• Kobi Tour Guide of Israel

2 Interesting Polls Show New Israeli and Palestinian Attitudes

Two polls were just released which as both a tour guide of Israel and a resident of Jerusalem, I found to be quite fascinating:

The first poll discusses Israeli attitudes towards annexing areas of Judea-Samaria/West Bank with or without US support, without the context of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. This would take place in Area C [in the Oslo Accords, the territories were divided into areas A (full Palestinian control), B (Palestinian civilian and Israeli security control) and C (full Israeli control)]. The incredibly strategic and hardly inhabited area of the Jordan Valley (with the exception of Jericho which is in Area A) is the major area being discussed. It also shows what Israel things about its Prime Minister, his ability to function as head of state while on trial and if he will keep his word about the rotating premiership with his opponent. Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, people chose what is the most pressing issue they feel the government needs to deal with. And no, it's not the political situation, nor religion vs. state issues, two things which are the most associated with Israel in the foreign media. To find out, click on the article here: https://www.jpost.com/arab-israeli-conflict/half-of-israelis-support-annexation-25-percent-even-with-no-us-backing-poll-630129


The second was a poll of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and how they see their future. Only about 5% of them have taken Israeli citizenship (though last year set a record) due to fears that if a final peace were made with the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority took

over East Jerusalem, they did not want to be seen as traitors [Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War]. Those who did not take citizenship have what is called "Jerusalem residence" and can vote in local elections (but 99% of them boycott them) but not national ones. If they make their "center of life" elsewhere, however, they lose those residency rights (and this is a big issue/problem). Yet at the same time, due to much more daily interaction with Israelis, as well as practical reasons such as economic opportunities and societal freedoms, when compared with other Palestinians (and that is an important caveat) they are more moderate. This lead to an incredibly surprising statistic; For several years since the 2nd intifada, the number of them who would prefer to live in Israel in a final settlement (as opposed to under the Palestinian Authority) was constantly rising until over 50% would have chosen that option. Yet in the last few years it has plummeted. Here are the numbers - and some explanations for them: https://www.timesofisrael.com/pollster-east-jerusalem-palestinians-feel-increasingly-alienated-from-israel/


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