A poll carried out this week by the Israel Democracy Institute found that a firm 77 percent majority of Israelis maintain that the Palestinian Authority must recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" as a condition for peace.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been hammering home that point for the past several years. But Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly rejected the stipulation, most recently in an interview with The New York Times, in which he said recognizing Israel as "Jewish" was "out of the question."
For Abbas, rejection of this seemingly cosmetic demand is an important element of what some see as his true long-term goal to fulfill his PLO's founding principle of destroying Israel.
Abbas continues to insist that part of any final status peace deal must be the introduction of millions of so-called "Palestinian refugees" into Israeli-proper, a move that would demographically destroy the Jewish state. He calls it the "right of return."
By recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Abbas would be essentially abandoning that demand.
In addition to preventing the above scenario, Israelis also say that Palestinian recognition of Israel as the legitimate nation-state of the Jewish people is the only way to truly end the conflict, which stems originally from the rejection of Israel's right to exist.
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