12 May 2020   Leave a comment

The Gallup polling organization has conducted a poll of Americans every year to see how many citizens favor a Palestinian state as a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. The most recent poll, conducted last February, indicates that 55% of the American people favor a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip while 34% are opposed and 10% are unsure. The previous high in favor of a Palestinian state was 58% in 2003. The result surprised me since US policy under the Trump Administration has essentially abandoned the 2-state solution. But when President Trump was elected only 45% of the American people favored a Palestinian state–a shift of 10% is quite dramatic. Even among citizens who identify as Republicans, the number has increased from 25% on 2017 to 44% in 2020. At the same time, however, more Americans have a favorable view of Israel than of the Palestinian Authority. These findings do not coexist easily, and I will have to think deeply about them in order to make sense of the results.

The matter has some urgency. Under the terms of the power-sharing agreement between the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his opponent, Benny Gantz, the annexation of the West Bank cannot be broached until 1 July. Netanyahu can bring an annexation proposal to either his Cabinet or to the Knesset; both options have potential obstacles. But Netanyahu will likely make the decision before the US national election in November, in order to create a fait accompli in case President Trump loses the election. US Secretary of State Pompeo is scheduled to visit Israel this week, so we may have a better sense of what might happen soon.

Posted May 12, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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