Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

Poll: 23% of Jewish Israelis support apartheid, 13% support status quo

Survey finds that majority of Jewish Israelis think the country should unilaterally determine its borders along the route of the West Bank separation barrier. One-third support either annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians civil rights, or perpetuating the status quo — both of which are apartheid.

The separation wall in Walajah (Photo: Haggai Matar)

According to a poll* released Sunday, a majority of Jewish Israelis (57 percent) believe Israel should determine its borders unilaterally according to the current route of the separation wall, which cuts deep into the West Bank, winding through Palestinian land well east of the 1949 Armistice Lines (Green Line).

This confirms that 1) Israelis are admitting the country does not have defined and recognized borders 2) Israelis are perfectly happy (including 87 percent of Meretz voters) pushing forward unilaterally despite repeated claims by both the Israeli and U.S. governments that no unilateral steps should be taken by either side in the conflict, and  3) Israelis don’t care that the bantustans created by the separation wall and the settlements are unacceptable to Palestinians or the international community, thus ignoring the impracticality of this option as a long-term solution – not to mention an unjust one.

But what is even more telling and interesting about the poll is that while 61 percent support a two-state solution (39 percent oppose), a substantial 23 percent said they support a bi-national state “without giving Palestinians full civil rights” (up substantially from last year’s 13 percent). In other words, this can be understood to mean that 23 percent of Jewish Israelis want to live under an Israeli apartheid regime where Palestinians are institutionally disenfranchised – though the poll does not mention the word apartheid anywhere.

The poll also mentions that 13 percent think the situation should remain as it is (“de facto Israeli control of Palestinians without annexation of Judea and Samaria”), which means maintaining the status quo. The situation we live in right now is de facto a bi-national state (or ‘one state’), in which every person between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean lives under varying degrees of Israeli rule, so I think it is fair to add this 13 percent to the 23 percent  - which essentially means that a whopping 36 percent of Jewish Israelis support Israeli control of the West Bank without Palestinian civil rights – what I think can safely be called apartheid.

This may not come as such a surprise to some – as back in October, we reported about a Haaretz poll that showed if Israel annexed the West Bank, a majority of Israelis would not want Palestinians to get the right to vote for Knesset.

It should also be noted that the seven percent of the polled Jewish Israelis said they support giving Palestinians full civil rights within a bi-national state – not so tiny considering how marginalized the left-wing one-state vision is in Israel.

The questions in the poll about the bi-national state are worded thusly (translated from Hebrew): “Which of the following scenarios would you prefer in order to maintain Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state 20 years from now?” I think this wording is quite telling since the very notion that we need to try very hard to “keep” Israel Jewish and democratic inherently reflects that being both Jewish and democratic isn’t really working out.

The poll was commissioned by an organization called Blue White Future, who published it in Hebrew. The poll questioned 500 Jewish Israelis, representing the adult Jewish population of Israel.

*The poll cannot be found online but here is a copy of it in Hebrew.

Related:
Liberal Zionism at 65: Fantasy and reality 
One or two states? The status quo is Israel’s rational choice

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. Thanks for reporting on this poll. While I agree that the results of this poll are worrisome, its questions are terribly phrased. As you point out, the question asks about how to keep Israel Jewish and Democratic, as though the end goal is pre-determined and agreed upon by all of the poll’s respondents. But the poll also has no room for a two-state solution that does not follow the apartheid wall. What would an Israeli Jew who suports a two-state solution around the 1967 Green Line or around the Lieberman land swap plan choose? I wonder if the large percentage supporting a two-state solution along the wall is hiding a broader range of opinions (all problematic, but nonetheless different) than we can get from these numbers.

      Reply to Comment
      • Thierry Wasserman

        Was about to comment the same exact thing. I didn’t really know what I would’ve answered to a lot of these questions as none reflected my opinions.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Aaron Gross

      policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination…domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group

      [emphasis added]

      Do people who talk about Israeli apartheid believe that Jews and Arabs are two different races? That government policy is that they’re two different races?

      Reply to Comment
      • If Jewish identity is defined mostly by birth (unlike Christian sects which emphasize belief), then it is hard to not see that identity racial. If I am born to a Protestant mother and abjure that religion the matter is ended. But if I can be admitted into Israel if born to a Jewish mother, irrespective of my beliefs, it cannot be that self pronouncement is determinative (yes, I know coversion is possible–and difficult). So you have 1 and 1/2 feet in the racial camp just through the free ingress of Jews. However: apartheid was instanced as racial; it could as well be instanced in religion or lack total thereof, or the racially weaker category of nationality. Apartheid abstract is use of a mostly well defined category scheme in the allocation of civil, political, and economic rights, generally leading to living and transport seggregation, with divergent heatlh and general welfare trajectories. If I could take a population, color its members blue or red and find apartheid like conditions by color, I have apartheid. Crucial to these conditions is difficulty in escape from the inferior category a priori. A poor man can escape his poverty, sometimes; a Jim Crow man has to leave Jim Crow land–generally, the State–to escape.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Seems to me the definition I quoted says apartheid cannot be instanced in religion. If it could, that would make many Muslim states apartheid regimes, a classification that would obviously be unacceptable.

          Lots of legal definitions talk about ethnic group, nationality, etc., but this one specifically talks about race. Back in the 19th century, “race” was used much more broadly, so you could talk about the Jewish race and even the Arab race (and the French race and the English race etc.). But neither Jews nor Arabs are a race in the current meaning of the word. That is, unless there’s some technical, juridical meaning of “race” that I’m unaware of.

          Reply to Comment
          • directrob

            Your point seems to be that as races do not exist there cannot be a (ICC) crime of apartheid.

            “apartheid south africa” 40m hits.

            “apartheid israel” 230m hits.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Aaron, when the UN defined apartheid and crimes of apartheid, they specified the use of racial group more than ‘race’ and racial group is an inclusive term.

            The UN describes racial discrimination as

            ‘the term “racial discrimination” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life’

            So I guess it is applicable to the discussion towards Israel and Apartheid, since Israel so far Israel describes being a Jew as a matter of descent.

            Reply to Comment
          • It doesn’t matter that the rest of the world is not perfect. Seggregated South Africa and the Southern US said the same thing. What matters is that a court may have jurisdiction to say you have apartheid. So, the solution is–annex the Bank at once! Assert this as your soverign right of self protection! Then see what the US and EU slowly end up saying to you. (You got a small taste from Obama in his settler comment.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “It doesn’t matter that the rest of the world is not perfect”

            No but if Israel which has been facing terrorism since it’s birth stands accused, then it feels good to accuse for instance countries like Sweden. Here read about it:

            http://www.rijo.homepage.t-online.de/pdf/EN_EU_ZE_racism.pdf

            “Sweden and much of Europe have not come much further than the US of the 1960s.”

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “By that definition, Apartheid exists in most if not all Arab countries.”

            No, the discrimination it is not necessary to maintain the dominating regime. Israel on the other hand needs to keep Arabs expelled and denationalized to maintain a regime dominated by Jews.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “No, the discrimination it is not necessary to maintain the dominating regime.”

            Ok so lets be clear. You are now moving the goal posts. That was not included in Leen’s definition.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Israel on the other hand needs to keep Arabs expelled”

            Absolutely. We are not suicidal.

            “and denationalized to maintain a regime dominated by Jews.”

            The only ones who keep them denationalised, for political purposes, are the neighbouring Arab countries. It is a disgrace.

            And those neighbouring Arab countries expelled about one million of their Jewish citizens.

            So even by your new definition, most Arab countries practice apartheid.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “Absolutely. We are not suicidal.”

            No, ‘you’ are criminal and would keep them expelled even if they would behave like the Palestinians you didn’t expell, dispossess and denationalized.

            “The only ones who keep them denationalised, for political purposes, are the neighbouring Arab countries. It is a disgrace.”

            Nonsense. According to international law, human rights law and Resolution 181 they ought to be Israelis.

            “And those neighbouring Arab countries expelled about one million of their Jewish citizens.”

            Why don’t you fight for their right to return?

            “So even by your new definition, most Arab countries practice apartheid.”

            Again, no country needs Jews expelled and denationlized or practice any other human rights violations or crimes against humanity against them to maintain a racist “Arab” or “Muslim” regime. Your so called “democracy” needs Arabs expelled to maintain being “Jewish”. Which itself is a racist concept since “Jewish” is not a citizenship.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            SHMUEL:“Absolutely. We are not suicidal.”
            DAVID:”No, ‘you’ are criminal and would keep them expelled even if they would behave like the Palestinians you didn’t expell, dispossess and denationalized.”

            Whatever. But if ‘we’ are criminals then we are in good company. Most of the rest of humanity are criminals too. And like the rest of humanity, we would rather be live “criminals” than trussed up turkeys on the altars of “progressivedom” and criminal Jihadi haters.

            SHMUEL:”The only ones who keep them denationalised, for political purposes, are the neighbouring Arab countries. It is a disgrace.”
            DAVID:”Nonsense. According to international law, human rights law and Resolution 181 they ought to be Israelis.”

            Not quite. They rejected UN resolution 181 which by the way was non binding. Go brush up on your history.

            SHMUEL:“And those neighbouring Arab countries expelled about one million of their Jewish citizens.”
            DAVID:”Why don’t you fight for their right to return?”

            Don’t tell me what to fight for. You fight for your hate filled cause and I will fight for what will keep my family and people safer.

            SHMUEL:“So even by your new definition, most Arab countries practice apartheid.”
            DAVID:”Again, no country needs Jews expelled and denationlized or practice any other human rights violations or crimes against humanity against them to maintain a racist “Arab” or “Muslim” regime.”

            Yet they have racist Muslim regimes in most Arab countries. Just ask the Copts of Egypt and look at Saudi Arabia. And I don’t hear you sanctimonious “progressives” whining about that ever!!!

            DAVID:” Your so called “democracy” needs Arabs expelled to maintain being “Jewish”. Which itself is a racist concept”

            Yea, the survival of Judaism just kills you people. You are the racist ones. Haven’t you heard of the concept of self determination as a human right? Or is that uniquely verboten only for Jews?

            “since “Jewish” is not a citizenship.”

            So tell me oh ‘all knowing oracle of wisdom’ what is Jewish then?

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “But if ‘we’ are criminals then we are in good company.”

            Of course, look into Jewish history of expulsion, denationalization and dispossesion.

            “Not quite. They rejected UN resolution 181 which by the way was non binding. Go brush up on your history.”

            Go brush on your understanding of international law and resolutions. They ought to be Israelis by customary law and human rights. That’s why resolution 181 had to include it.

            “Don’t tell me what to fight for. You fight for your hate filled cause and I will fight for what will keep my family and people safer.”

            Hate seems to be a recurring topic in your mind. Why don’t you just answer the question: Why don’t you fight for Jews right to return, if you find it so important to mention that they were (all) expelled? Or do you prefer Jews as expellees? You wouldn’t be the only Zionist to do so.

            “Yet they have racist Muslim regimes in most Arab countries. Just ask the Copts of Egypt and look at Saudi Arabia. And I don’t hear you sanctimonious “progressives” whining about that ever!!!”

            The question was it this was Apartheid or not. And I don’t have to whine about it, because there’s noone stupid enough to deny or justify it. But why don’t I hear you denying or justifying racism in this case?

            “Yea, the survival of Judaism just kills you people.”

            The majority of Jews “survive” in the diaspora without killing others. But I admit that they also don’t have the intention to take over the country and expell, denationalize or dispossess their fellow gentiles to become a majority.

            “You are the racist ones. Haven’t you heard of the concept of self determination as a human right? Or is that uniquely verboten only for Jews?”

            The right so self determination is the right of ALL inhabitants/citizens of a country despite their faith and heritage.

            But you think that this is different when it comes to Jews. You claim that Jews as such, where ever they live would have a right to create a state where ever they want and in full ignorance of the right to self determination of the majority in the country. And you also think that Jews have a right to keep Nonjews expelled and denationlized to become and maintain being a majority.

            And YOU call me a racist? ROFL.

            Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            The Palestinians and most if not all the other Arab states define Islam as the state religion and Sharia as at least a major source of law of the country, if not the sole source. Sharia law discriminates against non-Muslims and so all the Arab states can be put on trial for such discrimination.

            Reply to Comment
          • Any ICC jurisdiction is functionally contingent on the occupied territory. I believe apartheid exists in many different forms in many different places–including Tibet. 242 asserts an occupied territory exists; it does not deal with an internal Israel. If you want to remove the charge of apartheid, remove the settlers and leave the IDF. This will be pure occupation and no case will exist. The settlers, beloved as defenders of the nation and children of God, will destroy the case you seem bent on making.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “If you want to remove the charge of apartheid, remove the settlers and leave the IDF.”

            It doesn’t end there. Israel keeps Palestinian ‘expelled and disenfranchized’ (segregated) to maintain its Zionist regime.

            Crime of Apartheid
            “inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “If you want to remove the charge of apartheid, remove the settlers and leave the IDF”

            Sounds a bit like blackmail, doesn’t it?

            It does not stand up to scrutiny though. Yes UN Resolution talks about occupation. But it also talks about recognised and secure borders that need to be negotiated.

            So does the Roadmap.

            And so does the 1949 armistice agreement (which represents the 1967 boundaries).

            “The armistice agreement between Jordan and Israel was signed in Rhodes with the help of UN mediation on April 4, 1949. The agreement states that this is a necessary step towards reestablishing peace in the area, and emphasizes that in no way is the armistice line to be interpreted as a political or territorial border, nor does it constitute interference with the rights, claims, or positions of any side vis-a-vis the final settlement of the question of the Land of Israel.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            So no it does not stand up to scrutiny.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “But it also talks about recognised and secure borders that need to be negotiated.”

            No. Jerusalem on the one hand and the territory of the recognized State of Palestine on the other are occupied according to UN resolutions, because Israel declared independance within partition territory. And settlements have to be dismantled. That’s the language of Security Council resolutions.

            “The Jewish people too need a homeland.”

            They allready had this “homeland” in 1939. A “homeland” is NOT a “state” and was never intended as a state, read the Mandatory’s white paper of 1922 and its white book from 1939.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            SHMUEL:“But it also talks about recognised and secure borders that need to be negotiated.”
            DAVID:”No. Jerusalem on the one hand and the territory of the recognized State of Palestine on the other are occupied according to UN resolutions, because Israel declared independance within partition territory.”

            What partition territory?? Your Arab friends rejected UN resolution 181 which was non binding. Not only rejected it, but attacked the Jews who tried to establish a state WITHIN their side of the partition. All that made UN resolution 181, null and void.

            “And settlements have to be dismantled. That’s the language of Security Council resolutions.”

            Nope. Nothing is to happen without a negotiated peace agreement. And nothing will happen even if people like you will stand on your collective heads.

            SHMUEL:“The Jewish people too need a homeland.”
            DAVID:”They allready had this “homeland” in 1939. A “homeland” is NOT a “state” and was never intended as a state, read the Mandatory’s white paper of 1922 and its white book from 1939.”

            The Jewish people are entitled to the same thing that you demand for the rest of humanity.

            1. Self determination.
            2. Security.

            If you deny that ONLY to us. Then YOU are the racist.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            I may have pushed the wrong reply button. You’ll find my answer at the end (Saturday April 20, 2013). Maybe the moderator can fix that.

            Reply to Comment
    3. simin

      I have never understood what Judea and Samaria mean? Think only if Iran would claim her old Persian empire again!

      Reply to Comment
      • Shmuel

        “I have never understood what Judea and Samaria mean?”

        It is part of the historical HOMELAND of the Jewish survivors who for some reason chose/were forced to maintain our national identity.

        “Think only if Iran would claim her old Persian empire again!”

        Yes comparing EMPIRE to HOMELAND is like comparing apples to oranges.

        A HOME is not a luxury. Everyone needs one. The Jewish people too need a homeland.

        EMPIRE, on the other hand is a luxury. It is possible to get by without having an EMPIRE. Don’t you think so Simin??

        Reply to Comment
      • eric

        We must all remember very clearly that legally the entire WB is Israeli territory according to the Mandate of the league of nations. The only reason there is no PA state is because the Arabs refused in 47, 67 and in 2000. The Arabs started wars in those yrs and if you start a war and lose it you don’t get a territorial reward.
        Very simple solution to the entire debate – The Bennet Plan. The Arabs of areas A and parts of B become a PA state that is demilitarized. The Jews and Arabs of areas C become full Israeli citizens. Israel annexes those areas in accordance with The League of Nation Mandate 1922.

        Reply to Comment
        • Haifawi

          A and B does not a State make (any cursory glance at a map could tell you that). The Bennett plan results in (an extremely cynical) perpetual occupation.
          Really, the solution is for daddy and mommy (The US and EU) to turn off the supply of cash and only promise to give us our allowance once we all learn to share.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Or kill each other until only one is left standing because that is just as reasonably likely as an outcome where we learn to ‘share’ because somebody thousands of miles away decided not to send money.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Leen

      I don’t think religion falls under apartheid defintions, they fall under theorcracy governments which are a whole different issue here. The crimes of apartheid has specifically excluded religion as religion is a belief, unlike race/ethnicity/national origin which is something you are cannot change. THey also specifically excluded culture as it is dynamic and changes per environment.

      Reply to Comment
    5. David T.

      “What partition territory?? Your Arab friends rejected UN resolution 181 which was non binding. Not only rejected it, but attacked the Jews who tried to establish a state WITHIN their side of the partition. All that made UN resolution 181, null and void.”

      That doens’t change the fact that Israel internationally binding declared statehood within partition borders and by them way – captured areas and cities beyond them allready before declarence. And by the way. It doesn’t matter that they were Arabs – they were the majority of citizens by far. Half of the Jews in Palestines were not even citizens and had as less political rights as Jews or Arabs outside of Palestine.

      “Nope. Nothing is to happen without a negotiated peace agreement. And nothing will happen even if people like you will stand on your collective heads.”

      Security Council Resolution 465:
      “5. Determines that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

      6. Strongly deplores the continuation and persistence of Israel in pursuing those policies and practices and calls upon the Government and people of Israel to rescind those measures, to dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.”
      http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5AA254A1C8F8B1CB852560E50075D7D5

      Who is standing on collective heads? You don’t even abide to international law and your idea of negotiation is that Palestinians should give up their rights and accept Israel’s violations of them. Your understanding of peace is the submission of the occupied.

      “The Jewish people are entitled to the same thing that you demand for the rest of humanity.

      1. Self determination.
      2. Security.

      If you deny that ONLY to us. Then YOU are the racist.”

      My concept of self determination doesn’t depend on denying a majority of citizens the right to self determination by keeping them expelled and denationalized, because of their faith. I’m neither pro Nazism nor pro Apartheid. What about you?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Click here to load previous comments

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel