Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
JERUSALEM – a poll conducted for the Knesset TV channel reveals that the majority of Israelis oppose territorial concessions as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. 61% of the Israeli public believes that Israel should not relinquish land in Judea and Samaria in exchange for a peace agreement; 39% believe this is the right move to make.
The poll, published last Thursday (Mar. 27), further shows that 70% of the Israeli public do not view PA Chairman Abu-Mazzen as a partner in peace, and only 30% believe he is a potential partner.
Responding to the poll results, Peace Now Director Yariv Oppenheimer said he believes Israel still has a great opportunity in its hands. “Netanyahu is missing this chance. Unlike most of the public, I believe the blame [for the failure of the peace negotiations] rests mostly with the Israeli government.”
The Knesset passed the Referendum Law two weeks ago, requiring a referendum in a scenario in which the government decides to make territorial concessions as part of a peace agreement. In the eventuality that the Knesset itself has 80 members supporting the concessions, a referendum is not required by law.
After the passing of the law, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said he supported the law “simply because the decision on such an agreement must be received by the people.”
Combining the poll’s results with the Referendum Law leaves little room for territorial concessions in the current state of affairs.
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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