Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash90
Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) at a demonstration demanding Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, February 27, 2020.

A majority of the Israeli public supports the planned implementation of Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, according to a survey conducted by the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, Israel Hayom reported Friday.

According to the survey, 42% of respondents support the application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. 27% objected, and 31% had no opinion.

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Now, out of those who had an opinion on the issue, 60% support and 40% oppose sovereignty. Israel Hayom opted for “A majority of the public supports the application of Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria.” But a more accurate headline for this story would have been “More Israelis support sovereignty than oppose it.”

View of Kibbutz Afikim, in the Jordan Valley, December 03, 2018 / Yossi Zamir / Flash 90

The survey, conducted by the Maagar Mochot Institute (the name means brain storage, but sounds better in Hebrew), also examined the attitude of Israelis to applying sovereignty to all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Here, 43% of respondents said yes, 32% were opposed, and 25% had no opinion. So out of those with an opinion, 57% support sovereignty versus 43% who oppose it.

Needless to say, the percentage of approval for sovereignty was higher among Jewish Israelis than among Arabs.

The data show that opposition to applying sovereignty comes entirely from the left side of the political map. Respondents who identified themselves as having voted for Yamina, Shas, and Otzma Yehudit were 100% in favor of sovereignty. Among Likud voters, only 10% objected.

The survey was conducted this week among a representative sample of Israeli residents 18 and older, through an Internet panel of 505 people. The statistical error is +- 4.4% at 95% confidence level, which suggests that even if all the pro-sovereignty responses were skewed wrong, there still is a wider support to than opposition for sovereignty.

Ma’ale Adumin in Judea and Samaria on Jan. 1, 2017. / Yaniv Nadav / Flash 90

The above data appear in a position paper of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS), which deals with preparations and recommendations for implementing the Trump Peace Plan in stages. The authors of the document, the institute’s president, Prof. Ephraim Inbar, and his deputy, Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, urge the Israeli government to apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and areas of significant security value in the Jerusalem area, such as Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion.

“The results of the survey unequivocally prove that these settlements are anchored in the national consensus in Israel,” the researchers wrote. “In light of this, and given the security and historical importance of these areas, the national unity government should take advantage of this window of opportunity and embrace the Trump plan with all components, including engaging in negotiations to establish a Palestinian state. The Trump plan is the most realistic route to progress as a practical alternative to the current impasse, hence the primary importance of laying the foundations for its gradual implementation.”

Dr. Lerman and Prof. Inbar recommend taking steps such as investments in infrastructure which would demonstrate to the PA Arabs that they, too, have a “political horizon,” and stand to gain concrete benefits from abandoning the current political stalemate. They say the Trump plan should be promoted and Israeli law applied, in conjunction with discreet discussions with Egypt and Jordan and increased contacts with key countries in the international community to reduce the consequent diplomatic damage.

They also recommend preparing for a new wave of “popular” violence stirred up by the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to prevent progress in reaching peace between Arabs and Jews in Judea and Samaria.

That last one is shared by most Israelis.

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