Israelis, Palestinians warming to ‘Clinton parameters’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Support for the "Clinton parameters" has increased among Israelis and Palestinians, a new poll showed.

Palestinians were split evenly at 49 percent on whether to accept the overall parameters; Israelis supported them, 52 percent to 38 percent.

The poll, published Tuesday, was conducted among Israelis by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and among Palestinians by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.

The overall parameters were based on those outlined by President Clinton following the 2000 Camp David talks and what unofficial negotiators agreed on in the 2003 Geneva Initiative.

They feature a return to 1967 lines, with some land swaps to accommodate the major Israeli settlements; a shared Jerusalem, with Israeli sovereignty in the western city and in the Old City’s Jewish quarter, and Palestinian sovereignty in the eastern city and the rest of the Old City; a demilitarized Palestinian state; a solution to the refugee issue that would have Israel decide how many Palestinian refugees to accept; security arrangements that would maintain an Israeli military presence in parts of the West Bank for at least 15 years; and an end of conflict. 

In both cases, the numbers represented a spike: Palestinians a year ago had opposed the package, 61 percent to 38 percent, while Israelis were split at 46 percent for each side.

When the parameters were broken down into components, support dropped substantially — except for the end of conflict component, which won substantial majorities among both peoples. The "end of conflict" posits that no further claims will be made after a deal is reached.

"It is important to see that the pattern of support for the overall package is more than the sum of its parts, suggesting that people’s calculus is compensatory and trade-offs are considered," the pollsters said. "Despite strong reservations regarding some of the components, the overall package always receives greater support in both publics, where the desirable components and the chance of reaching a permanent status agreement seem to compensate for the undesirable parts."

Pollsters interviewed 1,270 Palestinians face to face in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem between June 10 and 13, with a 3 percentage point margin of error, and 810 Israelis over the phone between June 6 and 16, with a 3.5 percent margin of error.

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