A new poll, conducted on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the normalization agreements, showed that two-thirds of a group of academics and Middle East experts in American universities and research centers believe that the situation between the Palestinians and "Israel" is closer to the apartheid regime.
The new referendum (a year after the Abraham Agreement) explored the opinion of Middle Eastern scholars on the normalization of relations between "Israel" and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, whether a "two-state solution" between "Israel" and Palestine is still possible.
The poll was supervised by Dr. Shibley Telhami, a professor at the University of Maryland and a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington, and Mark Lynch, a professor of political science at George Washington University, who described the poll as a unique survey as it addressed experts in this regard.
The MESB survey surveys the opinions of academic experts on the Middle East, including members of the American Political Science Association's Middle East and North African Policy Division and the Middle East Studies Association.
We identified 1,290 of these researchers and got a 43 percent response rate from August 26 to September 9, and a total of 557 researchers responded, roughly equally divided between political scientists and scientists from other disciplines, the experts said in an article published in The Washington Post on Friday. ".
They pointed out that 80% of the participants participated in this round in the first survey that we conducted last February.
The two researchers added, "Scholars and experts have described the nature of the relationship between "Israel" and Palestine as being closer to apartheid."
They confirmed that the percentage of researchers and experts who said that "the two-state solution, "Israel" and Palestine, is no longer possible, increased by 5 percentage points, from 52% (in February) to 57% in the last poll."
The researchers pointed out that the percentage of scholars who describe the current situation as "the reality of one country closer to apartheid" increased from 59% last February to 65% in the last poll.
Telhami and Lynch said: “This increase is remarkably strong across the survey’s demographics: male and female respondents, political scientists or non-political scientists, members of the Middle East Political Scientists Foundation (APSA and MESA), and respondents based in the United States or anywhere in the world. Elsewhere, those who took part in our first survey in February and those who didn't."
In their response to the question of what explains this large increase in less than seven months?, the two experts say: "While it is impossible to know for sure, there were two notable events between the two surveys."
The two experts explained that the first event: "The crisis in "Israel" following the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem clearly demonstrated the unequal treatment of Palestinians and Jews under "Israeli" control. The subsequent fighting in Gaza between "Israel" and Hamas further focused global attention."
Second: Two human rights organizations – "Israel"’s B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch – have issued widely read reports, where B’Tselem’s findings describe “the reality in "Israel" and Palestine as apartheid,” while the Human Rights report argues that “'Israel"’s behavior fits the legal definition of apartheid.”
The researchers added, "We also asked scholars to evaluate the impact of the Abraham agreements signed in 2020 between "Israel" and the UAE and Bahrain-Sudan and Morocco also signed at a later time, and respondents were very negative that the agreements would enhance the prospects for "Israeli" Palestinian peace: nearly Three-quarters, 72% said the impact was negative, while only 6% said the agreements would have a positive impact.
In general, the survey finds that 70% say that the agreements will have a negative impact on the advancement of democracy and human rights in the region, while less than 5% say that the agreements will have a positive effect.
The survey concludes that, six months into the Biden administration, Middle Eastern scholars have given a more pessimistic assessment of the region.
Not only few researchers see the hope that a two-state solution will be achieved in "Israel" and Palestine, but 80% now believe that its absence will likely ensure that "Israel" will become an apartheid-like system.
Scholars also see democracy in Tunisia and a return to the Iran nuclear deal less likely, and contrary to the festive mood in Washington over the Abraham Accords in 2021, they see the "mostly negative impact on the region."
Source: Palestinian Press Agency "Safa"