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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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Poll Reveals Dramatic Shift in Israeli Public Opinion after October 7 Attacks

Filed under: Israel, Operation Swords of Iron, Palestinians

Poll Reveals Dramatic Shift in Israeli Public Opinion after October 7 Attacks
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In a May 29 interview on Radio Kan English, Israeli public radio, Dr. Dan Diker, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), discussed recent polls reflecting a shift in Israeli public opinion following the Hamas atrocities on October 7, 2023. Diker will present these findings on June 3 at the 13th Annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York.

Prior to the October 7 attack, 69% of Israelis opposed the establishment of another Palestinian state beyond the one in Gaza. This opposition surged to 79% in the aftermath of the attack.

In another critical finding, even with the prospect of normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia as an incentive for agreeing to the establishment of a Palestinian state, 64% of Israelis rejected this idea. The U.S. administration has been offering normalization with Saudi Arabia as a major incentive for Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza. However, a significant majority of Israelis have not been persuaded by this offer.

Diker emphasized that the connection between normalization and the establishment of a Palestinian state is clear to Israelis, yet their opposition remains strong, reflecting a national consensus on the dangers of creating a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, especially after the October 7 atrocities. There is a prevailing belief that such a state would become an Iranian regime proxy, similar to the de facto state in Gaza.

Diker noted that “Israelis live with a profound sense of existential danger and the need for existential security. The events of October 7 proved that Israel is not merely in a territorial war, but facing an ideological, religiously-driven war against its existence. This realization has fundamentally altered the Israeli perspective on the feasibility and desirability of a two-state solution.”

Historically, the concept of a two-state solution was not part of the mainstream diplomatic or political discourse in Israel. It emerged in the 1970s from far-left groups and was never part of the Oslo Accords. The current low support in Israel of 9-10% for a Palestinian state underscores the public’s understanding that it represents an additional platform for attacks on the Jewish state.

Diker also addressed the impact of unilateral declarations by Norway, Spain, and Ireland recognizing a Palestinian state. “Such decisions are unlikely to influence Israeli public opinion positively. Instead, they are seen as regrettable moves that ignore the complex realities and existential threats faced by Israel.”