Majority of Israelis say they opposed Gaza withdrawal, contrary to polling at the time

Bar-Ilan University Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies poll shows that some 59 percent of the Israeli public said they were opposed to the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

July 20, 2015 18:52
1 minute read.
gaza disengagement

OPPONENTS OF the disengagement plan from Gaza confront Border Police at the synagogue in the settlement of Kfar Darom in August 2005.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Ten years, three miniwars and more than 10,000 rockets and missiles seem to make memory a selective instrument, judging by recent poll data on the 2005 withdrawal form the Gaza Strip.

That is one way to interpret the results of a new poll conducted by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University, in which 59 percent of the respondents said they had been opposed to the disengagement in 2005, while only 34% said they had supported the plan.

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These figures, however, do not match polling data from that time, in which a strong majority supported the deal.

A Dialogue poll for Haaretz taken the week of the disengagement in 2005 found that 45% of Israelis supported disengagement, 33% were opposed and another 14% were still considering the matter. A Maagar Mochot poll in July of 2005 found that 54% of the population backed the disengagement, while only 30% were opposed.

According to the BESA poll, of the 34% who said they had opposed the plan, 70% do not regret their support today, while 17% said they do. Forty-three percent of the respondents said Israel should resettle Gush Katif, the primary settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip, while 41% were opposed.

Regarding the possibility of a further withdrawal in Judea and Samaria, 46% of those polled said they would oppose evacuating settlements, 12% said they would support it, and 39% said it depended on the circumstances, such as whether it was a partial or full evacuation and whether it was part of a peace agreement.

The telephone survey, undertaken for BESA by Maagar Mochot, was conducted among a representative sample of 587 Israeli Jews aged 18 or above during the period of July 6-10. The poll had a 4.1% margin of error. It was commissioned for a conference the BESA Center is holding on Wednesday marking 10 years since the Gaza withdrawal.

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