Nearly 80% of Saudis are in favor of working towards normalizing ties with Israel within the next five years, with 71% even thinking it likely that other Arab states will normalize ties without a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new poll from Zogby Research Services.
The study surveyed attitudes among Israelis and Arabs from five different countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine and Jordan) from the period spanning June 24 and July 5. This was over a month before the landmark peace deals between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain were announced, which had resulted in the annexation of 30% of the West Bank, in line with US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, being pulled off the table. As such, annexation remained a real possibility at the time.
What is notable, however, is that the survey still showed that many Arabs were being in favor of normalizing ties with Israel at the time, provided steps were taken to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
Bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was shown to be important for a large majority of both Arab and Israeli respondents (80%) though opinions were divided on how likely a resolution could be achieved within the next five years. As such, it is unsurprising to see that a majority of Arab respondents said normalizing ties with Israel, without there being peace with the Palestinians, was undesirable – with the exception of the UAE where 56% said it was still desirable.
Read More: Jerusalem Post