60% would give parts of J'lem for peace

Survey shows over 95% of Israeli Jews think capital must retain Jewish majority.

jerusalem 88 (photo credit: )
jerusalem 88
(photo credit: )
Six out of 10 Israeli Jews would be willing to give up Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem as part of a final peace deal with the Palestinians, but few would give up the Old City, site of Judaism's holiest shrine, the Western Wall, according to a survey published Thursday. Thirty-six percent of the 500 Israeli Jews surveyed nationwide by the Tazpit Research Institute were not willing to make any territorial concessions in the disputed city, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital. The findings reflect an overwhelming belief among those surveyed that Jerusalem should have a large Jewish majority, Tazpit director Aharon Fein said: 95.3 percent think a sizable Jewish majority in the city is very important, according to the results of the poll, which had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. The walled Old City, which measures about 1 square kilometer, holds shrines holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is flanked by Jewish neighborhoods in the west and Arab neighborhoods in the east. Some 63% of those surveyed by Tazpit were willing to make concessions on Jerusalem of some sort under a final peace deal. A total of 54.4% said they were willing to give up only Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Some 5.4% were willing to give up the Arab neighborhoods, the Old City's Jewish Quarter, the Mount of Olives with its Jewish and Christian holy sites, but not the Western Wall, the last remnant of the biblical Jewish Temples. Only 3.2% were willing to give up the Arab neighborhoods, the Jewish Quarter, the Mount of Olives and the Western Wall. People who defined themselves as secular were three times as likely to agree to concessions than those who defined themselves as religious, the survey showed. Nearly 63% of all the religious Jews surveyed were not willing to make any concessions on Jerusalem, as opposed to 21% of secular Jews. The survey was prepared by Tazpit for the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, ahead of an upcoming conference where Israeli leaders often make policy pronouncements. When Jerusalem was reunified after the 1967 war, it was 75% Jewish, the institute said. That figure has since shrunken to 66%. Demographic trends show the Jewish majority dropping to 58% by 2020 and to 50% by 2030, it added.