A Palestinian state is far from universally welcomed by Palestinians according to a survey published today, commissioned by the Council on Foreign Relations and conducted by Pechter. The full survey can be read here.
The background is that Palestinian Arabs in East Jerusalem are not citizens of Israel but are extended full rights to work and travel in Israel, receiving exactly the same welfare, unemployment and disability benefits and a vote in local municipal elections (although few do).
â€œThe most striking finding relates to East Jerusalemite preferences for citizenship after a two-state solution has been reached. When asked if they preferred to become a citizen of Palestine, with all of the rights and privileges of other citizens of Palestine, or a citizen of Israel, with all of the rights of other citizens of Israel, only 30% chose Palestinian citizenship.â€
â€œThirty five percent chose Israeli citizenship and 35% declined to answer or said they didnâ€™t know.â€
When asked what they thought their neighbours might do, even more would want to become Israelis not Palestinians.
â€œThose who chose Israeli citizenship most often mentioned freedom of movement in Israel, higher income and better job opportunities, and Israel health insurance. Those who chose Palestinian citizenship overwhelmingly cited nationalism/patriotism as their primary motivation.â€
All the Israel haters, who seem more common in Western academic circles than they are in East Jerusalem, have much food for thought coming from this survey.
Israel is a mostly corruption-free, open, flawed, wonderful, vibrant democracy with a thriving, export-oriented, high-tech, high-growth, innovative economy. The Palestinian Authority is riddled with corruption, widespread theft by government officials from the public purse regularly replenished by foreign aid agencies and naÃ¯ve donors and has a rising tide of religious extremism making life unpleasant. Its economy is mostly a basket-case.
Israel is blooming. And itâ€™s hardly surprising that even those whoâ€™ve in many ways been on the frontline of opposing Israel in the whitest hot centre of conflict about the Holy City of Jerusalem would much rather live in the country described as the â€œenemyâ€ by what passes for Palestinian political leadership.