- JERUSALEM - Even with Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon saying yesterday he would accept a Palestinian state
under certain conditions, 47 percent of Israelis oppose the establishment
of such a state, according to a Smith Institute poll conducted this
- The poll was commissioned by Independent Media Review
and Analysis and the Zionist Organization of America, and sampled 502
adult Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) on Sunday and Monday. The margin
of error was 4.5 percentage points.
- Some 47% of the sample questioned (45% of the Jewish
respondents) said they oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state
even within the framework of a peace agreement that the Palestinians would
honor. Thirty-four percent (31% of Jews) support the establishment of
a Palestinian state only within the framework of a peace agreement that
the Palestinians would honor, while 14% (13% of Jews) support the
of a Palestinian state even if it is not certain that the Palestinians
would honor the agreement. Six percent had no opinion.
- Speaking to the UN General Assembly earlier this month
in New York, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said that the majority of
backs the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
- To the question: "In your opinion, regardless of
the size or strength of a Palestinian state, if one is established will
it constitute a threat to the State of Israel?" 65% (68% of Jews)
of those interviewed said they feel that it would constitute a threat to
Israel, 26% (29% of Jews) said that it would not constitute a threat,
and 6% had no opinion.
- This view was further clarified in the question, "To
what extent would the establishment of a Palestinian state reduce or add
to the ability of all the Arab states to threaten Israel?"
- In all, 60% (64% of Jews) feel that the threat would
be increased, 25% (24% of Jews) feel that the threat would not be changed
at all, only 11% (9% of Jews) said that it would be decreased, and 4%
(3%) expressed no opinion.
- Hence, the Arab world, with a Palestinian state added,
is seen as an increasing threat.
- In general, the Palestinian threat is seen as most
by younger people. Interestingly, those over 50 years of age see the
least worrying. Similarly, there were considerable differences between
the religious and the secular, with the former seeing a more serious
in a Palestinian state.
- The greatest differences were found between those who
voted for Sharon and Barak in the 2001 prime-ministerial election. Over
80% of Sharon voters see both the Palestinian and Arab threats as
while half the Barak voters see the Palestinian threat as increasing and
37% see the overall Arab threat as increasing with a Palestinian
- Regarding the support of a Palestinian state even if
the Palestinians were to honor an agreement, the differences between
and Barak supporters were especially large: 67% of Sharon voters are
establishing a Palestinian state even if the Palestinians were to honor
the agreement, against only 21% of Barak voters. The differences between
the younger and older voters and between the religious and secular were
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