In a Survey conducted by the Dialog Institute under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University; , a majority of Israelis voted in support of a two state solution and a whopping 55% said that they would support any referendum that Prime Minister Netanhayu proposed that would bring lasting peace to the region.
What is the Two State Solution?
The Two state solution calls for “two states for two peoples”. It is a widely supported plan for the resolution of the Palestinian conflict.
It envisages the establishment of an independent state of Palestine alongside the State of Israel and calls for direct negotiations between the two parties on resolving the issue and thereby effectively bringing lasting peace to the region.
Voices vs Action
Given that the very basis for the Two state solution is that the majority of both Palestinian and Israeli people prefer a peaceful resolution and settlement, the latest poll is indeed a win for the proposed solution.
The poll had been conducted less than a week after John Kerry, the American Secretary of State had visited the region. Netanyahu and the Israeli government had then promised, under increasing pressure from the west as well as the Middle East; that they are committed to a peaceful resolution. And that such a decision would be brought to a referendum.
The Prime Minister had also agreed to free nearly 90 Palestinian prisoners who have been imprisoned in Israel since before 1993 although certain elements within the government are strongly opposed to such a move.
However the tide seems to be turning again in the past few weeks with the head of the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Service) issuing a stern warning that the window of opportunity is slowly passing and that there is likely to be no action from the Israeli government’s side.
This week, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated that “The absence of true leadership willing to take real actions, instead of making idle statements has convinced me that this option (a two state solution) is becoming increasingly unrealistic and no longer feasible”.
Is this inaction and lack of resolute action then a reflection of the Israeli people’s attitude towards the conflict? No, although given the nature of Israeli leadership, true peace still seems a distant dream.
The Will of the people
Most experts agree with the results of the recent survey and acknowledge that like people everywhere in the World, the majority of Israelis too care about peace, education and the economy, but considering the very nature of Israeli politics, very little is expected to change in the near future.
The failure lies within the democratic system in the country that calls for the dominant parties to form large governing coalitions comprising of many small parties who are often extreme in their views and likely to oppose any step towards peace that involves the slightest of compromises.
So, what does it mean in the long run you ask? Is the future then still bleak for the Palestinian people ? Not really, because if recent events in the Middle East are any indication, it is eminent that the spirit of the people would triumph over the injustice of the system.
We can then wait in sincere hope that the Israeli people would soon have the courage to rise against a government that makes false promises and embrace their brothers in the middle east to finally bring peace to the region.