A view of the Old City of Jerusalem..
Even as Jerusalem and Washington locked horns earlier this month in a very public spat over construction in Jerusalem, more than three-fourths of the Jewish-Israeli public is opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state if it means dividing Jerusalem, according to a poll released on Sunday.
The poll, sponsored by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and conducted by the Shvakim Panorama research institute, found that 76 percent of the Jewish public opposed a Palestinian state if it meant dividing the capital, indicating that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took no political risks – and indeed reflected a wide consensus opinion – when he publicly sparred with the White House earlier this month over plans to build in Givat Hamatos and allow Jews to move into Silwan.
Faced with sharp censure of the move, Netanyahu said that Jerusalem was not a settlement and that not only would Israel continue to build there, but that Jews would be able to buy property throughout the city, just as Arabs are allowed to do.
The poll, carried out between October 12 and 14, after the flap over plans to move forward development of the Givat Hamatos neighborhood in southern Jerusalem and as well to allow Jews to live in the Silwan neighborhood, surveyed 505 Israeli Jews. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is headed by Dore Gold, who serves as an external adviser to Netanyahu on foreign policy issues.
According to the poll, the vast majority of respondents, some 70%, said that the spread of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has not impacted their position regarding whether they would support territorial concessions in the West Bank. Some 17% said they were less ready to make such concessions, while 5% said they were more ready to do so.
Asked whether they supported the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, some 74% opposed, 18% supported and another 8% either did not know or had no answer. Some 63% of the respondents who identified themselves in the political center, and 19% who identify with the Left, opposed the creation of a Palestinian state along these lines.
The poll indicated the degree to which Israeli Jews support Netanyahu when he says that the country must retain a security presence in the Jordan Valley, with some 75% of the respondents saying they would oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state if it meant withdrawing from the Jordan Valley, and only 11.5% saying they would support this in such a scenario. In addition, 75% said they opposed replacing IDF troops in the Jordan Valley with international ones.
Even 51.5% of the respondents on the Left were against replacing IDF soldiers with international forces.
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