Israeli Public Opinion Poll on Importance of the Jordan Valley
(May 24, 2006)
By David Krusch
A survey conducted and commissioned by Mina Tzemah of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Defensibile Borders Project in 2005 suggested that Israelis believed that disengagement from Gaza was a good decision for Israel, but less than one in five participants support another unilateral withdrawal and oppose returning strategically important areas to the Palestinians. Of the 500 respondents of the survey, an overwhelming majority of almost 80 percent preferred keeping strategic territory as part of Israel, such as the Jordan Valley, in any peace agreement reached with the Palestinians. The Jordan Valley was viewed by the participants as a buffer zone between Israel and Jordan.
Nearly all of the participants (93 percent) said, “in the context of a peace agreement, Israel must not give the Palestinians the territories that topographically dominate Ben-Gurion airport.”
However, when asked about the importance of retaining control of the Temple Mount, the numbers were strikingly different. Illustrating a divide in Israeli society, 53 percent to 47 percent of those participating said that as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, they would hand over the Temple Mount to an international body, as long as the Western Wall remained in Israeli control.
In another poll conducted in December 2005, 49 percent of Israelis said they would support a deal in which Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods would be given to the Palestinian Authority under the same conditions of Israeli maintaining control of the Western Wall, while 49 percent would oppose such a deal.
Source: Rebbca Stoll, “Is the Jordan Valley more vital that the Temple Mount?,” The Jerusalem Post; (December 30, 2005).