • annie on December 13, 2018, 12:44 pm

      it’s our government’s superpower status that supports and defends israel with almost 100% backing from our politicians when our population does not back this atrocity 100%. our press is largely silent about this discrepancy. it’s questionable whether israel could survive sans support from the US including the protection we provide with our veto at the UN.

      only when there is a groundswell of support from the american public for ending the occupation, similar to the groundswell of support we’re seeing for single payer health care, will that translate in our politicians ending their 100% favoritism for israel. only when they realize that support may lose them their jobs, will american opinion be more important than the israel lobby.

      that’s why it matters what americans think. that little criminal state needs to be held accountable.

      • Citizen on December 13, 2018, 2:49 pm


      • joycejamie on December 14, 2018, 6:53 am

        Well said, Annie. Thanks!

      • punterweger on December 14, 2018, 2:28 pm

        i could not agree more annie

    • Ellen on December 13, 2018, 3:16 pm

      What difference does it make?

      It should make none, but it make a big difference what AMERICANS think.

      Approaching almost a century after the colonization of Palestine by Europeans, the colonial state of Israel remains utterly dependent upon the west, in particular the USA. With the loss of support by the American public, the political support will fade. And Israel will be on it’s own.

      Few colonial enterprises survive the loss of support at “home.”

      • RoHa on December 13, 2018, 11:19 pm

        ‘Few colonial enterprises survive the loss of support at “home.”’

        What do you mean by “survive”?

        Australia, Canada, Singapore, the ex-British Caribbean island countries, and New Zealand seem to be surviving in the normal sense of the term. Most of the Spanish colonies and the Portuguese colony in the Americas are managing to hang on. Even the USA hasn’t collapsed completely, yet.

        And they are not being propped up by Britain, Spain, or Portugal.

      • Ellen on December 14, 2018, 6:30 pm

        Roha, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean colonies, were sending wares and wealth to Britain. Britain was not propping them up with billions per year. None had the complete dependence upon Britain for their survival. One could say that British wealth of past times was more dependent upon those colonies. But who is depended upon Israel?

        When writing that few colonial enterprises survive the loss of support at “home” thoughts were to places like Algeria and Vietnam and the loss of support by the French public, for example.

      • RoHa on December 14, 2018, 10:57 pm

        So you meant “few French colonial enterprises survive the loss of support at ‘home’.”
        Or, perhaps, “few colonial enterprises which require support survive the loss of support “.

        But the key questions are
        (a) whether Israel does require the political or financial support it receives from the USA,
        (b) whether the USA is going to cut off that aid in the nearish future.

    • pjdude on December 13, 2018, 4:27 pm

      your right its the palestinains

      • Ellen on December 15, 2018, 9:33 am

        Yes, I guess that captures it more precisely: , “ few colonial enterprises which require support survive the loss of support “. Of course obvious and perhaps an unremarkable point made.

        As for the key questions? It appears that Israel, as it exist now does require continued financial support from the USA and others. Why else are there fund raiser in the US for the IDF, or an an industry among lawyers around the globe to put Israel into your will? What other countries do this? What other country receives so much support from the US?

        What would happen if this support dried up?

        Will the US cut support in the nearish future? Seems quite doubtful.

      • catalan on December 15, 2018, 10:33 am

        “What other country receives so much support from the US?” Ellen
        Israel is so powerful and influential and basically owns Congress. I get that, but why can’t it get Congress to recognize Jerusalem, the Golan and the settlements as sovereign Israeli territory? Like, that’s the main thing it wants. What’s the point of owning Congress if you can’t get them to do what you want? The other thing I don’t get is, they also own and control all the media. Fair enough, but why can’t they shut down Mondoweiss? I mean if you control cnn and the networks and the New York Times, you would think Mondo would be small fish but no cigar. I just don’t get it, this all powerful force that is Israel cannot silence “Ellen” from Mondo. It’s all a mystery.

      • RoHa on December 15, 2018, 8:00 pm

        “Why else are there fund raiser in the US for the IDF, or an an industry among lawyers around the globe to put Israel into your will? What other countries do this? What other country receives so much support from the US?”

        Asking for, and taking, the money does not show that Israel actually needs it to survive. Probably we could only test this by experiment, and I agree that there is no sign that the experiment will be carried out in the near future.

  10. WebSkipper on December 13, 2018, 11:54 am

    Thanks for the suggestion. It’s quite interesting to look at the breakdown of the voting.

  11. ritzl on December 13, 2018, 1:46 pm

    Depending on how the question is asked (most/all of Telhami’s polls ask it this way, see PIPA polls), these numbers have remained pretty consistent for several years. IIRC (Full disclosure: I haven’t looked at this in depth for several years now) this result is a slight uptick in the one-state/equal rights support. Most normal people support equal rights, as a generic, despite the incessant barrage of Israeli/pro-Israel propaganda to the contrary.

    He asks the question in a forward looking way with embedded info upon which to base an answer. Even more interesting, and as Adam (or somebody included in the PDF of the relevant questions) is the youth answer which shows even more lopsided support for equal rights in one state.

    I still don’t know what the youth percentages mean because they, to my knowledge, have always shown more support for equal rights. I have asked in the past why, over time, the general results do not show a corresponding, substantial uptick in the overall results, but they do not seem to. I suspect there is a susceptibility to the unchallenged propaganda barrage over time. If the Israeli “side”, supplemented/underscored by accusations/”moral appeals” of “anti-semitism”, is all you hear – EVER – even normal, moral people will acquiesce. imho.

    I don’t know the answer, other than incrementalism. Incrementalism is in Palestine’s favor, imo. But the Israelis know this full well and craft their soulless behavior to be equally incrementally non-obvious. They will make a horrific, perceptual miscalculation soon/in time, that will fall on the receptive sensibilities that this poll reports, such that acquiescence to Israeli propaganda becomes a memorable, and FAR less palatable option – even into later life.

    Hezbollah seems to have learned this lesson (of non-response given Israeli propaganda-driven provocations, and don’t respond. Palestine and Palestinians have much fewer and smaller options, but I think as Gaza shows, are A) fed up; B) recognize they have no options other than “non-response”; and C) therefore do not fall into the Israeli propaganda trap by responding meaningfully and/or to the extent they could.


    PS. “Incrementalism” kills Palestinians. I wish it were not so.

    • ritzl on December 13, 2018, 2:48 pm

      A) Just for the record, when I was arguing Telhami’s results at dKos (UGH!!!!), the response was almost always to cite the Gallup poll results. This is why I started looking at the questions asked. Telhami’s/PIPA/World Opinion/Univ Maryland poll questions were always this informational. The Gallup “trackng” poll question was always, “Do you support Israel or Palestinians?”. End. The Gallup tracking question result was always cited, in those arguments, as the counter-argument to Telhami’s results. Apples and Oranges. It is nothing of the kind.

      B) Telhami, up until recently, worked for an organization funded by Sheldon Adelson’s democrat counterpart. I cannot remember his name, but he is the “Power Rangers” movie producer. I just can’t remember.

      C) This Telhami poll has been going on long enough to generate “tracking” results. I wish, Telhami would tout those tracking results – including why youth percentages do not seem to translate into overall percentages – AND publish/discuss them. I, for one, would sincerely like to know what they suggest to greater minds than mine in terms of HOW to counter Israeli propaganda.

    • joycejamie on December 14, 2018, 6:59 am

      Yes the Israeli government will, in time, make a “horrific perceptual miscalculation” that will open up a turning to justice for Palestinians, for ALL residents in Palestine. Let us all work for and prepare for that opening.

  12. Mayhem on December 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    I would vote for an option in a survey which called for world peace and happiness for all but in the world of realpolitik such polls are just nonsense and delusional.

Leave a Reply