Attitudes of Palestinians Toward Normalization with Israel

Journal article

Mi'ari, Mahmoud (1999) Attitudes of Palestinians Toward Normalization with Israel, Journal of Peace Research 36 (3): 339–348.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, originally a native-settler conflict, is one of the most durable and intractable conflicts since World War II. While the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis has started, no final solution has been reached between the two sides, and Israel still occupies most of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Under these conditions, an interesting question is raised about normalization between Palestinians and Israelis. Based on data collected in 1994 from a total sample of 270 students in Birzeit University, this article studies the attitudes of Palestinian students toward cultural normalization with Israel. Despite the fact that Israel still occupies the Palestinian territories, a major part of Palestinian students support normalizing cultural relations between Palestinians and Israelis. Support for normalization is significantly associated with social class or father's occupation. Students from the working class are more supportive of cultural cooperation with Israelis than those from other classes. This is explained by the working-class families' greater experience of contact with Israelis and a greater dependence on the Israeli labour market.

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