Poll: 80% of Israelis Doubt Talks With PA Will Bring Peace, 73% Oppose Jordan Valley Retreat
by Gidon Ben-zvi
A poll conducted by Israeli daily Ma’ariv and published on Friday reveals that 80% of the Israeli public does not believe that the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead to the signing of a peace agreement.
In stark contrast, a mere 9% of those surveyed believe that peace will come out of the talks, Ma’ariv reports.
Among other revealing results of the poll: 73% are not willing to have the IDF retreat from the Jordan Valley as part of any agreement; 34% of respondents said that they would oppose an agreement that is based on the evacuation of large blocs of Jewish communities located in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), land swaps, PA recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a gradual withdrawal from the Jordan Valley – with an identical percentage of people supporting such conditions.
What’s especially disturbing about the debate over a continued IDF presence in the Jordan Valley is that this is considered one of the easier issues that need to be resolved before a framework agreement between the PA and Israel is ironed out, Ma’ariv said.
As the Palestinian Authority has summarily rejected the idea of any IDF presence in a future Palestinian state, The United States – led by Secretary of State John Kerry – has proposed the stationing of American troops in the disputed region. Based on the poll, a majority of Israelis support the stance taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has come out forcefully against any foreign entity putting boots on the ground in the JordanValley.
According to Ma’ariv, the results of the survey indicate that the Israeli public is tired, disappointed and skeptical after years of seeing dozens of American mediators visit Israel, only to leave the region empty-handed. Furthermore, the fact that the far-reaching proposals of two Israeli prime ministers have been rejected by the Palestinian Authority has convinced many Israelis that an outbreak of peace is not in the offing.
Regarding the framework agreement talks that are scheduled to end in April, the findings of the survey show above all that an overwhelming majority of Israelis believe that the negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah are not progressing and are bound to encounter serious obstacles in the near future, Ma’ariv reports.