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Survey: More Support for Settlers, Less Belief in Negotiations

Ariel University Center of Samaria releases survey which shows that more Israelis support the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 6/17/2011, 3:11 AM / Last Update: 6/17/2011, 5:12 AM

According to the results of a public opinion survey presented on Thursday at the 21st conference of Judea and Samaria Studies at the Ariel University Center of Samaria, about half of Israel’s citizens who are not residents of Judea and Samaria (47%) would not accept evacuations of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The survey also found that 20% of Israel’s citizens are prepared to evacuate a few illegal communities, while only 12% of Israeli citizens are willing to evacuate a small number of communities in exchange for ending the conflict with the Arabs.

The number of those citizens who are prepared to evacuate a large number or all the communities in Judea and Samaria has gone down from 27% in 2010 to 14% today. Only 5% of Israelis are ready to evacuate all the communities and return to the 1949 armistice lines, found the survey.

The survey also found that most Israelis no longer believe in the political process. A large majority of those polled (64%) believes that Israel’s accepting the solution of “two states for two peoples” would do nothing to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict, or would only briefly prevent it from escalating.

It turns out that the conflict between Israel and the Arabs is perceived by a large majority of the Jewish public (74%) as a national-religious conflict over the legitimacy of the existence of a Jewish state rather than a territorial dispute on the 1949 armistice lines. 60% did not agree to the saying that the conflict is territorial.

The survey also reveals a rather positive attitude of the majority of Israeli citizens towards the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. Most respondents agree that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is an act of true Zionism (57%) and is the state of Israel’s safety belt (47%).

In addition, most respondents did not agree that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is illegal (57%), is the source of the conflict with the Arabs (57%), and is a waste of state funds (54%). Most respondents agreed that the residents of Judea and Samaria are like any other Israeli citizen (64%).

The survey has found that the Israeli public largely trusts Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. 40% said that at the present time, the settler leadership should boost Netanyahu in his efforts to minimize future concessions. 32% believed that the leadership should lead a campaign asking for a referendum before the signing a peace treaty. Less than a tenth (9%) believe that the settler leadership must act to topple the Netanyahu government and lead to elections.