UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Wednesday:
*It has been reported today that U.S. President Obama will appoint Samantha Power as the new American Ambassador to the United Nations. Power will replace Susan Rice who is taking the role of National Security Advisor formerly held by Tom Donilon.
Many of us Israelis particularly remember Powers’ interview back in 2002 at Berkeley in which her remarkably anti-Israel views were laid bare for all to hear. Tomorrow’s blog will have the full transcript of that interview. Suffice it to say that Powers’ appointment is nothing short of a disaster for Israel.
*It appears that the Syrian forces of the Assad regime, heavily backed by Hezbollah, have scored a major victory at Qusair today with rebel forces being forced to retreat out of the Syrian city on the border with Lebanon after a two week battle. In a related event, the Israeli Golan Heights has experienced mortar fire within the last two hours.
*The last 24 hours have seen attempted Palestinian terrorist infiltrations, Molotov cocktails, IEDs, and “rocks” throwing incidents in multiple locations. Most ominously, there was an attempted kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers near Post 80 close to Hadera yesterday. Fortunately, the soldiers were able to fight off their attackers who attempted to force them into a car.
There’s a very interesting poll out this morning conducted by the Rafi Smith Research Company poll for the Jerusalem Post. 500 Israeli Jewish adults were surveyed: 50% secular, 29% traditional, and 21% religious. The poll has a margin of error of 4.5%.
Your humble servant hesitates to give poll results on this blog simply because so much depends on who asks the questions, how the questions are worded, how the questions are asked, and who interprets the responses. However, this poll caught my eye simply because it delves somewhat more deeply into what Israelis think.
It has become a standard line of those supporting a two state solution that “every poll shows that 75% of Israelis support a two state solution with the Palestinians.”
Let’s look at some of the results in this poll of how Israelis look at the two state solution:
1. Do you support a two state solution?
67 % Yes
33 % No
(83% “secular” and 28% “religious” said yes)
[67% is not that far from 75%–but on the other hand perhaps it is a significant 8% because it is obviously caused by the ever-increasing number of traditional and religious Israelis]
2. Do you support a two state solution based on the pre-1967 lines as proposed by the Palestinians and the Arab League?
[This is a remarkable finding because when all of those who champion the 75% figure talk about the two-state solution, it is the pre-1967 lines that they are referring to. Obviously, the Israeli public does not feel the same way. Where does this leave Barack Obama, John Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Tzipi Livni?]
3. Which one of the following two state solutions do you favor?
8% A two state solution based on the pre-1967 lines
19% Naftali Bennett’s solution in which Israel annexes Area C
40% A two state solution in which Israel retains the major Jewish communities inside the Green Line
33% No two state solution at all
[Clearly, the Israeli populace has no stomach for giving Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians in whole, or even in part. Even those 67% who favor a two state solution would only agree to a Palestinian state substantially or greatly reduced in territory. And, to repeat, 33% of all Israelis do not support a two state solution at all.]
4. Do you support the idea of a Palestinian capital in any portion of Jerusalem?
11% No opinion
[This number speaks for itself.]
So what conclusions can we draw from this particular poll?
1. The foundation of the current U.S. peace negotiating plan (the pre-1967 lines/aka 1949 lines) is overwhelmingly rejected by the Israeli public.
2. The division of Jerusalem is overwhelmingly rejected by the Israeli public.
3. A public referendum on any “peace agreement” submitted to the Israeli public based on the pre-1967 lines or the division of Jerusalem will fail.
*Your humble servant acknowledges the Jerusalem Post for the poll numbers used in today’s blog.