In 2002, nearly 50% of Jewish Israelis supported forcibly removing Palestinians from the occupied territories – what are the numbers today?

on 31 Comments

Correction and Update: it has been pointed out that the numbers below are from a poll taken in 2002 at the height of the second intifada. I’ve updated the post below. Now I’m curious what the numbers would look like today? It seems the Jaffee Center hasn’t conducted the poll since 2009, although there his this report summarizing findings from 2004-2009 (pdf) which states:

In the realm of basic political values, demography continues to supersede geography. Respondents were asked to rank four key values in order of importance: a country with a Jewish majority; Greater Israel; a democratic country; and a state of peace

Original report:

In 2002, Haaretz reported on a Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies poll taken by face-to-face interviews with 1,264 Jewish residents of Israel. Here are some of the results (all percentages are of Jewish citizens of Israel):

  • 46% are in favor of forcibly removing Palestinians from the occupied territories
  • 31% are in favor of forcibly removing Palestinian citizens of Israel from the country
  • When asked in a broader fashion, 60% said they supported “encouraging Israeli Arabs to leave the country”
  • 61% believe Palestinians citizens of Israel pose a security threat to Israel
  • Nearly 80% are opposed to Palestinian citizens of Israel “being involved in important decisions, such as delineating the country’s borders”
  • 72% are opposed to parties run by Palestinian citizens of Israel having a seat in a ruling coalition government
  • 40% support ceding control of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of a peace agreement
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31 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    July 13, 2012, 11:29 am

    These are the key figures when one of the zionist spear catchers point to the Palestinians as the impediment to peace or claim that israelis aren’t eliminationist racists.

  2. Dan Crowther
    July 13, 2012, 11:30 am

    I can imagine Dov Lior, Avigdor Lieberman and Baruch Marzel all celebrating the “good news” at Kahane’s gravesite, “We’re almost there boss.”

  3. Adam Horowitz
    July 13, 2012, 1:08 pm

    Stupid mistake on my part, the poll is from 2002. I updated the post and I do wonder what these numbers look like now.

  4. Fredblogs
    July 13, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Considering that the Arab head of an Arab political party was helping Hezbollah pick its targets, for money. I’d say the 61% who think that Arab citizens of Israel are a security threat may be on to something.

    • German Lefty
      July 13, 2012, 3:46 pm

      Considering that the Arab head of an Arab political party was helping Hezbollah pick its targets, for money. I’d say the 61% who think that Arab citizens of Israel are a security threat may be on to something.

      So, one Arab did something wrong. This means that all Arabs are evil, because everyone knows that all Arabs are alike. Yeah, right!

    • Eva Smagacz
      July 13, 2012, 5:37 pm

      Fred, don’t believe all that you read in the papers or you might become convinced that Arafat had AIDS……

    • Basilio
      July 13, 2012, 9:28 pm

      What about people Jews who spy on America for Israel? Does that mean one should label all Jews negatively because of that, and I don’t think Azmi Beshara did what you said he did. That’s an accusation that was never proven.

      • Roya
        July 14, 2012, 8:41 pm

        Agreed Basilio. When you just put out an accusation against somebody and then put a gag order on any and everything relating to the case, it means the accuser has something to hide, as happened with Bishara. And I’m betting the next Palestinian MK they’ll make a scandal for is Haneen Zoabi if she gets re-elected–unless they decide that having harassed her was enough.

      • Fredblogs
        July 16, 2012, 3:00 pm

        They have him on tape doing it. It was never proven in court because he fled from justice when confronted.

      • Roya
        July 16, 2012, 3:32 pm

        You know what? They also released a tape of some IOF soldiers screaming in the darkness “They have guns, they have guns!” or something like that in the context of the Gaza Flotilla Massacre but guess what? I too can make a video where I’m dressed up as a soldier and screaming in the darkness “They have guns, they have guns!” right from the comfort of my home.
        You wanna offer up a link to this tape Fredblogs?

    • tree
      July 13, 2012, 9:58 pm

      With that same bigoted “logic”, I guess you’d think Americans would be correct in considering all American Jews is “security threats” because Jonathan Pollard was a spy for Israel, right Fred?

      Come to think of it, maybe you believe that Germans in pre-WWII were correct in thinking that Jews were “security threats” because Herschel Grynszpan murdered a German diplomat? What’d’ya think, Fred? Care to apply your fascism and bigotry across the board, or is it only used to support Jewish supremacism?

      • Fredblogs
        July 16, 2012, 6:29 pm

        This wasn’t some random Arab. This was the man the Arabs chose to represent them.

    • Mooser
      July 13, 2012, 9:59 pm

      “I’d say the 61% who think that Arab citizens of Israel are a security threat may be on to something.”

      If only you were there to help, instead of cowering, pearl-clutching, couch-fainting and pants-pooping in the United States, they could show those Arabs what-for!
      But if you want to stick around and show folks that in addition to be exceptionally stupid and mendacious, Zionists are also cowardly, be my guest.
      I know Fred, there’s been a constant, ever-increasing clamor of support for you at Mondoweiss, but the Moderators are banning them before they register.

    • ColinWright
      July 14, 2012, 12:04 am

      I don’t suppose you’d be able to document that claim. For one, how does one ‘pick a target’ with a Katyusha?

    • Abdul-Rahman
      July 14, 2012, 8:39 am

      In addition to the good responses others have already given you; the case you are referring to was someone who gave a “confession” after being tortured. I’m sure you also accept Gitmo and CIA “black site” supposed “confessions” as well.

      • Fredblogs
        July 16, 2012, 3:06 pm

        He wasn’t tortured. He was barely even questioned. ROFL. Never mind, I read your link. I didn’t think I had to be more specific about who I was talking about than “head of an Arab political party, helping Hezbollah for money”. OK, for the record I was talking about Azmi Beshara, not Ameer Makhoul.

  5. HarryLaw
    July 13, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Probably worse now Adam.

  6. German Lefty
    July 13, 2012, 1:38 pm

    “Last year, a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute found that fifty-one per cent of Israelis believed that people “should be prohibited from harshly criticizing the State of Israel in public.” Netanyahu encourages the notion that any such criticism is the work of enemies. Even the country’s staunchest ally, the United States, is not above suspicion.”

    • Miura
      July 13, 2012, 2:53 pm

      Results of a more recent study:

      Unlike Egyptians, Israelis support restricting expression:

      President Hosni Mubarak must be jealous of his Jewish neighbor who heads the “only democracy in the Middle East.”…In the eyes of a large portion of citizens, civil order precedes the right to protest and demonstrate; moreover, six out of 10 Jews believe that the police must disperse demonstrations, even if they do not threaten human lives or property and only disrupt traffic…”Israeli society prefers conformity, self-censorship and willing obedience,” notes political psychologist Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University. “This attitude is a recipe for arrested thought, blindness and deafness.”…He says that from this point of view our situation is much worse than that in “closed societies” like the eastern bloc of the 1970s. In those countries the citizens knew that the regime was giving them false information, sought other sources of information and worked for reforms that would bring change.

      • Roya
        July 13, 2012, 6:36 pm

        “He says that from this point of view our situation is much worse than that in “closed societies” like the eastern bloc of the 1970s. In those countries the citizens knew that the regime was giving them false information, sought other sources of information and worked for reforms that would bring change.”
        This is precisely why a democracy-gone-awry can be more dangerous than an openly totalitarian regime. In places like the GDR you would know not to trust your government, but in “democracies” like the U.S. the masses who flock to CNN, ABC, and other forms of mainstream media believe their government has their best interest in mind and that they’re being told the truth, so they don’t find any reason to be skeptical or to question anything.

  7. German Lefty
    July 13, 2012, 1:48 pm

    The Israeli Democracy Index:

    Democracy Index 2011 (page 122):
    “The findings indicate that the Jewish public is insensitive to the
    difference between the principle of majority rule and its distortion
    to the point of majority tyranny, in particular with regard to the
    status of Arabs in the state. Thus, 77.8%(!) of Jewish respondents
    agreed with the statement that decisions crucial to the state on
    matters of peace and security should be made by a Jewish majority.
    That is to say, over three quarters of the Jewish public are ready to
    exclude the Arab minority from participating in critical decisions
    on peace and security, which are highly relevant to their future as
    well. Some might argue that this position does not indicate support
    for tyranny of the majority, given that there may be a fundamental
    conflict of interest between the majority and the minority on
    this issue. But this argument is undermined by the following
    finding: We asked the Jewish interviewees their opinion of the
    statement that decisions crucial to the state regarding governance,
    economy, and society should be made by a Jewish majority. Here,
    the argument of a basic conflict of interests between the majority
    and the minority that would justify exclusion of the latter is no
    longer valid; yet 69.5% of the Jewish interviewees agreed with this
    exclusionary statement.”

    • German Lefty
      July 13, 2012, 2:02 pm

      Democracy Index 2011 (page 125):
      “Not only does this year’s survey offer worrisome evidence of the readiness of
      the Jewish public, as the majority group, to exclude Arab citizens of Israel, as a minority, from strategic political processes, but a plurality (51.5%) of the Jewish public also do not feel that the Arabs in Israel are discriminated against (as opposed to 77.6% of the Arab public, who feel that they do suffer from discrimination). Of the different age groups, Jewish young adults are the ones who most strongly reject the claim of discrimination (young – 51.8%; intermediate – 43.5%; older – 46.6%).
      A breakdown of the figures by religiosity shows that only among the secular respondents is there a majority (55%) who hold that the Arabs in Israel are in fact discriminated against compared with the Jews. In the three other groups, only a minority share this view: 41.3% of the traditional respondents; 31.3% of the
      Orthodox; and just 18.3% of the ultra-Orthodox.
      An examination of the figures by political camp indicates that the left is the only group in which a clear majority believe that the Arabs are discriminated against; among those in the center of the political spectrum, a large minority feel this way, and on the right, a small minority.”

      (page 126)
      “As for the possibility of an Arab prime minister, as expected there was a dramatic difference between Jews and Arabs: A majority of the Jews (84.3%) and only a small minority of the Arabs (13.3%) stated that it would trouble them to have an Arab prime minister.”

  8. Klaus Bloemker
    July 13, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I know who computes this index. It’s Tamar Hermann of The Israel Democracy Institute. She is a Peace Now activist. I had a little correspondence with her on the terminology of the occupied territories. I don’t know her in person but I know she lectured in Berlin last year. Here is what she wrote to me:

    Dear Mr. Bloenker –

    Thank you for taking interest in my work.
    Am really impressed with your concern regarding the political discourse in Israel. However, I believe that your are somewhat wrong here – the use of the term Judea and Samaria is indeed limited for years now to people belonging to the political right. As the parties of this ideology have been in power practically since 1977, they have made it mandatory to refer to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria in all official publications of the state. People of the left, rather refer to this areas as the occupied territories. Hence when first meeting an Israeli whose ideology is unknown to you, the best indication would be his or her usage of either Judea and Samaria or the Occupied Territories. Those who use the tern West Bank are either of the center or try to keep their political views to themselves.

    I hope that this is helpful in any way.
    Tamar hermann

    • Klaus Bloemker
      July 13, 2012, 6:13 pm

      Maybe I shouldn’t have called Israeli pollster Tamar Hermann a Peace Now “activist”. But she is in favor of it and promoted their agenda by calling the West Bank what it is: “occupied territory”.
      That was also Beinart’s point: drop the term and notion of “Judea and Samaria”.

      See her lecture at Quinnipac University, Connecticut on Dec. 9, 2009:
      “Israeli Public Opinion on the Middle East Conflict.”

  9. Blake
    July 13, 2012, 3:23 pm

    In 2011, 1,100 Palestinians — more than half of them children — were displaced, an 80 percent increase from the previous year. And demolitions this year continue at a high rate

  10. Stephen Shenfield
    July 13, 2012, 5:57 pm

    I was the one who first drew attention to these poll data, on the mistaken impression that they were recent. They may be somewhat exaggerated: although there is a long-term trend toward greater extremism, 2002 may have been atypical because of the intifada.

    I’ve been looking on the net at a more recent publication: Yehuda Ben Meir and Olena Bagno-Moldavsky, Vox Populi: Trends in Israeli Public Opinion on National Security 2004–2009, published by the Institute for National Security Studies. It confirms “a definite shift to the right” over the period covered, with the proportion of respondents (all Israeli Jews) classified as “extreme right” rising from 13.6% in 2005 to 20.1% in 2009. Support for a Palestinian state fell from 61% in 2006 to 53% in 2009. Opposition to the removal of any settlements under any circumstances increased from 27% in 2004 to 42% in 2009. It appears that respondents were not asked about “transfer.”

    • ToivoS
      July 13, 2012, 11:07 pm

      It does not surprise me that routine polls on these questions are not done in Israel. It might just reveal the level of racism in that country. A few years back I saw a poll result that appeared in Haaretz that certainly caught my attention. The question was would you (meaning an Israeli Jew) be willing to live in an apartment complex that had Palestinian residents. The result was that 65% said that they would not.

      What is also interesting about Israeli polls is that they only poll Jews. I guess it is assumed that whatever the Palestinians believe is irrelevant. This is one sick society however we think about these results. I am sure that many Americans to this day would not want to live in a community that accepts African-Americans but even the most racist among us would not admit that in a poll.

  11. Mooser
    July 13, 2012, 9:54 pm

    Can anybody ever tell me of another country who allowed settlers from that country to settle in occupied territory and defended them with its army, if they did not intend to colonise and annex the areas?
    The idea that more than a handful of settlers could have settled in those areas with government cognizance and approval is ridiculous.

  12. Shingo
    July 13, 2012, 11:17 pm

    Let me guess.

    Jewish Israelis who support forcibly removing Palestinians from the occupied territories also say they support a two state solution and want peace right?

  13. traintosiberia
    July 14, 2012, 2:51 pm

    In addition, most of the post Rabin politicians in Israel and their American appendages have activley undermined Oslo process,sometimes mincing no words about it.
    Against this backdrop, Iran has been accused of mounting efforts to derail the peace process and ,Egyptians have been suspected of harboring aims of torpedoing Camp David treaty. The accusations have led to sanctions and threat respectively.

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