So consider this dismal data from the authoritative polling of the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project. The report tabulated the response to the key question No. 60: Which statement comes closest to your opinion? (1) A way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinian people are taken care of, or, (2) the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists?According to the actual report:[PDF, p56]
The specific percentages are as follows, with the key results being, by 77 percent to 16 percent, that Palestinians don't believe they can live side-by-side with Israel, while by 61 percent to 31 percent Israelis do believe they can live side-by-side with a Palestinian state. Note that all the Arab states are very negative, and all the Western states (plus Israel) are quite positive for a two-state solution. [emphasis added]
Israel’s Existence and Palestinian RightsBlankley suggests one reason for the pessimism:
Western publics generally believe that a way can be found for Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinians are addressed. The picture is quite different, however, among Muslim publics in the Middle East.
More than seven-in-ten Egyptians, Jordanians, Palestinians, and Kuwaitis believe “the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists.” Lebanese opinion is divided on this issue: Christians tend to believe strongly that coexistence can work, while the Shia community overwhelmingly disagrees. Among Lebanese Sunnis, 57% believe a way can be found for Israel to exist and Palestinian rights be addressed – a far greater percentage than among Sunnis in other countries.
Majorities or pluralities in Western Europe and North America – as well as 61% of Israelis – say a way can be found for Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinians are addressed. But this belief has declined since 2003 in Britain (71% in 2003, 60% now), Italy (65% in 2003, 48% now), and Spain (53% in 2003, 45% now).
Yes No Don't Know United States 67 12 21 Canada 64 11 25 France 82 16 2 Germany 80 11 9 Sweden 65 12 23 Britain 60 12 28 Italy 48 19 33 Spain 45 27 28 Israel 61 31 8 Lebanon 49 50 1 ..Shia 16 84 0 ..Sunni 57 43 1 ..Christian 70 28 2 Turkey 30 45 25 Morocco 23 47 30 Kuwait 21 73 6 Egypt 18 80 3 Jordan 17 78 5 Palestinians ter. 16 77 7
Keep in mind, also, that after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a Sinai peace treaty with Israel, in October 1981 he was assassinated during a military parade in Cairo. A fatwa authorizing the assassination had been issued by Omar Abdel-Rahman, a cleric later convicted in the United States for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.Which is why in order to really make a two-state solution work, the focus should actually be on the Palestinian Arabs, and what they need to do--not on Israel.
It would take an unusually courageous leader to sign a peace treaty and his own death warrant in one document.