Poll: Israelis oppose withdrawal from Judea and Samaria for peace

Fearing Palestinian violence and loss of security, Israelis are not willing to cede Judea and Samaria for peace. 

Support among Israeli Jews for a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria in the eventuality of a diplomatic solution has significantly decreased over the past decade, a new poll shows.

The poll, conducted by leading Israeli pollster Mina Tzemach for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) this month, shows that willingness to withdraw from Judea and Samaria as part of a peace agreement declined from 60 percent in 2005 to only 36 percent in 2017.

Support for the Clinton Parameters, proposed by President Bill Clinton in December 2000 following stagnating negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, declined from 59 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2017. The Clinton Parameters were guidelines for a permanent status agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The vast majority, 79 percent, say it is important to retain a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, while 83 percent oppose transferring the Temple Mount to the Palestinians.

A massive 88 percent say that Israel should not withdraw from territories that border on Ben-Gurion Airport. Large swaths of Samaria directly overlook the strategic area.

The majority of respondents, 81 percent, say there should be no ceding from territories bordering the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway (Route 443), which serves as a secondary route connecting the two cities.

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Apparently fearing regional instability, 76 percent want Israel to retain full security control of Judea and Samaria, while 81 percent say it is important that Israel retain sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, which borders the Hashemite Kingdom.

Fear and Mistrust of Palestinians

Concurring with a basic demand consistently put forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 71 percent say an agreement should be conditioned on Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The poll indicates that the Israeli public does not agree to Palestinian demands for an independent state on all the territory of Judea and Samaria with its capital in Jerusalem. Therefore, it is difficult to see how any agreement is currently possible, the JCPA explained.

Furthermore, “The poll reflects the suspicions Jewish Israelis have of Palestinian intentions and their awareness of the resulting security dangers, especially in light of the current realities in the region. The poll results should clarify for those who wish to promote an agreement that if they want to succeed in promoting a peace agreement, the first step needs to be to increase the trust among the Israeli public for any agreement.”

“The only way to achieve this is to attempt to have the Palestinians change their narrative, to stop their one-sided moves against Israel in international forums, and to stop paying salaries to terrorists and lauding them as heroic role models,” the JCPA concluded.

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By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News