Jerusalem old city 88.
(photo credit: )
More than three out of every four Israelis do not want to live in Jerusalem, although a majority remain opposed to transferring sovereignty of Judaism's holiest sites to the Palestinians even at the expense of peace, a public opinion poll released Wednesday showed.
Fifty-eight percent of Israelis would not consider living in Jerusalem, and another 20% prefer living elsewhere, compared to 21% who would seriously considering living in the city, the Market Watch poll found.
The survey, which was commissioned by the Berl Katznelson Foundation ahead of Jerusalem Day, showed that the inclination to live in the city was significantly higher among the religious and haredi public than among the secular and traditional public.
The poll's results are not a "decree from heaven", and can change if the government decides to invest in Jerusalem, and help reduce the prohibitively expensive price of flats in the city, said doctor Miya Hoshen, senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, which tracks city demographics.
The city's population is currently 720,000, which includes 475,000 Jewish residents and 245,000 Arab residents.
The poll was released just days after a separate survey showed that Arab population growth in the city over the last decade was more than double the Jewish growth.
The poll also highlighted the immense physical and spiritual gap that exists between how Israelis view Jerusalem.
The poll found that a majority of Israelis would not cede the Jewish holy sites, including the Temple Mount to the Palestinians, even at the expense of peace.
Sixty-four percent of Israelis polled were opposed to giving up control over the holy sites for peace compared to 29% who would cede control of the areas.
The poll also found that a majority of Israelis have visited the Old City of Jerusalem in the last year, although again the numbers were significantly higher among the religious and haredi public compared to secular and traditional Israelis.
A total of 62% of Israelis visited the Old City of Jerusalem in the last year, while 21% said they visited in the last two and five years.
The poll also found that more than half of Israelis were opposed to the establishment of a security fence within Jerusalem as part of a peace treaty with the Palestinians.
"There is no doubt that the Israeli public is confused about the future of Jerusalem ," said Yigal Tzachor, the director of the Center for Theoretical Education at the Berl Katznelson Foundation.
"The public understands that there is a need for a true solution to the issue of Jerusalem but does not know what it is," he said.
The telephone poll, which was conducted last month among 493 people, did not cite a margin of error.