The polls show that a majority of Likud-Beiteinu and the even farther right Habayit Hayehudi voters would support a peace deal establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders if Israel was allowed to retain major West Bank settlement blocs and Jerusalem was divided.
Most Israelis, Even Right Wing Israelis, Would Divide Jerusalem For Peace
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.com
Two polls conducted by different Israeli pollsters but asking exactly the same question returned stunning results that tell much about most Israelis’ desires for peace.
The polls were both paid for by the Washington D.C.-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace but were conducted by Israeli pollsters Mina Tzemach (Dahaf) and Rafi Smith.
The polls show that a majority of Likud-Beiteinu and the even farther right Habayit Hayehudi voters would support a peace deal establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders if Israel was allowed to retain major West Bank settlement blocs and Jerusalem was divided, Ha’aretz reported.
Both polls also found that two thirds of all Israelis regardless of political affiliation would support such an agreement.
The question asked those polled was as follows:
“If the government of Israel presented a public referendum on a peace agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be implemented only after the Palestinians held up all the obligations at their end, especially the war on terror, and the United States approved of the agreement, would you support it or not?”
The principles of the supposed agreement were as follows:
• Two states - Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinians
• Palestinian refugees having the right to return only to their new country
• The Palestinian state would be demilitarized and its boundaries would be based on the 1967 lines with exchanges of equal-sized territory. Those exchanges would take into consideration Israel's security needs and would retain the large settlement blocs in Israeli hands.
• Jewish Jerusalem would be under Israeli sovereignty
• Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem would be under Palestinian sovereignty.
• The Old City of Jerusalem would be under neither side's sovereignty, but rather would be administered jointly by Israel, the Palestinians and the United States.
• The holy places would remain under religious sovereignty as they are now.
Results by specific pollster
Likud-Beiteinu: Support 57%; Oppose 25%.
Habayit Hayehudi: Support 57%; Oppose 25%.
Likud-Beiteinu: Support 58%; Oppose 34%.
Habayit Hayehudi: Support 53%; Oppose 43%.
Habayit Hayehudi respondents to the Dahaf poll, 53 percent said they would support such an agreement and 43 percent said they would not.
General public without regard to political party
Support 67%; oppose 21%.
Support 68%; oppose 25%.
When the supposed agreement was augmented by improvements like defense agreements with the United States, the disarmament of Hamas and an end to its rule over Gaza, and Arab states’ willingness to have full diplomatic relations with Israel, the general public’s acceptance of the supposed agreement reportedly rose to 75% in the Dahaf poll and 80% in the Smith poll.
The polls shatter the idea that many right of center Israeli voters see the West Bank settlements in religious or idealogical terms, and show that if Israel had a willing peace partner, peace could be possible.
It also appears to show that the views held by Greater Israel ideologues like Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Hilltop Youth and their rabbis, and the “wholeness” of the Land of Israel theology of the Chabad movement has little actual traction outside the most extreme fringes of Israeli society.