A new poll released from Zogby Research Services on October 15 found that nearly 80% of Saudis support normalizing ties with Israel if measures are taken to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the survey, which was taken from June 24–July 5, asked Arab respondents in Saudi Arabia if they would support peace with Israel if the Jewish state agreed to the terms set under the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which stated that Israel would return all land it gained during the 1967 Six Day War and solve the issue of Palestinian refugees. Seventy-nine percent of Arab respondents said they would support normalization, although 39% didn’t think that Israel would ever agree to such terms.
Additionally, 71% of respondents said that it was likely that some Arab states will normalize ties with Israel even if there isn’t peace between Israel and the Palestinians; only 41% viewed that scenario as a desirable outcome. Seventy-seven percent of Saudis said that any efforts of peace with Israel should end if Israel annexes parts of the West Bank.
Seventy-seven percent of Saudis said that any efforts of peace with Israel should end if Israel annexes parts of the West Bank.
However, 81% of respondents said they view President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” as either “the most realistic way forward because of the facts on the ground” or “the quickest path to end the violence.” Under Trump’s Deal, Israel would keep around 20% of the West Bank and pour tens of billions of dollars of economic investment into the Palestinian territories.
The Post noted that despite Israeli annexation being on the table at the time, (as the survey was taken before the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) peace agreement was reached), “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.” Arabs in Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and the Palestinian territories were also part of the survey.
On September 15, the day the peace agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain were signed, Trump said that he thought seven to nine other Arab nations would follow suit, including Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have publicly stated that they will not normalize ties with Israel until a two-state solution is reached with the Palestinians. However, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has recently hinted that normalization with Israel could be on the horizon and Saudi media have reportedly softened their tone in their coverage of the Jewish state.