Poll reveals Israeli support for apartheid
It should come as no surprise to anyone interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that a significant proportion of Israeli Jews are racist. Anecdotally, this has been clear for as long as Israel existed, but increasingly hard facts are giving substance to casual observations.
The latest is an opinion poll which found that one-third of Israel’s Jewish population support either annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians civil rights, or perpetuating the status quo, in which Palestinians have no civil rights.
The survey was commissioned by an organization called Blue White Future, which published its results in Hebrew on 14 April. It questioned 500 Jewish Israelis, representing the country’s adult Jewish population.
Below is the essence of the findings, courtesy of +972 news magazine, whose article on the poll results can be found here.
- 57% (including 87% of Zionist social-democratic Meretz voters) believe Israel should determine its borders unilaterally according to the current route of the apartheid wall, which cuts deep into the occupied West Bank, winding through Palestinian land well east of the 1949 Armistice Lines (the Green Line)
- 61% support a two-state solution (39% oppose)
- 23% support a bi-national state but “without giving Palestinians full civil rights” (up substantially from last year’s 13%). This means almost a quarter of Israeli Jews want to live under an Israeli apartheid regime where Palestinians are institutionally disenfranchized
- 13% think the situation should remain as it is (“de facto Israeli control of Palestinians without annexation” of the West Bank), which means maintaining the status quo. However, the status quo is is a 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 it’s fair to add this 13% to the 23% who support a bi-national state but “without giving Palestinians full civil rights”, which means
- 36% of Jewish Israelis support apartheid, i.e. Israeli control of the West Bank without Palestinian civil rights, and
- 7% of Jewish Israelis support giving Palestinians full civil rights within a bi-national state.
The conclusion? As Mairav Zonszein of +972 notes,
- Israelis are admitting the country does not have defined and recognized borders;
- Israelis are perfectly happy pushing forward unilaterally despite repeated claims by both the Israeli and US governments that no unilateral steps should be taken by either side in the conflict; and
- 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.
Finally, it is noteworthy that, on the bi-national state, those polled were asked: “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?”
As Zonszein notes, “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”.