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Poll: Support For Settlement Eviction Drops

Survey by Ariel University Center shows a 50% drop in support for massive settlement evictions for 'peace.'
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 6/16/2011, 6:01 PM / Last Update: 6/16/2011, 5:56 PM

Public support for a mass eviction of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria has dropped nearly 50%, according to a survey conducted by Ariel University Center's Samaria & Jordan Rift Valley R&D center.

The survey, an annually published index of public opinion on the settlement enterprise and settlers, was unveiled Thursday at an academic conference hosted at the Ariel campus.

According to the data, the percentage of Israelis supporting a massive eviction of settlers in Judea and Samaria as part of a peace treaty has declined to about 14% of the adult Jewish population. This compares to 27% last year.

The survey aslo revealed the perception of settlers as a Jewish warriors and army officers is on the rise, with 32% of respondents identifying the residents of Judea and Samaria that way. This also compares to 27% last year.

It was also found that most of the Israeli public perceives the Israeli-Arab conflict as national conflict with religious roots that impacts the very existence of a Jewish state, rather than as a territorial conflict based on the borders of 1967.

The majority of respondents said Israel agreeing to 'two states for two peoples' would do nothing to resolve the conflict and would -- at best -- only provide a short-term solution.

These numbers are in line with recent surveys conducted by Israeli media outlets saying some 67% of the Israeli public -- including an overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis -- as believing Israel should not negotiate with the PA until it becomes a clearer partner for peace.

Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home) responded to the survey results saying, "It's obvious to all reasonable people that the current political program cannot exist when there is no partner. On the other hand, there is a worrying trend in the Israeli public towards the settlers themselves. My sense is that this is due to the transitory nature of everything having to do with the Green Line in Israeli politics."