Survey: Arab public opinion overwhelmingly rejects peace with Israel

The Abraham Accords. Editorial credit: noamgalai / Shutterstock.com

Public opinion across the Middle East and North Africa overwhelmingly rejects normalisation with Israel, a new survey has found.

The Arab Barometer survey of 10 countries found that there is broad rejection among ordinary citizens across the MENA region of the U.S.-backed Abraham Accords as well as a broader peace deal with Israel.

In eight of the 10 countries surveyed, fewer than one-in-five said they support normalisation agreements with Israel.

Here are the results in full of the percentages which support peace with Israel:

  • Sudan – 39 per cent
  • Morocco – 31 per cent
  • Lebanon – 17 per cent
  • Iraq – 14 per cent
  • Tunisia – 11 per cent
  • Mauritania – 8 per cent
  • Libya – 7 per cent
  • Palestine – 6 per cent
  • Jordan – 5 per cent
  • Egypt – 5 per cent

Sudan and Morocco were the two nations which had the most amount of people who supported peace with Israel, although both countries had clear majorities opposing it.

These two countries are part of the Abraham Accords, with Morocco having completed the normalisation process with Israel while Sudan has initiated the process.

In the case of Morocco, the U.S. recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara simultaneously with normalisation.

And in the case of Sudan, the U.S. committed to removing Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism as part of the normalisation process.

As such, it is possible that the relative popularity of normalisation in both countries is the result of citizens focusing on the strategic benefits that each agreement has brought to their country.

However, Egypt and Jordan have had peace treaties with Israel for decades but normalisation is overwhelmingly unpopular in both nations. This may indicate that relatively favourable views toward peace with Israel may fade over time.

The findings were part of ten nationally representative public opinion surveys conducted across the Middle East and North Africa from 2021-22 as part of Arab Barometer Wave VII.

The survey was funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Princeton University and University of Michigan.

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