Only 35% of Israelis think “a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully,” according to a new survey.
The latest Pew Research Center survey, released on Tuesday and conducted this past March and April, represents a decline of nine percentage points since 2017 and 15 points since 2013.
“The feeling that peaceful coexistence is possible has decreased over the past decade among both Arabs and Jews living in Israel,” the report found.
Nonetheless, views among Arab Israelis, for example, has “shifted significantly” more than they have among Jewish Israelis, the report found.
Arab Israelis are now 33 points less likely compared to a decade ago to “see the possibility of a peaceful coexistence between Israel and an independent Palestinian state,” said the report.
Jewish Israelis, on the other hand, are 14 points less likely to see this possibility than in 2013.
There are also divergences among Israel’s Jewish population. Those who consider themselves Masorti (“traditional”) and those who are Haredi/Dati (meaning “ultra-Orthodox” and “religious,” respectively) have grown less confident that peaceful coexistence is possible.
The share of Masorti Jews “who see the possibility of a peaceful coexistence” with an independent Palestinian state has declined from 33% in 2017 to 17% this year.
Among Haredi/Dati Jews, the share who see this possibility dropped from 22% to a paltry 7%.
By contrast, Hiloni (or “secular”) Jews said they are more optimistic about a two-state solution (61% now compared to 54% in 2017).
Israelis and Palestinians have clashed for decades over claims to the Holy Land — an area of great religious importance to Jews, Christians and Muslims — starting in the mid-20th century and running through the present.
Many attempts have been made over the decades to resolve the conflict as part of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Some progress toward a two-state solution was made — thanks to the Oslo Accords signed in 1995 — but the status of Jerusalem, the construction of Israeli settlements, and border issues have stifled progress in recent years.
The State of Israel was founded in 1948 and designated the Jewish homeland following World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, the Red Sea to the south, Egypt to the southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.
The Palestinian territories, which declared independence in 1988 but are not recognized by all nations, include the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The region is home to 2.2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and 3.2 million in the West Bank. Israel, meanwhile, has a population of 9.3 million.
Most of the West Bank is currently administered by Israel though 42% of it is under varying degrees of autonomous rule by the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority. The Gaza Strip is currently under the control of Hamas, a Sunni Muslim group.
“Excluded people living in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.” said Pew Research in their latest survey. It asked Muslims in Israel whether they had any recent interactions with security forces or experienced discrimination.
Over the past year, Muslims who had at least one of these experiences dipped to 20% from 30% when Pew asked the same questions in its 2014-15 survey about religion in Israel.
Produced in association with Religion Unplugged
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
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