While it is often reported that most Israelis favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an entirely different picture emerges once Jerusalem is added to the equation, a new survey has found.
The poll, commissioned by Israel Hayom and conducted by Maagar Mochot, found 67 percent of Israelis would oppose a peace deal granting the Palestinians partial sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem. Opposition to a peace deal rose to 84 percent if it allows the Palestinians full sovereignty over the Old City.
“Partial sovereignty” means the Old City’s Jewish Quarter would be in Israeli hands, while the other quarters or most of their area would be under Palestinian control; under this scenario, Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall would not include sovereignty over the entire Temple Mount.
The recent Peace Index, published by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found that 62 percent of the Jewish public does not consider Israeli control over Judea and Samaria an “occupation.” According to the Index, 51 percent believes Israel’s policy of building settlements in the Biblical heartland is wise.
Both surveys contrasts sharply with the results of a poll released last week by Israel’s Channel 2, which showed 47 percent of Israelis would support a peace deal based on the pre-1967 borders, with land swaps preserving the large settlement blocs. Following the Channel 2 poll, some on the Israeli political left claimed the current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is out of step with the electorate. The television network’s poll, however, did not address the status of the Old City.
In the Israel Hayom poll, asked if there is a chance of reaching a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority in the near future, 75 percent of Israelis said no.