Poll: Israelis have little hope in Trump peace plan
Jerusalem – Israelis have little hope that a peace proposal expected to be unveiled soon by the Trump administration will succeed, according to a public opinion poll released Monday.
The survey by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University indicates that nearly three-quarters of respondents think the plan has a very low or moderately low chance of success. The survey did not ask respondents why they think so.
The skepticism comes despite warm feelings for President Donald Trump by both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli public.
The poll found that 77 percent of respondents think Israel’s interests are important to Trump, whereas more than 60 percent think the Palestinians’ interests are not important to Trump.
Shortly after taking office, Trump dispatched his Mideast team to the region in a bid to forge what he has called the “ultimate” deal between Israel and the Palestinians. The administration has said it will present its vision for peace soon.
Any peace plan would face major obstacles, including the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, internal Palestinian divisions, and recent cross-border violence between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel. Repeated attempts to strike a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians last faltered in 2014, and with the Palestinians accusing Trump of being biased against them, hopes for peace on both sides are sliding.
The poll found that while more than half of respondents supported peace talks with the Palestinians, less than one-fifth believed such negotiations would lead to peace in the coming years.
The Palestinians have cut ties with the Trump administration since the president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and then moved the embassy there in May. They remain deeply skeptical of any plan pushed by the administration, which they see as unfairly favoring Israel. It remains unclear how the Trump administration would proceed with a peace plan without Palestinian cooperation.
The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza – territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and two years later, Hamas seized control of Gaza from forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas now governs only small autonomous zones in the occupied West Bank.
Israelis, and especially Netanyahu, have seen a champion in Trump, who has supported the country at the United Nations, nixed a nuclear deal with Iran and moved the embassy, a promise previous presidents have campaigned on but never fulfilled.
The poll, which had a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, included 600 Jewish and Arab respondents.
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