Elior Levy
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

A recent survey conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, ahead of the possible Palestinian bid for statehood in September, revealed that given a choice, the majority of east Jerusalem residents would prefer to remain Israelis.

The survey sampled 1,039 Palestinians living in all 19 neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, and was supervised by Dr. David Pollock.

Perhaps the most striking finding regarded the residents' citizenship preference, after a two-state solution is reached: When asked if they preferred to become citizens of Palestine or remain citizens of Israel, only 30% chose Palestinian citizenship.

Thirty five percent chose Israeli citizenship and 35% declined to answer or said they didn’t know.

The survey's findings were presented as part of a Tel Aviv University conference hosted by its International Conflict Resolution Program.

A similar question asked participant what they thought the majority in their neighborhood would prefer, and found that 31% estimated that most people prefer Palestinian citizenship; 39% estimated that most people prefer Israeli citizenship; and 30% declined to answer or said they didn’t know.

When asked if they would move to a different home inside Israel if their neighborhood became part of Palestine,40% said they were "likely to move to Israel" and 27% said they were "likely to move to Palestine" if their neighborhood became part of Israel.

Also, 44% of east Jerusalem's residents seem content with their standard of living, while 31% said they were not content with it.

The main concerns expressed by those polled were the possible loss of access to Temple Mount, and concerned over an uncertain financial future.

When asked how a unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood would affect life in east Jerusalem, 34% said it would have a positive impact, 35% said it would have a negative impact, and 27% said it would have no impact at all.

The survey asked participants to rate the greatest problems they encounter daily. The first issue noted was the inconvenience cause by checkpoints, the second concern was crime, followed by threats made by Jewish settlers and Israeli police and Border Guard officers.

According to the data, sic months prior to the Palestinian factions' reconciliation, support for Hamas, Fatah and the Islamic Movement in east Jerusalem was equally divided between the three.

An important notation in the survey was that none of its participants said they supported the division of Jerusalem. The reasoning was pragmatic, and centered on movement limitations such a division will cause.

The margin of error given to the survey was 3%.


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