Survey: Half of Israelis think Biden will not make significant progress in peace process

According to a new survey by the Institute for National Security Studies, the majority of the Israeli public supports a two-state solution but is skeptical regarding the Biden administration's ability to make a diplomatic breakthrough 

REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

The day before President Biden's inauguration, Israel's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) published a comprehensive study, according to which about half of Israelis think that he will not succeed in making significant progress in the peace process with the Palestinians, and about half are of the opinion that Israel will be able to cope well with the reduction of American support.     

The survey also found that Israelis identify nuclear Iran as the most significant threat, and support taking action against it, but preferably in coordination with the US. Also, the majority of the public supports the continuation and even the increasing of military operations on the northern front. The research, which polled more than 1,000 people from all sectors in Israel, is part of the national security index compiled by the institute.      

In response to the question of whether President Biden will be able to make significant progress in the peace process with the Palestinians, 30% of Israelis answered yes, while 52% said no. According to the survey, 51% of Israelis think that the two-state solution is not achievable in the foreseeable future, 35% think that it is only possible in the distant future, and only 6% think that it is possible in the near future. At the same time, the majority of the Israeli public (58%) still supports a two-state solution.    

And also regarding the conflict with the Palestinians, 27% of those polled support striving for an overall arrangement whose significance is two states for two peoples, 24% prefer interim arrangements, 18% prefer the continuation of the current situation, 9% would want a solution of one binational state without equal rights for Palestinians in the territories, and 5% would want a binational state with full equal rights for Palestinians in the territories.  

A firm majority of the public also supports taking steps of separation from the Palestinians due to concern over a reality of a binational state, with 61% approving of such steps, while 39% do not approve. On the issue of annexation, 32% of Israelis are opposed to any type of unilateral annexation, while only 13% support unilateral annexation of all the Jewish settlements including those outside the settlement blocs.    

As for policies regarding the Middle East, the majority of the Israeli public thinks that nuclear Iran is the most significant threat facing Israel, and supports taking action against it in response to its progress in the nuclear program. At the same time, much of the public says it should be conditioned on cooperation with the US. 26% of Israelis responded that if Iran restarts its nuclear activity, Israel should launch a military attack against Iran's nuclear sites, but only in coordination with the US.        

In addition, the survey found that the Israeli public supports direct military action against the Iranians in Syria and Lebanon. In response to the question of what should be Israel's response to the precision missile project of Iran and Hezbollah, 37% support a direct strike against the Iranian forces responsible for the project, 19% support attacking the missile manufacturing infrastructure in Lebanon even if there is a possibility of the situation deteriorating into a war, 17% prefer that Israel strengthen its defensive capabilities, and 14% think that there is a need to strive for an arrangement with Lebanon via international mediation to stop the manufacturing of precision missiles.