Palestinian leader in Canada: Shoot Israeli Jews if they don’t leave Jerusalem. JTA, August 5, 2013.
Fatah celebrates murder. By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. Palestinian Media Watch, August 6, 2013.
Glorifying terrorists and terror. Palestinian Media Watch.
There may be no objective reason to believe that the new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will succeed and a good chance that they will actually make things worse in the Middle East. But that hasn’t stopped Secretary of State John Kerry’s fans on the op-ed pages of our leading newspapers from continuing to applaud his efforts. Both the Washington Post’s David Ignatius and the New York Times’s Thomas Friedman think Kerry’s efforts are inspired and even clever. But apparently most Israelis don’t agree. That’s the takeaway from a new poll conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University published yesterday.
The poll … found that 63 percent of Jews in Israel oppose a withdrawal to the 1967 lines with land swaps as part of any peace arrangement with the Palestinian Authority, even if it meant Israel would hold onto the Etzion Bloc, directly south of Jerusalem; Ma’aleh Adumim, east of the capital; and Ariel in the central West Bank about 34 kilometers (21 miles) east of Tel Aviv. Assuming Israeli retention of Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and other settlement blocs, 58% of Jewish respondents were opposed to the dismantling of other settlements.
The poll was conducted among 602 respondents in late July, after the announcement of new peace talks with the Palestinians, and has a statistical error of 4.5%. According to the survey, 50% of Jewish Israelis also oppose the transfer of Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to Palestinian Authority control with a special arrangement for Jewish holy sites.
These results, which seemingly contradict other surveys that show that a majority would back a peace deal if it were put to a referendum, will doubtlessly be interpreted in some quarters as evidence that proves Israelis really don’t want peace. But all these numbers tell us is that most Israelis have a better understanding of Palestinian political culture than Kerry, Friedman, or Ignatius. Though the desire for peace in Israel remains high, if most there don’t think territorial withdrawals are a good idea, it’s because they have no faith in the willingness of the Palestinians to make peace or to abstain from violence even if an accord was signed.