The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 71% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that Palestinian leaders should be required to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Just eight percent (8%) disagree and say this is not essential for a Middle Eastern peace agreement. Another 21% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Apparently President Obama is in that 8 percent: In his speech Thursday, he did not make recognition a pre-requisite for peace. He made demands of Israel, and suggestions of the Palestinians, though in the past the Israelis have made good faith concessions while the Palestinians elect terrorists to run their government.
Electorally, MidEast peace cannot gain Obama much toward re-election, but his fringe views can catch up and hurt him.
Whatever the terms of an agreement, only 15% of voters think it is even somewhat likely that there ever will be peace between Israel and the Arab world, and that includes just two percent (2%) who say it’s Very Likely. Seventy-eight percent (78%) think peace between the two long-time enemies is unlikely, with 27% who say it is Not At All Likely.
The Palestinians today are probably farther from recognizing Israel’s right to exist than they were before the Obama speech, for the simple reason that Obama put all of the pressure on Israel ahead of Netanyahu’s visit to the US. This was a major snub to the Israelis and a morally perverse way to approach the issue.