Source: (2002) Journal of Peace Research. 39(2):185-202.
This joint Palestinianâ€“Israeli study stresses the importance of public opinion in reconciliation processes.
It was conducted in the wake of the Arafatâ€“Barak Camp David summit and intended to set up a baseline
for sentiments of compromise and reconciliation among Israelis and Palestinians at the peak of the
Palestinianâ€“Israeli peace process. The study is based on surveys of representative samples of the Israeli
adult population (n = 525) and the Palestinian adult population in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and
East Jerusalem (n = 1,259). It focuses on the role of expectations for lasting peace and democracy in
shaping attitudes towards reconciliation and political compromise. Both publics felt that there is no
room for further compromise on the most critical issues of the conflict; the majority in both samples
believed that their delegations have made too much of a compromise already. A reliable reconciliation
scale was devised from a range of steps listed in the reconciliation literature as prerequisites for successful
reconciliation following protracted conflicts. Palestinians overwhelmingly supported reconciliation
steps, which promise normalization and a chance for economic well-being. They were more reluctant
to support steps towards political alliance and ethos-transforming steps. Israelisâ€™ support for all reconciliation
measures except for open borders was noticeably higher. Expectations were found to account
for reconciliation and compromise sentiments beyond demographic and political-orientation variables
for both the Israeli and Palestinian samples.
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