Nearly half of Israelis want Biden to relaunch negotiations with Palestinians: Poll

Nearly half of Israelis want US President-elect Joe Biden to relaunch negotiations with the Palestinians, according to new polling.

“A plurality of 49 percent support the relaunching of negotiations with the Palestinians under an incoming Biden administration,” according a poll conducted with European Union funding by the Geneva Initiative, an Israeli-Palestinian organization.

The survey, conducted from November 16 to 17, polled over 500 Israelis.

Making peace with the Palestinians took second priority, however, when participants answered which Arab leaders Israel should make peace with next, following its normalization with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

A Palestinian man walks past a portion of Israel's separation barrier in Bethlehem in December 2010. (File photo: AP)A Palestinian man walks past a portion of Israel’s separation barrier in Bethlehem in December 2010. (File photo: AP)

Twenty-nine percent of participants said Saudi Arabia, while 28 percent said the Palestinians.

Participants were also asked to pick from four potential solutions to the conflict: 48 percent chose the two-state solution as the most preferable option, with only 11 percent choosing a one state solution with equal rights for both peoples.

Another 11 percent picked one state with less rights for Palestinians, while 20 percent chose none of the above.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) sits next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (File photo: Reuters)Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) sits next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (File photo: Reuters)

The preference for a two-state solution broadly aligns with recent polling on the Palestinian side.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research interviewed 1,200 Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip in August, and found 43 percent of Palestinians support the two-state solution.

Biden on Israel-Palestine

The next four years of a Biden presidency will make or break the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Israeli and Palestinian experts told Al Arabiya English earlier this month.

The US under Biden will be a more “credible mediator” between the Israelis and Palestinians than it was under current American president Donald Trump, according to Bernard Sabella, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Jerusalem.

A Palestinian demonstrator holds a national flag in front of Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank on Feb. 25, 2020. (AP)A Palestinian demonstrator holds a national flag in front of Israeli forces in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank on Feb. 25, 2020. (AP)

Under Trump, the State Department cut more than $200 million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza, and $25 million in aid for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, in 2018.

The Trump administration also halted all US funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) – an estimated $360 million per year – saying that the organization was “irredeemably flawed.”

The US embassy in Israel was also moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Jerusalem as the “united” capital of Israel.

A man walks by as the Israeli national flag and an American one are projected on a part of the walls surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City on December 6, 2017. (Reuters)A man walks by as the Israeli national flag and an American one are projected on a part of the walls surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City on December 6, 2017. (Reuters)

Biden has promised to restore economic assistance to the Palestinians and reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, but said he will keep the US embassy in Jerusalem.

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