The Peace Index: June 2016:
The settlements and the national interest: We opened with a general question: “Sometime after the Six Day War the settlement enterprise began to develop. In your opinion, from a perspective of 50 years later, has the settlement enterprise contributed to or damaged Israel’s national interest?” We found that a majority (52%) of the Jewish public thinks the settlement enterprise has contributed to the national interest.
...We asked: “Some claim that over the years Israeli governments have invested many resources and monies in developing the Jewish settlements and infrastructures in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, and previously also in Gaza, at the expense of other areas and populations in Israel that are disadvantaged and would have needed these resources and budgets. Others claim that there is no connection between the two because one does not come at the expense of the other. With which claim do you agree?” Here the Jewish public is divided, with a slight advantage for those who say there is no connection between investments in the territories and the lack of resources for socioeconomic problems besetting deprived areas and disadvantaged populations. (The investment in the territories comes at the expense of budgets for deprived areas and disadvantaged populations—45%; there is no connection between the two—49%.)
What is the Green Line? We asked: “In your opinion, is the following sentence true or not true: the Green Line is the Israeli border that was set in the Armistice Agreements that were signed at the end of the War of Independence between Israel and the Arab armies in 1949.” The responses show that a bit less than half of the Jewish public are sure (15%) or think (33%) that this definition is right, while 39% are sure or think that it is not (13% did not know or declined to answer). That is, only a very small minority of the Jewish public now knows for certain what the Green Line is! However, it turned out that a clear majority (63%) of the Arab interviewees knew what the Green Line is, of whom 42% were sure of it.
Because the Green Line is erased.
What is the size of the Jewish population and of the Palestinian population in the territories? A majority of the Jewish public also does not know for sure the size of the Jewish or of the Palestinian population in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. We asked how many Jews live in these territories (not counting the neighborhoods of expanded Jerusalem such as Gilo or Pisgat Ze’ev). About one-fourth gave an underestimation of 100,000-250,000, 30% answered correctly that the number is 250,000-500,000, 13% gave an overestimation of 500,000-750,000, 3% thought the correct number was 750,000 to a million, and about one-fourth did not know at all. Regarding the Palestinian population (not counting Jerusalem), the estimates were: 24%—half a million to a million, 36%—one to two million, only 10%—two million to three million (the accepted evaluation in Israel), 3%—over three million. The rest (again 27%) did not know. That is, the Jewish public underestimates the size of the Palestinian population in the territories. It turns out, then, that the Jewish public’s assessments of the current situation in the territories, and of what will happen in the future, are based to a large extent on a lack of knowledge of the facts and on incorrect estimates of the relative sizes of the populations there.
And if they knew the facts? More support.
Frequency of visits/trips in the territories: Among those who answered that they do not live in the territories and do not have family members there, 52% responded that they had not visited or taken a trip in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria during the last five years. Thirty-three percent said they had visited or taken a trip there once in a while, while only 13.5% responded that they had visited or taken a trip there frequently.
In other words, imagine how more support would be if they visited.
Would it be desirable to hold a referendum on the issue of leaving the territories?
A majority of the Jews (59%) and an even larger majority of the Arabs (73%) would favor holding a referendum on the issue of leaving the territories if, in the future, there were to be progress in talks with the Palestinians leading to a draft peace agreement that would be acceptable to the Israeli government.
Voting if a referendum were to be held in Israel today on the question of leaving the territories: We asked: “If a referendum were to be held in Israel today on whether, in principle, it is desirable to remain, as at present, in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria or to leave it while retaining the large settlement blocs, how would you vote?” A majority (52%) of the Jewish interviewees reported that in the existing situation they would vote against a withdrawal, while 36% answered that they would vote in favor. Among the Arabs a majority (69%) said that if a referendum were to be held today, they would vote in favor of leaving the territories while retaining the large settlement blocs.
Voting if there were to be a referendum based on a draft peace agreement: A slightly different distribution, almost even, would emerge if the Jewish public were to vote in a referendum in a situation where a draft agreement with the Palestinians was on the table. At present, 46% say they would vote against a withdrawal from the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, whereas 43% say they would vote in favor. Among the Arabs, the rate of voters favoring a withdrawal would exceed three-fourths...A large minority (44%) believe that only the Jewish citizens of the country would be entitled to participate in it.
...And what is the likely situation in the territories in the future? The prevailing view among the Jewish public (37.5%) is that the situation will continue as it is. Twenty percent hold the view that the international community will force Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders. An identical rate thinks Israel will annex the territories without giving the Palestinians equal rights to those of the Israelis, and 9% anticipate that Israel will annex the territories and grant equal rights to the Palestinians. In the Arab public the most common assessment (45%) is that the situation will remain as it is.
And what is the desirable situation in the territories in the future? Here 23% of the Jewish public prefers that the situation should remain as it is, 12% prefer the intervention of the international community, 32% prefer annexation without giving equal rights to the Palestinians, and 19% prefer annexation that includes the granting of equal rights. In other words, a majority of the Jewish public (55%) prefers continued Israeli rule over the Palestinians, whether it means sustaining the existing situation or annexation without giving equal rights to the Palestinians. Only few support a return to the 1967 borders or a one-state solution in which equal rights are given to Israelis and Palestinians. The most common preference in the Arab public is that the international community should force Israel to withdraw (34%), followed immediately by the preference that the situation should remain as it is (33%). Naturally, only very few (3%) would like to see an annexation without the giving of equal rights to the Palestinians; neither, though, is there any great desire (only 26%) for a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians.
Did they employ 'West Bank' for Arabs and Judea/Samaria for Jews - or what?