Most voters see both sides as equally to blame for the ongoing failure of the peace processby Tom Clark / August 23, 2018 / Leave a comment
This month Prospect asks whether or not the two-state solution for the Middle East is dead, with former Knesset Speaker, Avraham Burg, setting out his plan for achieving peace within a single set of borders. An exclusive Deltapoll survey for Prospect explores what British voters think.
After being reminded that the idea of an Israeli and an independent Palestinian state living side by side has traditionally been seen as the most promising route to peace, slightly more voters—37 per cent—believe that this remains the best way forward, as against 31 per cent who are instead inclined to say that after the long failure to make any progress it is time to come up with a new plan.
A similar proportion, 32 per cent, say they don’t know.
Equally to blame
Britain’s political summer has been dominated by Labour’s anti-Semitism row, which centres on the limits of legitimate free speech in relation to Israel and Jeremy Corbyn’s controversial Palestinian connections.
In these circumstances, the new poll offers a sobering reminder of how few votes are likely to be won by strident positioning on the Middle East: most British voters, 51 per cent, see Israelis and Palestinians as equally to blame for the ongoing failure of the peace process.
A partisan slant?
Of the minority who do take a view, however, almost twice as many, 13 per cent, are inclined to blame the Israelis, than the Palestinians, who only 8 per cent point the finger at.
There is a partisan slant to the figures, with the pattern reversed among Conservative voters: they are roughly twice as likely to blame the Palestinians as the Israelis.
Among Lib Dem and Labour voters, by contrast, more people point the finger at Israel. But even among supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s party, only 19 per cent blame Israel, while many more (49 per cent) are inclined to say they blame is evenly spread.
Martin Boon of Deltapoll said, “The great irony about Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party being consumed by the Jewish question is not only that personal reputations are sinking as a result, but that infinite amounts of emotional and political energy is being drained on a subject that very few Britons know much about, and probably care even less. Exactly what Labour hope to get out constant introspection on Israel and Palestine is an absolute mystery”.
Now read Donald Macintyre, reporting from the West Bank, on why the dream of a two-state solution is dying