January 19, 2009

The Jewish Israeli public supports the two state solution....

In someone's dreams.

I wrote about it earlier but I want to highlight this datum. Here is as graph of public support for returning specific areas of the West Bank.

Now what does this tell you? Slightly better than one in five Jewish Israelis support significant territorial "concessions" (that's the Israeli terminology) that perhaps might be compatible with Palestinian sovereignty in a subsection of the West Bank. Perhaps, because there is no evidence in this graph for support for water rights, border controls, etc. And support for the right of Palestinians for a military is non-existent. From the same survey, support in 2007 for evacuation of the settlers in the large settlement blocks ( such as Maale Edumim and Ariel and the seam line settlements) is 5%. Namely, only one in twenty Jewish Israeli supports a two state solution based on international law, the 1967 borders, U.N.S.C. 242 as commonly interpreted, and all the Arab peace initiatives.

The most important point is that the state is in very good synch with public opinion. This is a Herrenvolk Democracy in which both the Herrenvolk and the Democracy aspects are very present. The "two state solution" that slightly more than half of the Jewish Israeli public supports is exactly the apartheid regime the "left" and center political parties are willing to offer.

Another thing to note is how consistent the results are. The willingness to part with the Jordan Valley is the most important indicator because the Jordan Valley alone offers a putative Palestinian state a border with another country. The valley is settled only by relatively small kibutzim and carries little religious significance. Yet even at the height of the hope for a settlement, before the Second Intifada began, only a third of Jewish Israelis were willing to concede this area. (To be fair, that 33% support was much larger than the close to zero support among the political class.)

Anytime someone like Stephen Walt blames the stalemate on the 20% of Israelis that define themselves as religious, please send them this graph.

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