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Last week we discussed the latest polling data out of Israel responding to Obama’s policy push, the settlements question and a two-state solution. Now Bernie Avishai has a much more fine-grained look at the data — both the bad news and the good.

Whatever your political persuasion on this issue, I strongly recommend you give this a read. Among the many things it shows is how deeply divided Israel is today (much like the Palestinian community in the territories) and the simple reality that neither side of this conflict can resolve this on their own — outside pressure is necessary.

It is frequently said that Israel’s chaotic low-bar-to-entry parliamentary system makes the country hostage to single-interest splinter parties which obstruct the popular will.

But though he doesn’t say it explicitly, Avishai’s analysis makes clear that this isn’t really true. It is probably fair to say that while a majority doesn’t support the settlement project and would like a two-state solution eventually — that a consistent majority favors not facing up to the hard choices and perpetuating the unsustainable status quo as long as possible.

Which is essentially what the political system has provided.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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