--June 1996--
Israeli and Palestinian Public Opinion on the Future of Jerusalem
This article represents an IPCRI poll taken in May 1995. IPCRI believes that the results are still revelent today and are further substantiated by Jerome M. Segal, published in "Is Jerusalem Negotiable?" available from IPCRI.

During May 22-28 1996, two parallel public opinion polls on the future of Jerusalem were conducted on behalf of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information. The poll conducted in Israel was implemented by Gallup Israel and the poll conducted in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem was conducted by Data Research Center in Bethlehem.

Major Findings

Israelis

  • Less than 2/3 (65%) of the Israeli Jewish adult public voiced full support for exclusive Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.
  • Only 8% of the Israeli Jewish adult public believe that the Palestinians will accept the solution of exclusive Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.
  • 28% of the Israeli Jewish adult public is ready to accept the solution of divided sovereignty whereby Israel will have sovereignty over all of West Jerusalem and the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, while the Palestinians will have sovereignty over the Arab parts of East Jerusalem.
  • 25% of the Israeli Jewish adult public believe that the Palestinians will accept the option of Israeli sovereignty over all of West Jerusalem and the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, while the Palestinians will have sovereignty over the Arab parts of East Jerusalem.
  • 56% of the Israeli Jewish adult public believe that the Palestinians will only settle for exclusive Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem on the basis of the June 4, 1967 lines.
  • 3% of the Israeli Jewish adult public support joint Israeli-Palestinian undivided sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.
  • 3% of the Israeli Jewish adult public support the internationalization of the city under the United Nations

Palestinians

Analysis

  • The so-called consensus amongst Israelis in which 95%+ of the public support the status quo is not true. Just less than 2/3 of the Israeli public supports the present situation and only 8% of them believe that the Palestinians would agree to keeping the status quo.
  • The Israeli public has not yet been exposed to the possibility of other real options and already a surprisingly large sector of the public is ready to consider options which involve dividing or sharing sovereignty in some way.
  • The Israeli public is also quite aware of which options the Palestinian public is more likely to support, those which involve giving the Palestinians some form of sovereignty.
  • The Palestinian public is quite divided in the options which it supports. There are much stronger feelings with regard to the options which it rejects. This indicates that there is a lot of possibility for examining new and creative options which involve some form of sharing or dividing sovereignty.
  • The internationalization of Jerusalem is the proposal which is clearly rejected by both publics.

The Sample

Israelis

Option Support to a very Large Extent Support to a large extent Moderately Support Do Not Support Absolutely Do Not Support Don't Know
Israeli Sov. Is Supp 41% 24% 11% 7% 12% 4%
Pal. Sup 4% 4% 7% 11% 61% 13%
Split Sov. Is Supp 12% 16% 16% 12% 39% 5%
Pal. Sup 7% 18% 26% 11% 24% 14%
Joint Sov. Is Supp 3% 3% 7% 11% 71% 5%
Pal. Sup 11% 18% 25% 12% 20% 14%
Div Sov. Is Supp 2% 3% 5% 7% 77% 6%
Pal. Sup 36% 20% 12% 4% 12% 16%
UN Sov. Is Supp 1% 2% 4% 5% 84% 4%
Pal. Sup 6% 8% 18% 11% 42% 15%

Palestinians

Option Support to a very Large Extent Support to a large extent Moderately Support Do Not Support Absolutely Do Not Support
Pal. Sov. Is Supp 2% 1.2% 6.0% 26.2% 64.6%
Israeli Sup 28.2% 44.4% 11.0% 9.6% 6.8%
Split Sov. Pal. Sup 12% 16% 16% 12% 39%
Is Supp 6.0% 16.8% 23.8% 19.2% 34.2%
Joint Sov. Pal. Sup 7.8% 17.2% 21.0% 24.2% 29.8%
Is Supp 1.8% 3.8% 18.2% 41.6% 34.6%
Div Sov. Pal. Sup 31.2% 16.6% 19.2% 9.4% 23.6%
Is Supp 1.4% 2.6% 11.4% 41.6% 43.0%
UN Sov. Pal. Sup 2.8% 6.2% 21.0% 31.6% 37.8%
Is Supp 1.6% 1.0% 1.8% 27.6% 68.0%

Israel:

Gallop Israel conducted a survey with a representative sample of 594 participants from all over Israel. The sample included only Jewish adults above the age of 18. The interviews were conducted over the telephone and the margin of error is 3.4%.

The West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza:

DATA Studies and Consultation distributed 500 questionnaires in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. The sample was selected in accordance with the population distributions as documented y the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics. A well trained group of researchers carried out the survey during the week of May 22-28, 1995. The population sample included cities, refugee camps and villages.

The Questions

Each person was read 5 suggested solutions for the resolution of the Jerusalem questions. Following each suggestion the person was asked to respond to the solution on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being: I support this a lot and 5 being I donšt support this at all. Following this, a second question was asked: To what extent do you believe that the Palestinians will support this option, again on a scale from 1-5.

The first question in each survey was aimed to ascertain the views of the questioned public. The second question was aimed to assess to what extent each sides believes that the other side will accept or reject the given proposals.

The Options

1. Undivided exclusive Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem

2. Israeli sovereignty over all of West Jerusalem and the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, while the Palestinians will have sovereignty over the Arab parts of East Jerusalem.

3. Joint undivided Israeli-Palestinian sovereignty over all of Jerusalem

4. Divided sovereignty along the June 4 1967 borders with Israel having sovereignty over West Jerusalem and the Palestinians having sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

5. The internationalization of Jerusalem under the United Nations.