Posted by Guest on November 30, 2017 in Blog
By: Sarah Seniuk
For the 7th year, Zogby Research Services and the Arab American Institute conducted public opinion polling across the Middle East on behalf of the Sir Bani Yas Forum. This week, James Zogby was joined by Yousef Munayyer, Barbara Slavin, Gönül Tol, and Paul Salem to discuss the findings and their implications. Poll questions this year sought to understand the importance of relations with other countries in the region in addition to the US and Russia; the international roles at play in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen; outlooks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the Iran deal; the roles and rise of political Islam; and attitudes toward refugees.
Some of the most striking results included a strong consensus amongst those being polled across the region about the rise in Russia’s importance in the Middle East; consensus across countries that a solution for Syria will not be found with Bashar al-Assad remaining in power; and that Palestinians no longer favor a two-state solution. Other points of conversation amongst both panelists and observers were perceived disconnects on secular governments versus political Islamist movements both in Turkey and Egypt.
With regard to Palestine, Munayyer and Zogby agreed that the poll indicating preference for a one-state solution means something very different for Israelis and Palestinians. Munayyer took the Palestinian poll result as a shift towards a different strategy for advancing Palestinian rights. Zogby cautioned of a “kind of despair in Palestinian opinion which I think is significant” and noted he doesn’t see how either the Israeli or Palestinian people would be prepared to reshape their political parties to move toward a comprehensive solution.
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