Monocolumn: New Poll Reveals Palestinians’ Choice Of Citizenship

A new poll suggests that a third of those Palestinians currently living in East Jerusalem would far rather take Israeli citizenship than Palestinian.

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

The two-state solution has long been accepted as the goal of any Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees. What appears to be less clear is in which of the two states Palestinians would prefer to live. A new poll suggests that a third of those Palestinians currently living in East Jerusalem would far rather take Israeli citizenship than Palestinian.

According to Dr David Pollock, the academic who commissioned the poll, the reason for this choice is economic. Those who chose Israeli citizenship, he says, most often mentioned higher income, better job opportunities and Israeli health insurance as their reasons. Those who chose Palestinian citizenship, however, overwhelmingly cited nationalism as their primary motivation.

The political implications are far from clear, especially when another round of deliberations and brawling is under way, following Barack Obama’s reiteration of his support for a solution based on the pre-1967 borders and Netanyahu’s abrupt refusal. Matters are likely only to escalate ahead of a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence looming in September.

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