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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The headline and what's behind it

The headline says that a large majority of Israelis want 'peace negotiations' with the 'Palestinian Authority,' but what's behind the headline issued by the Leftist Tel Aviv University War and Peace index is that most of the Israeli public wouldn't give up very much in those negotiations.
Asked if the security situation will change in 2010, 57% of Jews said it will not, compared to 19% who think there will be progress toward peace and 13% who predict another round of fighting between Israel and Palestinians. Among the Arab public, there were almost twice as many optimists, with fully 35% saying there would be progress towards peace in the coming year.

Alongside the general support for negotiations, Israelis trust the government's handling of Israel's security challenges.

Fully 78% of Israelis believe the government is functioning "well or even better," or "medium" (42% and 36% respectively) in dealing with Israel's security challenges. Just 16% say it is functioning "poorly." (In contrast, the government earned a failing grade on social issues, with 60% of Israelis giving it a "poor" grade, and just 6% saying it has functioned "well or even better" on these issues.)

This trust was reflected in different ways in the survey. For example, asked if the government was correct in rejecting the latest Hamas offer to exchange Gilad Schalit for terrorists "with blood on their hands," a majority (53%) said they supported the government's decision. Just 35.5% disagreed with the government's position.

According to the study's authors, this figure marks a change from previous polls in which Israelis said Schalit should be exchanged even at the cost of freeing the "heaviest" terrorists held by Israel.


Similarly, the Jewish public tended to support the government's position on the issue of opening Road 443 to Palestinian traffic. Some 63% support the government-backed status quo, which leaves the major artery to Jerusalem closed to Palestinian traffic from nearby villages out of fear that such traffic will bring with it terrorist attacks. Less than half, 30%, support the High Court of Justice's ruling that the current policy violates international and Israeli law and must be changed.

The poll found most of the support for the High Court's position coming from those identifying with the political Left, with 100% of Meretz voters and 54% of Labor voters siding with the Court.

Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly sided with the Court (83%), though at a lower rate than Meretz voters.
Sometimes, Jews can be pretty smart. If someone asked you whether you favored peace or war, you'd probably say you favor peace. But not if peace meant someone would be free to kill you, God forbid.


At 6:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is waking up very slowly from the costly and bloody Oslo hangover. There is a recognition among most Israeli Jews the kind of peace they want is the one the Arabs will never accept. So there's more to the story than is often revealed by a day's headlines.


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