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Poll of Israelis Reflects Mixed Views on Territories

Israelis, by a margin of 65 percent to 32 percent, favor territorial concessions in exchange for peace.

But they view a demilitarized independent Palestinian state as a threat to Israel’s existence by 64 percent to 23 percent; and by 64 percent to 32 percent, would not negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization even if it renounced terrorism and recognized Israel’s right to exist.

At the same time, 53 percent of Israelis think not enough force is being used to quell the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

These were some of the results of a public opinion poll taken in Israel between Aug. 25 and Sept. 1 on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

The survey was conducted by Penn and Schoen Associates of New York, assisted by Dahaf, an Israeli polling organization.

The opinions came from a random sampling of 1,200 Israeli Jews of diverse political, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent.

Commenting on the results, Burton Levinson, ADL national chairman, noted that while Israelis are clearly ready to make concessions to achieve peace, they place limits on concessions where their security is threatened.

This was indicated by the breakdown of the 65 percent ready to trade land for peace.

Only 17 percent of them believed Israel should withdraw to its pre-1967 borders in return for security guarantees, and no more than 14 percent agreed that Israel should share rule of the territories with the Palestinians or Jordan.

The largest segment, 34 percent, thought Israel should withdraw partially from the territories while maintaining a military presence there.

By 71 percent to 26 percent, Israelis were opposed to giving up all of the territories, even for peace and security guarantees.

The 32 percent opposed to any concessions favored annexation of the West Bank and Gaza.

According to the poll, 60 percent agreed Israel’s security would be better served by giving up part of the territories for peace than by retaining all of them without peace. Thirty-nine percent disagreed.

A change in the status quo was favored by 64 percent and opposed by 32 percent. Direct negotiations with Palestinian representatives was favored by a 60 percent to 37 percent margin.

Israelis approved the way the security forces are dealing with the Palestinian uprising by a majority of 58 percent to 40 percent. Only 15 percent thought excessive force was being used.

On the question of the status of Jerusalem, Israelis almost approached unanimity. Ninety-two percent said they would not give up their capital under any circumstances, 7 percent would consider the idea and 1 percent had no opinion.

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