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Most Jews in Israel Oppose a Palestinan State

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Submitted by Prof, Paul Eidelberg (Israel), May 17, 2009 at 17:35

I have serious doubts about the contention that a majority of Israel's Jewish population favors the so-called "two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict." Let's examine contrary evidence drawn from three sources: demonstrations, opinion polls, and election results.

On September 7, 1993, one week before the September 13 signing of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles (hereafter referred to as "Oslo"), some 450,000 Jews assembled in Jerusalem and demonstrated against that agreement. Yona Presburg documents more compelling evidence in his monumental work, Ruach Acheret (Another Spirit), which graphically displays how Jews in virtually every city and town in Israel held vigorous demonstrations against Oslo, year after year after year.

Now consider the results of two elections. In the February 2001 election, Ariel Sharon received 62.4% of the votes cast. This was a landslide victory over Ehud Barak who had offered Yasser Arafat 95% of Judea and Samaria including the Old City and the Temple Mount. True, the "West Bank" was not the only issue in that election, since Arafat had launched his terror war the previous September. Nevertheless, Sharon's stunning victory indicates that most Israeli's opposed Labor's territory-for-peace policy.

Moreover, in the January 2003 election, the parties opposed to Labor's policy of "unilateral disengagement" from Gaza won 84 Knesset seats. Since disengagement was the paramount issue of that election, the election was tantamount to a national referendum.

Turning to public opinion polls, consider how Jews answered the following questions:

Ÿ "If Israel had to choose between peace and annexation of the territories held since the 1967 war which would you choose?" 54% chose annexation (July 1984).

Ÿ "In peace negotiations with the Arabs, Israel should suggest territorial compromise against suitable security guarantees." 54% disagreed (September 1986).

A survey conducted during the 1992 Knesset election campaign reported that no less than 55% of Israel's Jewish population – excluding the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza – agreed that these areas ought to "remain under Israeli rule, even if this meant hindering the peace process" (emphasis added). Only 33% favored "land for peace". No wonder the Labor Party campaigned against negotiations with the PLO. Once entrenched in office, however, Labor betrayed its pledge to the nation.

Now consider a poll commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA). The poll, reported in The Jerusalem Post on June 7, 2002, asked four questions:

1. "Do you support the proposal that Israel withdraw to the pre-Six Day War lines and agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in return for peace...?" Jews: 56% against.

2. "If it were possible to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, would you support, or oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state?" Jews 66% against.

3. "Do you support the proposal that Israel withdraw to the pre-Six Day War lines – including the Golan, the Jordan Rift Valley, the Old City of Jerusalem – and agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in return for peace...?" Jews: 80% against.

4. "Do you support the proposal that Israel withdraw to the pre-Six Day War lines – including the Golan, the Jordan Valley, the Old City of Jerusalem, and agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state – and allow Palestinian refugees the right of return to Israel instead of receiving compensation – in return for peace with the Palestinians?" Jews: 93% against.

The results of this poll indicate that a large percentage of Jews, whether motivated by religious or cultural convictions, are wedded to the Land of Israel and oppose sacrificing part of it for peace. The poll also revealed that the more Jews are made aware of the strategic assets Israel must surrender for "peace" – and I have not mentioned the loss of crucial water resources and increased vulnerability to missile attacks – the more they oppose a Palestinian state. Clearly, most Jews in Israel do not really believe they will obtain peace by yielding Jewish land to the Palestinian Arabs.

Despite the incessant propaganda of Israel's leftwing dominated media, a poll published by Independent Media Review Analysis on May 18, 2007 reported that clear majorities of Israeli Jews believe Palestinian Arabs want to destroy Israel and reject land-for-peace deals as well as unilateral concessions to Palestinian Arabs.

Incidentally, Jewish skepticism about Palestinian Arabs extends to Israel's own Arab citizens. A University of Haifa poll released on June 21, 2004 revealed that 64% of the Jewish public in Israel believes that the government should encourage Israeli Arabs to emigrate. 55% said Israeli Arabs endanger national security, while 45% said they support revoking Israeli Arabs' right to vote and hold political office.

If a majority of the Jews in Israel distrust Israel's Arab citizens—and polls indicate that most of these Arabs identify with the "Palestinians"—I find it hard to believe that a majority of Israel's Jewish population supports the establishment of an Arab Islamic state in Judea and Samaria. I therefore suspect tendentiousness in any studies to the contrary.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I linked in the article to the weblog entry where my statistics came from.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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