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March 28, 2019 3:34 pm

Solid Majority of Israeli Jews View Trump’s Recognition of Golan Heights Sovereignty as ‘Helpful’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An Israeli soldier rides an armored vehicle during an army drill after the visit of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the Golan Heights, Aug. 7, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

A new survey by the Israel Democracy Institute shows that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews viewed President Donald Trump’s recognition of their country’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights as “helpful.”

The recognition was formalized at a White House ceremony on Monday attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After Trump signed the proclamation, he told Netanyahu, “This was a long time in the making.”

“Just as Israel stood tall in 1967, just as it stood tall in 1973, Israel stands tall today,” Netanyahu said afterward. “We hold the high ground and we should never give it up.”

According to the IDI survey, 62 percent of Israelis saw the move as helpful. Nineteen percent said it was neither helpful nor harmful. Nine percent considered it harmful, and 10 percent said they did not know.

The numbers were quite different among Israeli Arabs. Only 21 percent said Trump’s decision was helpful, while 28 percent characterized it as harmful. Twenty percent said it was neither and 31 percent answered that they did not know.

Israelis also believe by large margins that Trump’s decision strengthens Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances of reelection on April 9.

On the left, 59 percent thought it strengthened Netanyahu, while only five percent said it weakened him. Twenty-four percent said it did neither, and 12 percent did not know.

In the center, the numbers were only slightly different, with 54 percent answering that it strengthened Netanyahu, four percent saying it weakened him, 31 percent saying neither and 11 percent answering did not know.

The right, unsurprisingly, was heavily weighted toward Netanyahu. Seventy-four percent said it strengthened the prime minister, and only one percent said it weakened him. Seventeen percent said neither and eight percent did not know.

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