Majority of Jewish Israelis support annexation but most say it won’t happen this year

Among right-wing Israelis, 71 percent support declaring sovereignty. Nevertheless, only 32 percent of those polled think annexation will happen this year.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

With the pieces falling into place for an Israeli declaration of sovereignty over some 30 percent of Judea and Samaria, a new poll shows the majority of Jewish Israelis are in favor of applying Israeli law over those territories.

According to the Israeli Voice Index for April 2020, 52 percent of Jewish Israelis support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of extending Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. That number jumps when surveying Jewish Israeli right-wing voters (71%).

If Israel were to go forward with extending its sovereignty, only 20 percent of Israelis polled say that Palestinians in the areas affected should be granted full citizenship while 37 percent said that their legal status should remain unchanged.

Nevertheless, only 32 percent say Israel will in fact move forward with this step in the coming year.

Curiously, among Arab Israelis, fewer than half say they should be made full citizens of Israel (47%), with nine percent saying that Palestinians should not be given any political status beyond what they have today. Four and a half percent say they should be granted the status of residents, and 39 percent did not know or refused to answer the question.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on April 26 that in “a couple of months,” Israel will establish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

Netanyahu had campaigned on a promise to annex parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley. That promise took on greater meaning when it was included in the unity agreement between the Likud and Blue and White.

Netanyahu and the Likud insisted that the agreement include a provision allowing them to bring forward in Israel’s parliament the issue of annexation by summer.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that America would support Israel’s sovereignty move.

Israel’s erstwhile peace partner, the Palestinian Authority, condemned the move.

European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell is reportedly weighing ways to punish Israel if it declares sovereignty.

The Israeli Voice Index is a monthly survey conducted by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute.