I term the young people in Israel today “the Oslo Accords generation.” They were born at or close to the time that the Accords were signed. As the hope inherent in the Accords faded, they were often locked out of kindergarten and elementary school as suicide bombers terrorized Israeli cities. And as high schoolers in a post-Accord Israel, they have seen how Israel’s unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza have brought thousands of rockets raining down on them both from Lebanon and Gaza.
In this context, an interesting poll that was carried out in July 2010 among a representative sampling 1600 Israeli Arab and Jewish youth aged 15-18 and 800 aged 21-24 has just been released by the Dahaf Institute in Israel. This was the third such poll in the last twenty years–the last one being conducted in 1998. Some of the interesting findings:
Those who support the definition of Israel as a Jewish state as the most important goal for the country increased from 18.1% in 1998 to 33.2%. Support for the right-leaning parties increased from 48% in 1998 to 62%. Support for the left-leaning parties decreased from 32% to 12%. More than half of all Jewish participants believe that negotiations with the Palestinians will not produce peace–and most prefer that the status quo will continue. Finally, the study found that 70% of Jewish participants say that in cases in which state security and democratic values conflict, security should come first.
I leave it to you, reader, to draw your own conclusions.