1 in 3 Israelis: Troops mustn't evacuate Golan

So says a new poll; with such numbers, analyst says, it is doubtful that a withdrawal could be carried out.

Golan Heights 224.88 (photo credit: Matanya Tausig)
Golan Heights 224.88
(photo credit: Matanya Tausig)
One-third of the country believes it would be legitimate for soldiers to refuse orders to remove settlements from the Golan Heights, according to a poll released on Monday. The poll was carried out by Ma'agar Mohot for a conference entitled "War at home? from disengagement to the Golan Heights" that will be held Thursday at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee. Asked what soldiers should do if ordered in the future to evacuate Jewish settlements from the Golan Heights, 67% of the respondents who had an opinion said the soldiers should carry out the evacuation, while 33% percent said they should not. Among respondents who identified themselves as voters for right-wing parties, the number saying the soldiers should not carry out the orders reached 41%. Udi Lebel, a political scientist at Kinneret College, said this was the first time such a large percentage of the population gave legitimacy to refuse IDF orders. Lebel said that according to polls that would be presented at the conference on Thursday, opposition to withdrawal from the Golan was greater even than opposition to dividing Jerusalem. "If we are talking about a representative sample that reflects the positions of the population, and the army is a people's army, then every third soldier will oppose evacuation, and in light of this it is doubtful it would be possible to carry out a withdrawal," Lebel said. The poll also found that a majority of the population is opposed to a full withdrawal from the Golan in exchange for full peace with Syria. When asked, "in your opinion, does the Israeli government need or does it not need to agree to a full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for full peace with Syria," 58% said that it does not need to agree to a withdrawal, while 27% said it did, and another 15% said it depended on the conditions and circumstances. The poll also found that 54% of the respondents said that the Golan Heights issue would either "influence" or "greatly influence" which party they decided to vote for in the upcoming elections. The telephone poll was carried out November 21-22 among 520 people, and had a 4.5% margin of error.