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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Israeli public don’t support 2 States

A very interesting article. Left-Zionists always make great play of the supposed support for 2 States in Israel itself, despite the fact that they keep voting for people opposed to such a concept. The articles below, and the excellent introduction to the first, need no further addition
Tony Greenstein


Israeli left-Zionists and people like Uri Avnery and Reuven Kaminer are always telling us that, according to public opinion polls, the majority of Israelis support the so-called "2 state solution". The implication is that the majority of Israelis recognize Palestinian rights, and are prepared to treat their Palestinian compatriots as equals, and that ONLY the governments of Israel are unwilling to comply with the wishes of the people and engage in good-faith negotiations leading to a truly independent Palestinian state beside Israel.

I am not dealing now with the unprincipled nature of that position. I am also not dealing with the fact that, pragmatically, that "solution" is no solution. I am only dealing with the assessment of Israeli public opinion. Public opinion can be guaged in many ways: by surveys, by election results, by participation in extra-parliamentary action, by distribution of papers, magazines and other media, by membership in organizations.

None of these - NONE OF THESE - support the allegation of the Israeli left-Zionists and "non-Zionists" . One has to wonder why they spread this story.

No. Israelis will learn to treat Palestinians as equals when they recognize and renounce the privileges they have received by serving as an imperialist outpost in the Arab East, the largest aircraft carrier in the US Sixth Fleet, a "little Jewish Ulster". They will begin to treat Palestinians as equals when they recognize that the State of Israel was established on the ruins of Arab Palestinian society. They will treat Palestinians as equals when they recognize that the Zionist ideology and its institutions are racist and segregationist precursors to genocide. They will recognize that the attempt to maintain a "Jewish state" in the Arab East is a suicidal and a genocidal project, that threatens the personal security and the human rights of all.

As practical steps of solidarity, Israeli peace activists and pro-democracy activists can recognize and agitate for recognition of the Palestine refugees' right of return to rebuild their homes and communities in peace alongside their Israeli neighbors. They can recognize Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as political prisoners, and demand their release.

What will cause Israeli left-Zionists and "non-Zionists" to recognize the reality rather than wallow in self-defeating fantasies? International solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians will help. Palestinian mass action will help. Effective boycott, divestment, and sanctions will help. All of these will help. But, honest Israeli peace activists and pro-democracy activists must also take responsibility for the political integrity of their own positions and their own actions. Their own mobilization in defense of Um al-Fahm can serve as a paradigm.

To clarify: I take no comfort from the results of the Angus-Reid poll. This poll merely confirms and corroborates the data received from all other sources. Too many Israelis live in a fool's paradise, Ehud Barak's "villa in a jungle". Too many Israelis think that they can fool all of the people all of the time. Too many Israelis think that the key to their security is Palestinian misery, that they can be up when the Palestinians are down. More specifically, too many Israelis think that it is "reasonable" to seek separation ("hafrada", segregation, partition) as an alternative to domination. They refuse to recognize that segregation is a form of domination, as shown by the history of Jim Crow in the USA and Apartheid in South Africa and centuries of ghettoization, pogroms, and extermination in Christian Europe. In Gaza, segregation was the precursor to mass murder.

What is the alternative to the discredited "2 state solution"? A non-Zionist solution -- regime change, and the establishment of a non-sectarian democratic regime that respects human rights.
This public opinion poll should help develop a welcome corrective to the positions of well-meaning Israeli peaceniks.

Henry Lowi

Israelis Clearly Oppose Two-State Solution

February 16, 2009

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - A majority of Israli adults oppose the formation of a Palestinian state neighbouring their own country, according to a poll by Maagar Mochot released by Channel 2. 51 per cent of respondents are against the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, while 32 per cent support it.

The former British mandate of Palestine was instituted at the end of World War I, to oversee a territory in the Middle East that formerly belonged to the Ottoman Empire. After the end of World War II and the Nazi holocaust, the Zionist movement succeeded in establishing an internationally recognized homeland. In November 1947, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the formation of a Jewish state.

In 1948, the British government withdrew from the mandate and the state of Israel was created in roughly 15,000 square kilometres of the mandate’s land, with the remaining areas split under the control of Egypt and Transjordan. Since then, the region has seen constant disagreement between Israel and the Palestinians, represented for decades by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Wars broke out in the region in the second half of the 20th Century, involving Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Around 750,000 Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their territory during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The "right of return"—under which Palestinians aim to re-occupy their homes in Israel—has always been a questionable point in peace negotiations. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from the war and their descendants still live in shantytown camps run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), next to Gaza cities and towns.

During the six-day war in 1967, Israel gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is currently heading the Palestinian Authority from the West Bank, endorsed by Israel and most of the Western international community. Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas has become the de-facto leader in the Gaza Strip.

On Feb. 10, Israel held a legislative election. The outcome was too close to call, with the ruling Kadima and the rightist Likud party garnering roughly the same amount of votes. Israeli president Shimon Peres will ask either Kadima leader Tzipi Livni or Likud leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government.

Following the election, David Makovsky—director of the Washington Institute’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process—commented on the way a new government would deal with current situation, saying, "Livni deeply believes that a two-state solution is in Israel’s national interest based on the democratic threats of holding onto the West Bank. You don’t sense that with Bibi [Netanyahu]. "

Polling Data
In light of the experience with disengagement, the Second Lebanon War and the war against Hamas in Gaza, do you support or oppose the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria?
Support 32%
Oppose 51%
Neither 8%
Not sure 9%

Poll Shows Most Israelis and Palestinians Willing To Live Side By Side Peacefully - Or Does It?
April 22, 2009

the results of an independent poll suggesting that most Israelis and Palestinians are willing to live alongside each other peacefully in separate states - 74% of Palestinians and 78% of Israelis.
Dig a little deeper into the polling data, however, and the results are not nearly so encouraging as the organization that conducted the poll, One Voice Movement, would have us believe.

For example:

- With respect to final status, 59% of Palestinians polled deemed an Islamic Waqf from the Jordan River to the Sea as "essential," and an additional 12% as "desirable." 71% said "greater Palestine" from the Jordan to the Sea was essential and 11% found that option desirable. How these apparent preferences square with a two-state solution is left unsaid.

- In contrast, only 17% of Israelis deemed the "greater Israel" option "essential" while 47% found "greater Israel" to be "unacceptable."

- The numbers for acceptance of the 2-state solution are only arrived at through some creative math, adding up the 38% who say two states are "essential," 15% who find it "desirable," 10% who say it is "acceptable," and 11% "tolerable."

- The numbers of Israelis supporting the two-state solution are similar. 32% say "essential;" 13% "desirable;" 16% acceptable; and 17% "tolerable."

- Among Israelis, the preferred option seems the two state solution, with 45% calling it "essential or desirable" and just 21% unacceptable. Among Palestinians, 53% found the two state solution essential or desirable and 24% unacceptable. These are probably the most encouraging numbers.

- A rebuke to those who favor a one-state solution: the shared state option was found "unacceptable" by 66% of both Israelis and Palestinians. On this, at least, both sides seem to agree.

- The numbers of pure rejectionists was around equal on both sides: 24% of Palestinians and 21% of Israelis deemed the two-state solution "unacceptable."

- Obviously, though, one has to look closer at what the two sides mean when they talk about a two-state solution. An overwhelming majority of Palestinians foresee a right of return and compensation for 1948 refugees and their descendants, while nearly as large a majority in Israel find that prospect unacceptable (indeed, such an absolute right of return would destroy the Jewish majority in Israel). Thus:

- 87% of Palestinians said the right of return and compensation were "essential," and an additional 5% "desirable." 48% deemed the right of return to Israel without compensation as "unacceptable." The option of limiting the number of refugees to Israel to family members and numbers agreed to by the two parties was deemed "unacceptable" by 75%.

- The only options that seem even close to passable are (1) Israli recognition of the suffering of Palestinians and resettlement of most refugees to the West Bank and Gaza with some to Israel, deemed "unacceptable" by only 24%, and (2) the UN closing the refugee camps and resettling refugees with compensation outside Israel, which was "unacceptable," to 51% of Palestinians, but at least tolerable to 47%.

- Israelis were only slightly more flexible on the right of return. A full 60% found "unacceptable" the option of Israeli recognition of the refugees' suffering and a return by most to the West Bank and Gaza with some returning to Israel. 77% found the right of return with compensation unacceptable as did 83% without compensation (one has to wonder why fewer were opposed to return with compensation than without). Only 14% opposed resettlement with compensation by the UN. A large majority of Israelis would accept or tolerate the return of refugees to a Palestinian state.

- 93% of Palestinians said it was "essential" that Palestine have an army. 63% of Israelis said that was "unacceptable."

- On the issue of settlements, 98% of Palestinians said that it was "essential" that all settlers leave the West Bank and settlements demolished. Among Israelis, 53% said the removal of all settlers and demolishing of settlements was "unacceptable," while the remainder would seem to accept this option. 51% were opposed to dismantling most of the settlements, move settlers to large blocks and exchange land.

- Another curiosity: "The idea that settlers who choose to stay in Palestine/a future Palestine might like to take up Palestinian citizenship seems to be equally 'unacceptable' to both Palestinians at 61% and Israelis at 69% while having the option to choose citizenship is also rejected at 66% and 58% 'unacceptable' for Palestinians and Israelis respectively."

- On the issue of borders, 86% of Palestinians ('essential or desirable') would like Israel to withdraw to the 67 Border. 60% of Israelis consider this option 'unacceptable'. The potential for compromise would appear to be for Israel to withdraw to the 67 Border with adjustments through agreement of equivalent exchange of land. This option is 'unacceptable' to 30% of Palestinians and 39% of Israelis and 'essential or desirable' for 49% of Palestinians and 20% of Israelis with another 21% 'acceptable' and 11% 'tolerable.'

- On the issue of Jerusalem, the parties seem to be irreconcilably divided. 91% of Palestinians desribe all of Jerusalem being part of Palestine as "essential." 45% of Israelis say it is "essential" that all of Jerusalem remain in Israel with another 11% saying it is "desirable."

- With regards to the Old City the suggestion that it should be under international control was equally 'unacceptable' to both Israelis and Palestinians at 72% and 71% respectively. Similarly joint control of the Old City was not particularly attractive at 69% 'unacceptable' for Israelis and 59% 'unacceptable' for Palestinians. Similarly large majorities on both sides also opposed division of Jerusalem in various permutations.

- Asked to identify the problems with the peace process from a list of 20. The top five for Palestinians were 'The freedom of Palestinians from occupation/Israeli rule' 1st at 94% 'very significant' (15th on the Israeli list); 'The settlements' 2nd at 89% (13th on the Israeli list); 'The substandard living conditions of the people in Gaza' and 'The security wall' 3rd and 4th both at 88% 'very significant' (16th and 21st on the Israeli list) and 'The Independence of the Palestinian economy' 5th at 87% (17th on the Israeli list).

- The top five problems for the Israelis were 'Terror has reinforced the conflict' 1st at 65% 'very significant' (15th on the Palestinian list) followed by 'Maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel' 2nd at 62% (16th on the Palestinian list) then 'Incitement to hatred' 3rd at 52% 'very significant' (20th on the Palestinian list); 'Agreements not implemented for lack of trust between Palestinians and Israelis' was 4th at 48% (12th on the Palestinian list) and 'The problem has become global' 5th at 42% 'very significant'.

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