Poll: Jews Want to Keep the Jordan Valley
A public opinion poll has found that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews believe Israel should keep the Jordan Valley in any deal with the Palestinian Authority, and that to do otherwise would be dangerous. The poll was conducted by the Dachaf Institute, headed by Dr. Mina Tzemach.
Voters on both the right and left of the political spectrum were opposed to ceding control of the strategic area. Overall, 85% were opposed to giving up the Valley, a figure which included 76% of Kadima voters and 78% of Labor voters.
Seventy-one percent said giving the PA control of the Jordan Valley would endanger Israeli citizens throughout the country.
Most respondents believe that Israel should not only maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley, but should declare sovereignty in the region as well. That view was held by 93% of Likud voters, 86% of Shas voters, 75% of Kadima voters, and 69% of Labor voters.
Younger Israelis were more likely to support a declaration of sovereignty, with 91% of those ages 18-30 supporting the measure compared to 87% of those age 31-50, 84% of those age 51-60, and 70% of those over the age of 60. Support was high among immigrants to Israel, 93% of whom were in favor.
There was more support from religious Israelis as well: 95% of those describing themselves as “religious” said they support Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, compared to 87% of hareidi-religious respondents, 86% of those describing themselves as “traditionally observant,” and 81% of those who described themselves as secular.
When asked how they would vote in a national referendum regarding the Jordan Valley, 82% said they would vote against allowing the PA to take control of the area.
Eighty-four percent said they believe that if a PA state is created in Judea and Samaria, it must be demilitarized.