Citizens International

Groundbreaking poll: American support for one democratic state equal to support for two state solution

Written by Adam Horowitz 


A new poll conducted by Shibley Telhami at the University of Maryland shows unprecedented support among Americans for the one-state solution in Israel/Palestine, and stronger sanctions against Israel for the occupation, as well as growing criticism of the Israeli role in U.S. politics.

Here are some of the findings of the poll (PDF), which was conducted in September and October among 2,352 Americans:

  • 35 percent support a single democratic state in which both Jews and Arabs are full and equal citizens;
  • 36 percent support Israeli and Palestinian states side by side;
  • 11 percent support maintaining the occupation indefinitely;
  • 8 percent support Israeli annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories without offering equal citizenship to Palestinians.

And when broken down by age the results are even more stark; among 18-and-34-year-olds support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

In addition, the poll asked what a two-state supporter would back if the two-state solution was no longer possible. In this scenario, 64 percent supported a single democratic state and only 26 percent supported “the continuation of Israel’s Jewish majority in the government even if it means that Palestinians will not have citizenship and full rights.”

The poll also reveals support for stronger U.S. sanctions against Israeli colonization of the West Bank, and rising criticism of the Israeli role in American politics.

When asked “How do you believe the U.S. should react to new settlements?” 40 percent of poll respondents support economic sanctions against Israel, and this number rises to 46 percent among registered Democrats.

And finally, when asked “How much influence do you believe the Israeli government has on American politics and policies?” 38 percent of Americans say “too much influence” and this number goes up to 55 percent among Democrats.

There is much to take in here but some obvious takeaways are that we have entered the post-two-state era and the political ramifications are already being felt. Support for stronger U.S. policy towards Israel is growing in the face of the ever-expanding colonization of the West Bank. The poll also helps explain what we have seen among the new progressive wing of the Democratic party, which supports BDS and is not beholden to the Israel lobby. This new political terrain will undoubtably be contentious as Israel supporters fight in Washington, as well as in the discourse, to stem this tide.

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of

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