According to Wikipedia, somewhere around 21% of Israels population is of Arab roots. Are there any polls available on what their opinion is on what should be done in regards to Palestine? I.e. do they favor a One State solution, Two State with 1967 borders, Two State with current de-facto borders, etc?

To clarify, I'm interested in the opinion of Arab citizens of Israel, not merely residents, as only citizens have the right to vote and thus have the power to shape the current government coalition which has some Arab-Israeli members.

  • Take a look at this YouTube playlist containing interviews with Israeli Arabs: youtube.com/…
    – hb20007
    Aug 16, 2021 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


During the 1948 Palestine war - called the War of Independence by Jewish Israelis and the Naqba ("catastrophe") by Palestinians - Jewish forces staged an ethnic cleansing of the territory it occupied. The Palestinian citizens of Israel are the people whom evaded the cleansing. Given this background, it is not strange that the relationship between the Palestinian minority and the state has been one of animosity and distrust. For example, until 1966 Palestinians in Israel were subject to a military government which limited their freedom of movement. In 2018 the Israeli parliament enacted a law that declared that non-Jews have no right to "national self-determination" in Israel and downgraded Arabic - the language spoken by most Palestinians - to a "special status."1

It should be emphasized that the Palestinian Israelis have largely refrained from participating in the Palestinian national struggle. Fatah and other militant organisations operating in the diaspora have repeatedly tried and failed to establish themselves in Palestinian communities in Israel and few terror attacks have been committed by Palestinian Israels. Instead, they have focused on their own domestic grievances against the state. For example, every year on March 30 Palestinians in northern Israel commemorates Land Day, in memory of the 1976 demonstrations against the state's expropriations of Palestinian land during which Israeli police shot and killed six demonstrators.2 Thus, there is some disconnect between Palestinians in Israel and Palestinians in the occupied territories and elsewhere. Whether this disconnect is large or small I guess depends on one's perspective.


First, there is the touchy question of self-identification. There are many alternative names for Arab Israelis; Palestinian Israelis, Palestinians in Israel, Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel, 48 Palestinians, Arab citizens of Israel, and so on. According to a 2017 survey, 16% of this group preferred the label "Arab Israeli", while most preferred a hybrid identity such as "Palestinian in Israel" or similar.3 This is important because how members of this community self-identify likely correlates with their views on the Palestine question. From an interview with Palestinian Israeli lawmaker Haneen Zoabi:4

“So, first question,” I say, immediately regretting what sounds like a tedious numbering of my queries: “Do you prefer to identify as an Arab Israeli; a Palestinian citizen of Israel; an Israeli Palestinian; or something else entirely?” It is a subject that generates considerable controversy in Israel.

“Ah don’t ask it, we hate this question,” she yells, half mockingly, “because we are Palestinians. You define yourself as an Irish, not as an English. We are Palestinian. Of course, we are Palestinian.”

It is an important symbolic point. In the mainstream media in Israel, and even the left-wing newspaper, Haaretz, Palestinian citizens of Israel – who make up 22% of the population and are entitled to vote in elections to the Knesset – are almost always called ‘Israeli Arabs’, as distinct from the currently stateless Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. It is a distinction that Haneen energetically refutes.

“It was part of the hidden violence of Israel to redefine our personality, our identity, our history,” she states. “My identity is a strategic threat to Israel. They consider us traitors as soon as we define ourselves as Palestinians.”

Palestinian organisations in Israel by and large reject the Israeli Arab label. For example, this is of Adalah (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) defines the group:5

We are the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, the indigenous peoples, the residents of the States of Israel, and an integral part of the Palestinian People and the Arab and Muslim and human Nation.

The war of 1948 resulted in the establishment of the Israeli state on a 78% of historical Palestine. We found ourselves, those who have remained in their homeland (approximately 160,000) within the borders of the Jewish state. Such reality has isolated us from the rest of the Palestinian People and the Arab world and we were forced to become citizens of Israel. This has transformed us into a minority living in our historic homeland.

This view lends little legitimacy to the Israeli state. It suggests that Palestine is divided in much the same way that East and West Germany divided Germany. The popular Islamic Movement in Israel uses the label "Palestinians of 1948" which echoes the same sentiment.6 The BDS Movement - based in Ramallah but founded by a Palestinian Israeli - offers a similar view of Israel in its open letter Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS.7

Personally, I think self-identification is more interesting than opinion polls, which come and go and are influenced by exact phrasings, language difficulties, current events, polling methodology and other ephemereal factors. Nevertheless, in the rest of this answer I have cited opinion polls taken among Palestinian Israelis on some central issues. I also realized while writing this answer that your question is incredibly broad and attempting to summarize the Palestinian Israeli view on the Palestine question is very challenging.

Two-state solution

Palestinian Israelis strongly support the two-state solution as defined as follows:

The peace package comprises: a de-militarized Palestinian state, an Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line with equal territorial exchange, family unification in Israel of 100,000 Palestinian refugees, West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty and the Muslim and Christian quarters and the al Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount under Palestinian sovereignty, Israeli and the future state of Palestine will be democratic, the bilateral agreement will be part of a regional agreement along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative, the US and major Arab countries will ensure full implementation of the agreement by both sides, and the end of the conflict and claims.

Their support for this kind of two-state solution polls at around 80 and 90%, while support among Jewish Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories polls at around 40 to 50%, according to PCPSR polls.8 In the last edition of the poll in September 2020, Palestinian Israeli support for the two-state solution dropped to 59%. But it's hard to say whether that is part of a trend or an abberation (perhas caused by Covid pandemic).

However, the number of Palestinian Israelis who believe a two-state solution is still viable has dropped precipitously. According to the cited poll it dropped by 30 points in 2020 compared with 2017. The cause for this drop may be settlement expansion, Israeli threats of West Bank annexation, or Israeli repeated assertions of sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. In an older Pew Research poll the number of Palestinian Israelis who said that peaceful coexistence between Israel and an independent Palestinian state is possible dropped from 74% in 2013 to 50% in 2015.9

It's worth noting that some Jewish Israeli politicians have suggested that Israeli territory inhabited by Palestinians should be exchanged for Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Thus, Israeli Palestinians would become citizens of the Palestinian state and the Palestinian minority living in Israel would be minimized. This idea is wildly unpopular among Palestinian Israelis with 91% of the residents in the affected areas rejecting it when it was first proposed in 2004. And according to a poll in 2017, 77.4% of Palestinian Israelis would not be willing to move to a Palestinain state even if one was established.13

One-state solution

Support for a democratic one-state solution appears to be low among Palestinian Israelis. In the cited 2020 PCPSR poll only 13% supported it, compared to 10% among Jewish Israelis. A 2021 B'Tselem poll found higher support for idea of Israel annexing the West Bank and granting full citizenship for all inhabitants. This notion was supported by 38% of Palestinian Israelis and 18% of Jewish Israelis.10

Right of return

Palstinian Israelis are strongly supportive of the Right of return. That is, that the Palestinians who fled or were forced to leave by Jewish forces in the 1948 war and their descendats have a right to return to their homeland. According to a 2018 Baker Institute poll, 85% of Israeli Palestinians and 19% of Jewish Israelis support a limited refugee return:11

Palestinian refugees will have the right to return to their homeland; the Palestinian state will settle all refugees wishing to live there. Israel will allow the return of about 100,000 Palestinians to Israel as part of a family reunification program. All other refugees will be compensated.

It stands to reason that Palestinian Israelis, but probably not Jewish Israelis, would support a return of even more refugees.


In Distrust and Discord on the Israeli–Arab Conflict between Arabs and Jews in Israel, Sammy Smooha reviews a large number of polls on Jewish and Arabs issues from the Index of Arab–Jewish Relations, a longitudal study that has been running since 2003.12 He paints two opposing interpretations of the data. One "optimistic":

According to the sanguine interpretation [of the data], the chances are good and the question concerns maturation and timing only. Arabs and Jews agree on both a two-state solution to the Palestinian question and on the end of the conflict once an agreement is attained. The Arabs are reconciled with the existence of Israel as an independent and sovereign state. Furthermore, although it is not their preference, they come to terms with Israel as a Jewish state, with a Jewish majority, a Hebrew language, an Israeli culture and a Jewish calendar. ...

From this perspective the stand of the Palestinian-Arab citizens on the conflict points to the historical processes leading Palestinians to coming to terms with Israel. The Palestinian people are a partner for peace like their Israeli–Palestinian segment. The Arabs in Israel demonstrate the feasibility of rapprochement between the Jewish and Palestinian peoples and the possibility of two states living peacefully side by side. ...

According to this optimistic view, life together with Jews since 1948 have increased Israeli Arabs’ trust in Jews and drawn them to some extent away from Palestinian outlooks on the conflict. Their views on the dispute have become over the years more moderate and pragmatic than those of their Palestinian compatriots under occupation and in the Diaspora. Exposure to Israeli media, contacts with Jews and strong interest in stable life in Israel push Arabs to more complex and nuanced attitudes toward the Israeli–Arab conflict and to readiness to pay higher price for its termination.

And one "pessimistic":

The alternative interpretation is rather pessimistic. The Arab–Jewish agreement on a two-state solution is an empty slogan as long as the two sides are deeply divided on borders, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees and nature of the Palestinian state. The Palestinian Arabs in Israel follow the position of the Palestinians on these issues, leading to rift and stalemate in the relations between Israel and the Palestinians. They share the Palestinian narrative that Palestine is an exclusive Palestinian land and the Jews are colonial settlers who usurped the land from the indigenous Arabs and are doomed to leave as the Crusaders did. While they accept Israel as a state, they reject its true nature as a Jewish-Zionist state and wish to transform it into a binational state.

According to Smooha, "[o]ne cannot tell which of the two interpretations is more valid."

  1. Israel’s hugely controversial “nation-state” law, explained
  2. Palestine Land Day: A day to resist and remember
  3. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/01/18/palestinian-in-israel/
  4. Exclusive: Is This The Most Hated Woman in Israel?
  5. The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel
  6. The Politics of Claiming and Representation: The Islamic Movement in Israel
  7. Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS
  8. The Palestine/Israel Pulse, a Joint Poll Summary Report
  9. Among Israeli Arabs and Jews, limited optimism about a two-state solution
  10. New all population Israeli-Palestinian survey: 45% of those living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea believe “apartheid” is an appropriate description of the regime
  11. The Israeli-Palestinian Two-State Solution Model: an Israeli Perspective
  12. Distrust and Discord on the Israeli–Arab Conflict between Arabs and Jews in Israel
  13. Israeli Arabs reject becoming citizens of Palestinian state, as suggested in Mideast peace planhttps://www.jns.org/israeli-arabs-reject-becoming-citizens-of-palestinian-state-as-suggested-in-mideast-peace-plan/
  • 1
    I've added that to the answer. Afaict, the two-state solution in virtually all polls is some variant of return to 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps, East Jerusalem, including Temple Mount/al-Aqsa under Palestinian sovereignty, and limited refugee return. Jul 25, 2021 at 16:21
  • 4
    The Palestinians in Israel are not "the people whom evaded the cleansing". Most Arabs who left Israel during the war did so at the advice of their leaders, or out of fear of their lives. Only about 10% of those who left were actively expelled by Israeli forces. Aug 3, 2021 at 14:09
  • 1
    You should mention that B'Tselem is an extreme left organization. This may add bias to their results. Aug 3, 2021 at 14:13
  • 3
    Your usage of the loaded term "ethnic cleansing" is inappropriate and should be removed; or at least clearly presented as only the Palestinian narrative. For the most part, even the inhabitants of those villages who were expelled were only expelled because those villages provided support to the Arab militants, or when Arab militants hid inside the villages and it was impossible to sort out which was which in the heat of battle.
    – Zev Spitz
    Aug 15, 2021 at 18:23
  • 2
    A more appropriate description of "Land Day": "Things came to a head on March 30, 1976 in the form of mass riots in protest against the government’s announced intention to appropriate some 5,000 acres of the Galilee for development. Though most of the land was owned by either the state or private Jewish individuals, the announcement triggered a wave of violence that ended in the deaths of six Arab rioters and the wounding of dozens more." The Radicalization of Israel's Arabs
    – Zev Spitz
    Aug 15, 2021 at 18:27

If you look at the Joint List with 6 (out of 120) representatives in the Knesset, that umbrella list comes from 4 different parties.

They all support a two state solution. Now, I somewhat hesitate to say such support, in its present state would be acceptable to an Israeli government negotiating in good faith (let alone its present government under Bennett). For one, the right of return is still likely to be a sticking point, with insistence that Palestinians would return (to the Israeli half of a 2 state solution) if they wanted. The devil is very much in the details. But it's still a pretty good start.

Also, from reading the territories claimed in entries, it seems it's more 1967-based than 1948-based in ambitions. So maybe something on the basis of UN Resolution 242.


Balad is a political party[14] whose stated purpose is the "struggle to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity".[15] It opposes the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, and supports its creating a new "binational" state.

Balad also advocates that the state of Israel recognize Arabs as a national minority, entitled to all rights that come with that status including autonomy in education, culture and media.[15] Since the party's formation, it has objected to every proposed state budget.

The party supports the creation of two states based on pre-1967 borders, with the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem to constitute a Palestinian state[16] and returning Palestinians who left homes in Israel to where they were.


Hadash is a left party that supports a socialistic economy[12] and workers' rights. It emphasizes Jewish–Arab cooperation, and its leaders were among the first to support a two-state solution. Its voters are principally middle class and secular Arabs, many from the north and Christian communities.[13] It also draws 6,000–10,000 far-left Jewish voters during national elections.[14]

The party supports evacuation of all Israeli settlements, a complete withdrawal by Israel from all territories occupied as a result of the Six-Day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in those territories. It also supports the right of return or compensation for Palestinian refugees. In addition to issues of peace and security, Hadash is also known for being active on social and environmental issues.[15] In keeping with socialist ideals, Hadash's environmental platform, led by Maki official Dov Khenin,[16] calls for the nationalization of Israel's gas, mineral, and oil reserves.[17]

Hadash defines itself as a non-Zionist party, originally in keeping with Marxist opposition to nationalism. It calls for recognition of Palestinian Arabs as a national minority within Israel.5 Despite its Marxist–Leninist roots, Hadash has in recent times included elements of Arab nationalism in its platform.[18]


  • Arab nationalism1
  • Israeli Arab interests
  • Secularism33
  • Two-state solution

Arab Democratic Party (Israel)

  • Israeli Arab interests
  • Two-state solution
  • Non-Zionism

United Arab List is another party, out of the Joint List however, with 4 (out of 120) representatives.

The party supports the two-state solution, and the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also supports equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel.

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