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Most Jewish Israelis oppose Palestinian state, new poll shows

No poll is perfect, but this one happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground.

A large majority of Jewish Israeli citizens (74 percent) oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, according to a new poll conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank. The organization also found that 76 percent oppose a Palestinian state if it means dividing Jerusalem.

The poll surveyed 505 Jewish Israelis, dividing them along their personal political orientation. Three hundred and four identified themselves as right wing, 125 as centrists and 68 as left wing. It is interesting to note that of those who consider themselves “centrists,” 63 percent oppose a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 border, compared with only 19 percent who identify as left.

When it comes to Jerusalem, a not surprising majority of both rightists and centrists oppose conceding East Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state. However, while 51.5 percent of leftists support it, nearly 40 percent of them oppose it. This means that even those who consider themselves left wing in Israel are on the fence about giving up East Jerusalem. From this we can conclude that most Jewish Israelis oppose a two-state solution, and even those on the left are not quite sure about it. It also illustrates that the notion of what is considered “left wing” in Israel has shifted to the right along with the rest of the public.

Palestinian activists lifting the Palestinian flag in the "Bab Al-Shams" village. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

Palestinian activists lifting the Palestinian flag in the “Bab Al-Shams” village. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

On the issue of the Jordan Valley, a large majority of Jewish Israelis, including those identified as left (42.6 percent), oppose withdrawal for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The poll, published in Israel Hayom, is obviously meant to serve Netanyahu’s agenda. And while it is dangerous to rely on solely on a single poll to back up any claim, this specific poll – no matter how flawed or skewed – happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said time and time again that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and will never be divided. Members of the Likud party have openly come out against the establishment of a Palestinian state and leaders of both Yisrael Beiteinu and the Jewish Home party could not be more explicit in how much they oppose the notion of a Palestinian state.

Just the other day, Defense Minister Ya’alon said plainly that he is “not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict and maintain relations in a way that works for our interests. We need to free ourselves of the notion that everything boils down to only one option called a [Palestinian] state.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is welcomed by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon in Jerusalem on May 23, 2013. (State Dept Photo)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is welcomed by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Jerusalem on May 23, 2013. (State Dept Photo)

So even though many polls over the years have shown and still show that a majority of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution based more or less along the 1967 border with land swaps – such sentiment is reflected less and less in the way Israelis vote and talk. This new poll seems to provide a much more honest assessment of the reality on the ground and the reality in the halls of government.

If government policies, government rhetoric, the reality on the ground and polls like this one don’t convince the U.S. government and the rest of the world that Israelis have no interest in negotiating a peace deal that includes a viable Palestinian state, what will?

Related:
Polls: Two-state solution was a casualty, even before the war
After Kerry, only BDS may save the two-state solution
COMIC: Why even god can’t reach a two-state solution

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    1. dcomplex

      Did the thought ever cross your mind that it is the Arabs who are saying “we will not accept a state without the Old City of Jerusalem”, and since they know Israelis are not willing to give it up, that means they are willing to forego a state potentially forever until they realize their fantasy of control of Jerusalem? It is a fallacy that since Israel is not willing to move on one particular point that it means it is not interested in reaching a deal. The goal of the negotiations was achieving a two state solution, not getting Israel to give up its capital city.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn8

      Most Israeli Jews reject the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, reject giving up any part of Jerusalem, and reject withdrawing from the Jordan Valley.

      Fortunately none of these things prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state or the two state solution. That state will be smaller than the Palestinians demand and will not include East Jerusalem. It will be demilitarized and Israeli troops will ensure that rockets and other weapons do not enter it from the Jordan Valley.

      The assumption as displayed by this article that a Palestinian state must be based on the 1967 lines, must include Jerusalem and must have exclusive control over the Jordan Valley has exactly zero logical basis. Not a single one of these things is a real requirement for a Palestinian state to arise or for it to be viable. These are just things the Palestinians want, but unfortunately for them, they can’t have all that they want and are going to have to compromise for peace.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        “The assumption as displayed by this article that a Palestinian state must be based on the 1967 lines, must include Jerusalem and must have exclusive control over the Jordan Valley has exactly zero logical basis.”

        Most Israelis would agree with you.

        Unless Israelis can be guaranteed of their security there is little reason for them to accede to a terrorist state being created on their borders. Palestine at best will not have full sovereignty. It will be demilitarized.

        Even Tzipi Livni says the Palestinians will not have full sovereignty in their state. Gershon Baskin recognizes Israel will require a security presence in the West Bank. Yaalon describes what Palestinians will have as autonomy just as Rabin had described it.

        The Palestinians can accept that their glass will be half full and they will control what goes on in Palestinian areas or they can continue on their current trajectory of trying to force Israel to do what is not in its interests to do.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ray

          Why should the national aspirations and desire for dignity of one people be halted on the whims and paranoia of another?

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Ray, maybe you should ask that question of the Palestinians who have rejected Jewish self determination since 1948 and continue to reject recognizing that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people.

            Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        Help me out here Kolumn8. Just what do you think a Nation State is? Putting aside, just for the moment issues of Jerusalem and land size (though strictly speaking if Palestine can be a State without Jerusalem and a smaller land size, I guess so can Israel) I’m intrigued as to your notion of Israeli control of the Jordon Valley?

        Clearly, you do not see things like sovereignty as a characteristic of a Nation/State.

        Would you anticipate the Israeli blockade of Gaza’s coast as also being necessary. I can understand that Israel and Egypt may want to keep their land borders closed, and that is their right to do so, but Israel has no rights to Gaza territorial waters or its airspace.

        Surely, you are arguing for a semi-autonomous Palestinian enclave and not a State?

        Reply to Comment
    3. Richard Witty

      Who conducted the poll?

      Didn’t you question the characteristics of the sample?

      Similar percentage of the right favor giving up parts of East Jerusalem, as leftists that are reluctant to, per the poll, no?

      What is your argument for why it should be?

      That is the critical information to convey.

      NOT everyone knows the arguments, certainly not everyone keeps the arguments in mind.

      The argument to Israelis is that they will be more secure with peace, mutual health, genuine support of Palestine.

      Unless that is not a statement that can be made.

      Then there truly is no possible center-left.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        “The argument to Israelis is that they will be more secure with peace, mutual health, genuine support of Palestine.

        Unless that is not a statement that can be made.”

        It is not a statement which can be made. Since 1993, the surrender of areas to Palestinian administration and control only resulted in increased attacks against and greater insecurity for the Israeli public. The pull out of all citizens and troops from Gaza has not resulted in anything resembling security and has resulted in 3 wars.

        The latest PSR poll of September 2, 2014 shows that 88% of the Palestinians approved of Hamas’ actions in the most current war. 72% want to see Hamas’ arms weapons and tactics transferred to the West Bank and 54% approved of the murders of the 3 Israeli teenagers. This leads most Israelis, left center and right, to believe that any Palestinian state would be a terrorist entity.

        There is no reason to believe that even if a peace agreement was arranged that Palestinians would view it as an end to the conflict but would see it as only the first stage of the eventual takeover of 1948 Israel by them.

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard Witty

          I’m not convinced that your conclusions are accurate.

          I consistently read, including in this data, that the majority have a conditional view, meaning “If we are treated well, we will treat well.”

          Reply to Comment
    4. Richard

      Very misleading headline. Israelis don’t want Palestine to have 1967 borders – a hugely significant part of the question. They want Tel Aviv to be defensible. Oh how stubborn of them. I don’t see how ppl can deliberately mislead this much in their articles and still see themselves as reporters.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Bruce Gould

      The best journalism on contemporary Israeli society can be found in Max Blumenthal’s ‘Goliath’. There are over 300 reviews of the book on Amazon – I recommend checking them out, both the positive and negative ones.

      Reply to Comment
      • Noe

        Bwahahaahahahaahahahahaahaha!!!

        Let me guess, you ARE Max Blumenthal.

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Let me guess, you’re Kahane’s grandson?

          Reply to Comment
          • Noe

            Not too clever, are ya?

            Reply to Comment
      • Aaron

        The negative “reviews” on Blumenthal’s book have absolutely no valid points. My guess is that most of them were were written by paid Hasbarists.

        It’s the usual “anti-Semitic” smear or accusations of a so-called “far-left propangada conspiracy”.

        The usual cards from supporters of Israeli aggression and occupation.

        Reply to Comment
        • Nina F

          It’s well-known that Eric Alterman (who writes for The Nation magazine, as Max Blumenthal used to), cannot stand Blumenthal’s views. So I wouldn’t go so far as to say these people are “paid Hasbarists.”

          They wouldn’t need to be. There are enough people, goodness knows, who find Blumenthal objectionable—however irrational their complaints against him may be.

          Reply to Comment
          • Aaron

            Blumenthal challenged Alterman in an open debate, but Alterman refused most probably because he can’t refute the facts in his book.

            If you go on Youtube, it’s obvious how Zionists become enraged whenever they lose a a debate mainly because the facts are stacked against them, and they can no longer control the narrative anymore, most especially on social media. They’re like fish out of water.

            In any case, the pro-Israel line is falling apart because the more people find the truth about that state, how it really came into existence, its policies toward the Palestinians (past and present), and how the current government is lead by extremist fundamentalist lunatics who openly deny a Palestian state and who consider that Palestinians as a people do not exist, then support for Israel will increasingly become untenable.

            Not even lobbies in high political circles in the US, Europe or Canada will be able to turn the tide.

            Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Here are some commments on Max’s book or the writer:

        J.J. Goldberg, left wing editor of the Forward:

        “Blumenthal doesn’t know the history and ignores the inconvenient bits of the present, which is one reason his book has flopped.”

        Eric Altman from the Nation which published the book:

        “Blumenthal proves a profoundly unreliable narrator. The book, he writes, shows “selectivity” toward truth. Its chapter titles are “juvenile,” its accounts “often deliberately deceptive.” and

        “I did not expect it to be remotely as awful as it is…. It is no exaggeration to say that this book could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed).”

        Daniel Greenfield:

        “Goliath exists in an alternate universe in which Israel isn’t fighting terrorism, but going on a killing spree motivated by racism, religious fanaticism and a desire to eat puppies. If Max Blumenthal were reporting on WW2, the story would begin with an armada of American bombers flown by demented murderers hopped up on war propaganda bombing the unarmed and innocent National Socialists of Berlin.”

        Reply to Comment
      • GilGamesh

        Please Blumenthal went to the Borat school of journalism. He uses the same techniques. Except Borat is funny and Max is pathetic.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Ilan

      Why waste time on a biased poll by a biased “newspaper” trying to paint reality it its colors?

      Israelis, like all people, will only do what they are forced to do. If the US and Europe put their foot down, or if the Palestinians are willing to shed enough blood to gain their independence, Israel will reach an agreement.

      If they don’t, the annexation and transfer of Palestinians will continue.

      It is a tragedy, but one that has been played many times through history.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Noe

      After seeing what the Islamic State is doing, after watching the destruction of Syria, after seeing the riots on the Temple Mount when small and peaceful Jewish groups come to pray, and after experiencing the recent Gaza war with its 3000 Palestinian rockets and 34 tunnels into Israel, why would any sane Israeli agree to a Palestinian state as described?

      If you put it on ’67 borders, you have the problem of tunnels and rockets into key Israeli population centers.

      If you give the Arabs any part of areas important to Jews or even physically divide Jerusalem, you will watch Jews being cut off from key areas and especially holy sites.

      If you walk away from the Jordan Valley, you give strategic advantage to anyone attacking from the east and in a number of years that could be Islamic State.

      This is the time to stop with the lies about what the Palestinians want, to cut back on the pressure being placed on Israel to give up advantages it will likely need in the future (the present day Golan demonstrates why) and to stop with the charade that Israel is somehow a place that deserves such profound criticism. Really, the Middle East is on fire, the authoritarian loonies are in control elsewhere, the Palestinians are explicit every day about what they really want and still we have people demanding from Israel that it give up its advantages and defenses.

      Insanity.

      Reply to Comment
      • Nina F

        Well, you’re right, Noe. You’re right, everyone.

        It IS a form of insanity, I suppose, a kind of group psychosis, to argue that the Palestinian people wish to be treated with dignity and enjoy full human and civil rights.

        It’s completely CRAZY—isn’t it?— to imagine that they should be entitled to self-determination: to make their own laws and establish their own national policies, as the State of Israel has been able to do. Such insanity!

        I agree. A far better resolution to this conflict would consist of one binational state, shared by Israelis and Palestinians—where *everyone* enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the law.

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Palestinian Self determination has been pursued as a means of denial of self determination for the Jewish people in Israel. In 1948 Palestinians rejected two states for two peoples and embarked on a war of genocide to destroy the emerging Jewish state and its people. The result of the war was the establishment of a Jewish state in undetermined boundaries and occupation of Judea and Samaria by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt.

          Between 1949 and 1967 the Palestinian Arabs could have self determined, established a state and commenced nation building. They did not. Instead they tried to undermine and destroy the Jewish state by tens of thousands of attacks and infiltrations.

          In 1964 the PLO was formed for the purpose of destroying Israel and its institutions and returning the 48 lands to the Arab world. IN 1968 the PLO amended its 1954 Charter to include the building of a national Palestinian consciousness as a separate people and a state for them in all of Mandate Palestine, requiring the destruction of the Israeli state and the expulsion of all Jews expect those who lived there in Ottoman times. The PLO embarked on waves of terrorism to attempt to reach its goals.

          IN 1978 the Israelis and Egyptians offered autonomy to the Palestinians to rule themselves with the establishment of a state in the future. The Palestinians rejected the offer and refused to join in peace negotiations. Instead they continued with terrorism and shelling of Northern Israel from Lebanon.

          In 1988 Hamas was formed for the purpose of destroying Israel and in doing so committing genocide against the Jews.

          IN 1993 Israel offered peace and the chance again for Palestinians to rule themselves. Palestinians used the opportunity to build up terrorist networks in the West Bank and Gaza instead of nation building. Terrorism was conducted against Israeli civilians on a scale which dwarfed the number of deaths from Palestinian attacks in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

          The Palestinians established corrupt, autocratic mini-states in the West Bank and Gaza which denied the basic human rights to its own people. In 2000, 2001 and 2008 the Palestinians rejected offers for their own state. Their response was the killing of Israeli civilians in the second intifada.

          In 2007 Hamas by a coup created its own mini-state based on Sharia law, jihad and the destruction of the Israeli state. Hamas has fought 3 wars now against Israel and is not prepared to lay down its arms.

          Neither the PA nor Hamas are willing to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Hamas is not prepared to recognize or make a peace agreement with Israel. Palestinians continue to reject the Jewish people’s right of having self determined and established a Jewish state. The Palestinians continue to reject the right of Israel to be secure against attacks.

          The Palestinians still seek to destroy the Jewish nature of the Israeli state either through military means or by flooding Israel with the descendants of Arab refugees from the 1949 war.

          The cry for a bi-national state with Arabs who seek to destroy the Jewish state is just a call for the destruction of Jewish self determination and the only Jewish state in the world. The call has nothing to do with human rights when the call denies the Jewish people the right to have exercised their own self determination.

          Reply to Comment
        • Noe

          Nina, I’m making a serious statement and you want to play games.

          Who said anything against treating Palestinians “with dignity…[and] full human and civil rights?” First of all, the vast majority of Palestinians live under PA rule. The absence of dignity and human rights most certainly falls at the feet of their leadership and I’m glad you are fighting to get Hamas and the PA to give their people freedom and human rights. They deserve it.

          Second, the Palestinians were offered their own state a number of times by Israel. They refused. They didn’t just refuse. They launched a war, they murdered Israelis, they pulled out a massive international series of anti-Israel campaigns.

          Now history has brought serious and severe new challenges to the region and Israel has to learn lessons from what has happened with the Golan and Syria as well as with its evacuation of Gaza.

          “A far better resolution to this conflict would consist of one binational state…”

          Excellent idea except for a couple of problems. One, Palestinians don’t want one. Two, Israelis don’t want one. Three, the only true democracy in the Middle East is Israel. Since all the other states and territories are controlled by Arabs and only Israel is controlled by non-Arabs, the idea of experimenting with Israeli democracy by adding several million Arab voters seems suicidal as far as democracy goes.

          Heck, the Palestinians couldn’t even keep a democracy going in a period when all their politicians had to do to excuse their own incompetence was to place the blame on Israel. What makes you think a democracy would last in Israel if they move in?

          Reply to Comment
    8. Phyllis Mandel

      If the Poll is accurate, than how do the 76% opposed to a Palestinian State propose to deal with the discrimination Palestinians face? Are they for a 1-State solution with equal rights for Palestinians? And, what do the Palestinians want? Do they want their own state, or do they want equal rights in Israel? From what I have read, they want their own state.

      Reply to Comment
      • Noe

        Well, they kind of want their own state of Palestine, without any Jews living in it, next to another state that is called Israel that would have a majority of Palestinians living in it.

        Hope that helps with comprehending all the reading you’re doing.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Victor Arajs

      This article demonstrates why force is necessary. The US, EU, Iran, Russia, China and Arab states must dismantle zionism and return Palestine to its true owners

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ben Zakkai

      Greed.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Brian

      “most Jewish Israelis oppose a two-state solution”

      Time is not on their side:

      http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/.premium-1.621528
      Netanyahu’s non-democratic Jewish State of Israel
      By S. Daniel Abraham
      Published 15:55 19.10.14

      …The land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River today has a population of six million Jews and 5.8 million Arabs. …calling Israel a Jewish state is becoming less and less accurate. In a few years, Israel will not be a Jewish state at all, but rather its population will consist of an approximately equal number of Jews and Arabs. Leading demographers now say that the Arab population is growing more rapidly than the Jewish population.

      …The boycotts, delegitimization and harm to Israel’s international standing, of which the recent British parliament vote is the most recent manifestation, is increasing specifically because Israel is ruling over another people who seek independence.

      The implications therefore of not helping to bring about a Palestinian state are as catastrophic for Israel as it is for the Palestinians. The Palestinians living under Jewish rule will grow in numbers and come to exceed and eventually far exceed the Jews. There will be a one-state solution, and the one-state that will either be a Jewish-controlled state without democratic rights for its Arab residents, or a state in which the Jews are a minority….

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard

        And there is that mystical 6 million again. Keeps popping up with extraordinary frequency.
        Even though the curators at Auschwitz modified the numbers on the plaque downwards (from 4 million to “about 1 and a half million!!), we are still reminded that ‘6 million died”, if we dare to criticise Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.
        Google for “significance of 6 million”.. Historically fascinating info.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Carlos Kort

      What Israel wants exactly…??? They want something that don`t exist in this world. They want a security guarantee, which don`t exist. You simply can`t know when an accident will happens. One can seek for an insurance for eventually damage that could take place. There for we have insurances, but an insurance that no damage will take place, is beyond reality. They want to keep the Palestinians for ever occupied…??? But on the other hand they don`t want no opposition nor terror. quiet Palestinians who except their faith silently. this will never happens. Injustice cannot be excepted silently, by no one. So Israel will never have a peaceful life, if this should be the reality. What do they think Palestinians are fools, they will fight you back, if it have to be with stones. Israel will never have peace. You have to give some to get some. That is the name of the game. If ISIS could cross the Israelian bother, this occupation would be over in an instant, and that would teach them how to behave decently an fair. Israel is an oppressive Apartheid state. For Apartheid there is no more place in this world. I think Israel should wake up, Fair would be that all the settlements that were build on Palestine land should be hand over to the refugees Palestinians who had to fled there homes while there houses and land was stolen by Israelis until today. justice should be done…..Cajosch

      Reply to Comment
    13. Yeah, right

      The conclusion is that Israel has fallen for its own propaganda i.e. it really does believe that if it refuses to discuss any topic except The Best Way To Perpetuate The Status Quo then – Obviously! How could it be otherwise? – everyone will eventually agree that Israel can have everything that it wants.

      It reminds me of another regime, one that insisted that all will be well if only they circled the laagers and refused to face reality.

      Going to end the same way, no question about it…..

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        Not going to end the same way. No question about it…..

        Reply to Comment
        • Yeah, right

          Circle those wagons as much as you like, Gustav, but it’s not going to affect the end-result.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Not it won’t but we will be the ones who will be satisfied with the end result, Whatshisface. And you will be crying rivers of tears.

            Reply to Comment
    14. Two points.
      First of the participants 2/3rds were from the right.
      Left leaning favored Statehood.
      Second, the question was not posed in terms of DEFENCEABLE BORDERS.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Average American

      There’s Kerry again, what an embarrassment. Dick sucker. “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist” is his famous quote. He’s an Israel-Firster. Lots of them in my government.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Moses

      Most Israeli Jews are not JEWISH

      Reply to Comment
    17. Richard

      505 is not a representative sample.
      the organisation that held this “poll” is clearly a right wing think sink.
      No surprise the result they are trying to leverage from. Pure BS.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Israel has a right to Israel far more than the England on Falkland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, in fact – today the Indians Pakistanis and Arabs have more right on London more than

      Reply to Comment
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