In a recent poll reported in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv (Hebrew) on August 16, 53% of respondents said they were against any territorial compromise between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Only 39% of those polled claimed that they were in favor of ceding any sovereignty to the Palestinians. The poll was jointly conducted by the newspaper, which is considered right-wing, and The Brain Trust Institute.
The question asked was:
Would you support an agreement which includes giving up [Israeli] military authority over the Palestinian cities and withdrawals from Judea and Samaria in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and [Palestinians] giving up the right of return?
So even getting two major concessions from the Palestinians is not a sufficient inducement to get a majority of Israelis to support an Oslo-type two-state settlement. (The poll underlines the results of earlier polls we have reported showing that Israelis would not accept a state that would be viable for Palestinians.)
Although the article does not characterize those who participated, it is the custom for these types of political surveys to exclude the non-Jewish Israeli population.
According to the article, many Israelis now favor negotiating a temporary agreement in which all territorial concessions will be postponed to what many hope will be the indefinite future. Talk about such a settlement which does not involve any territorial concessions, has been discussed in the press by various prominent politicians, including the powerful leader of the Jewish Home Party, Naftali Bennett.
“Why did Netanyahu decide to renew the negotiations?” the Ma’ariv reporter, Eli Bradenstein, asks. The answer, according to an unnamed senior cabinet official, is that he is trying to please the Americans and it is a position that helps him maneuver between the hawks and the doves in the government.
But in the end, most people do not think there is any chance for an agreement, because, as Bradenstein reports, no politician will support an agreement that the public is against.