Polls conducted in recent days have found that only a third of the citizens of Israel support the government’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
In the results of a poll carried out by Channel 12 News and televised last Monday, June 8, 46% of respondents were against annexation, as opposed to 34% who were in favor. When these results were analyzed along political identification of the respondents, 41% of those who defined themselves as right wing were in favor of annexation, while 39% of this group opposed the plan. Conversely, on the left, 56% were opposed and just 24% favored annexation.
The above findings are in line with a similar poll carried out by the Midgam Institute for the Geneva Initiative–Two-State Coalition found that 42% of the Israeli public oppose plans to annex up to a third of the West Bank in July, when compared to 32% who support the idea. More than a quarter (26%) had no opinion on the matter.
Nearly half (48%) of respondents to the Midgim Institute poll, thought that annexation was likely to reduce the chances of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, while just 14% believed it could help deliver a peace agreement. Respondents were also asked about the impact of annexation within Israeli society as well as with Israel’s neighbors. On this question, 45% thought that annexation would increase polarity within Israeli. Just one in ten believed it would reduce polarity.
According to the Midgam Institute poll, support for a two state solution continues to be the favored result overall: 42% indicated that this is the course of action the prefer; a quarter of the respondents wanted annexation to be the next step; while 22.8% thought that the government ought to continue with the status quo.
However, a clear majority (54.3%) of the respondents to this poll maintained that Palestinians to have the right to establish an independent state next to Israel, within the framework of a peace agreement.
“The Israeli Government doesn’t have a mandate from the public to go for annexation. Israelis want to see negotiations and don’t understand why unilateral and dangerous steps should be taken now, in the midst of an economic and health crisis,” said Gadi Baltiansky, the Israeli director of the Geneva Initiative which commissioned the Midgim Institute poll.
In response to the polls Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) said, “Most Israeli citizens are against Netanyahu and Trump’s annexation. Annexation will deepen the occupation, expand the illegal settlement project, and intensify the oppression of Palestinians. It will narrow the path for peace and make apartheid the law of the land. We must do all we can to stop it here and around the world. If we take to the streets together – we can stop it.”