Survey finds that majority of Jewish Israelis think the country should unilaterally determine its borders along the route of the West Bank separation barrier. One-third support either annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians civil rights, or perpetuating the status quo — both of which are apartheid.
According to a poll* released Sunday, a majority of Jewish Israelis (57 percent) believe Israel should determine its borders unilaterally according to the current route of the separation wall, which cuts deep into the West Bank, winding through Palestinian land well east of the 1949 Armistice Lines (Green Line).
This confirms that 1) Israelis are admitting the country does not have defined and recognized borders 2) Israelis are perfectly happy (including 87 percent of Meretz voters) pushing forward unilaterally despite repeated claims by both the Israeli and U.S. governments that no unilateral steps should be taken by either side in the conflict, and 3) Israelis don’t care that the bantustans created by the separation wall and the settlements are unacceptable to Palestinians or the international community, thus ignoring the impracticality of this option as a long-term solution – not to mention an unjust one.
But what is even more telling and interesting about the poll is that while 61 percent support a two-state solution (39 percent oppose), a substantial 23 percent said they support a bi-national state “without giving Palestinians full civil rights” (up substantially from last year’s 13 percent). In other words, this can be understood to mean that 23 percent of Jewish Israelis want to live under an Israeli apartheid regime where Palestinians are institutionally disenfranchised – though the poll does not mention the word apartheid anywhere.
The poll also mentions that 13 percent think the situation should remain as it is (“de facto Israeli control of Palestinians without annexation of Judea and Samaria”), which means maintaining the status quo. The situation we live in right now is de facto a bi-national state (or ‘one state’), in which every person between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean lives under varying degrees of Israeli rule, so I think it is fair to add this 13 percent to the 23 percent – which essentially means that a whopping 36 percent of Jewish Israelis support Israeli control of the West Bank without Palestinian civil rights – what I think can safely be called apartheid.
This may not come as such a surprise to some – as back in October, we reported about a Haaretz poll that showed if Israel annexed the West Bank, a majority of Israelis would not want Palestinians to get the right to vote for Knesset.
It should also be noted that the seven percent of the polled Jewish Israelis said they support giving Palestinians full civil rights within a bi-national state – not so tiny considering how marginalized the left-wing one-state vision is in Israel.
The questions in the poll about the bi-national state are worded thusly (translated from Hebrew): “Which of the following scenarios would you prefer in order to maintain Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic state 20 years from now?” I think this wording is quite telling since the very notion that we need to try very hard to “keep” Israel Jewish and democratic inherently reflects that being both Jewish and democratic isn’t really working out.
The poll was commissioned by an organization called Blue White Future, who published it in Hebrew. The poll questioned 500 Jewish Israelis, representing the adult Jewish population of Israel.
*The poll cannot be found online but here is a copy of it in Hebrew.
Liberal Zionism at 65: Fantasy and reality
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