Palestinians Want a One-State Solution; Their Leaders Don’t

Joseph Dana
4 min readDec 9, 2021

For close observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the latest opinion polling concerning support for the two-state solution among Palestinians shouldn’t be surprising.

According to data released last month by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, backing for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel is steadily decreasing. At the same time, support for a one-state solution and ending the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is surging among Palestinians.

The trend lines of Palestinian public opinion have been crystalizing around these sentiments for years. The question now is how long the leadership on both sides of the conflict will maintain the status quo before Palestinians return to the streets in force. The crown jewel of the status quo is the Palestinian Authority.

It’s not challenging to see why support for the two-state solution is tanking. Palestinians have watched Israel entrench its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to an unprecedented degree over the past two decades with little to no pushback from the international community.

What’s left of the peace process is barely given lip service from all sides after Donald Trump acquiesced to several Israeli demands, such as moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Even more disturbing for Palestinians is that many Arab states established relations or set up robust peace agreements with Israel in the absence of an equitable solution to the conflict. A significant carrot for Israel to strike a genuine peace agreement with the Palestinians was the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world as well as the US recognition of Israel’s claims over Jerusalem.

Both have happened, with zero change to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land or control over Palestinian life. If anything, Israel has been encouraged by this new international support to solidify the occupation.

The picture is equally bleak when it comes to internal Palestinian matters. The Palestinian leadership is disconnected and out of touch with the stewing anger on the street. Having failed to stop Trump’s destruction of the peace process or Israel’s rapprochement with Arab countries, many Palestinians…