3 in 5 Israelis Support Settlement Dismantlement for Peace Deal?

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settlement.jpgI regularly watch the very good work the Steve Kull and his team do at the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland — and just a few moments ago I got an attention-getting email from his team on Israeli political attitudes.
Kull has done some excellent work lately presented at the New America Foundation both on attitudes inside Iran and also among Americans about Israel/Palestine issues.
Others will have to deal with the research, but the headline is that despite what seems to me to be right-tilting, anti-peace deal trends in Israel, PIPA argues that 3 in 5 Israelis support settlement dismantlement in exchange for a Palestine peace deal.
Here is the intro to the piece:

Israeli Public’s Support for Dismantling Most Settlements Has Risen to a Five-Year High
By Alvin Richman

A survey of the Israeli general public and Israeli settlers taken in early March shows three-fifths of the Israeli public (60%) support “dismantling most of the settlements in the territories as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.” This is eleven points higher than the previous reading (49%) taken in December, 2009, and is the highest level recorded since 2005, during the debate over evacuating the Gaza Strip. Just one-third of the Israeli public (33%) opposes dismantling most settlements, including 13 percent very strongly opposed. This is the lowest level of strong opposition to dismantling settlements recorded by the Truman Institute for the 26 surveys in which this question has been asked since 2001. The survey was conducted by the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In contrast to the views of the Israeli public, among Israeli settlers a large majority (69%) oppose dismantling most West Bank settlements. Moreover, a majority of settlers believe most of the Israeli general public shares its opposition to dismantling settlements. This is but one of several major misperceptions regarding the settlements issue revealed by the latest Truman Institute survey.

I tend to be skeptical of surveys and polling — but it probably is a mistake to write off the large number of Israel citizens who do not subscribe to the rejectionist policies of their leaders at the moment.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

53 comments on “3 in 5 Israelis Support Settlement Dismantlement for Peace Deal?

  1. nadine says:

    Actually, Barry Rubin says that if you add up everything the Pals get, it’s closer to 2 Billion a year, for a population of only about 3 million. (They claim more, but there is good reason to doubt their statistics).
    No, Israel doesn’t absolutely need the American aid. But most of the aid rolls straight back to high paying defense jobs for overpriced hardware in key Congressional districts, so it will never be cut.
    We give 2 billion to the Egyptians too. At least the Israeli money goes to a real ally who helps the US a lot with military support, technology, intelligence and cross-training and is NOT supplying al Qaeda on the sly, which is more than you can about the US’s Arab allies.

    Reply

  2. Sweetness says:

    Nadine: “Sweetness, do you even hear how ridiculous it is to
    pound on Israel to withdraw for years and years (like Tom
    Friedman did, just for one example) and then blame Israel when
    they do withdraw for not withdrawing exactly the right way?”
    You act like the criticism was that the Israelis failed to turn down
    the beds before they left. That’s NOT the criticism. A
    negotiated withdrawal with a party on the other side is NOT a
    small detail, a small nuance or calibration, that the Israelis
    “didn’t get right.”
    Sharon didn’t leave Gaza because Tom Friedman or liberals had
    been pounding on him. C’mon! He left because he read the
    demographic scorecard, and MAYBE thought he’d get a few
    brownie points for “withdrawing.” With Kadima, I think he was
    fixing to follow suit on the WB. But maybe not.
    But he just couldn’t bring himself to leave in a way that showed
    them some respect and would HELP the Palestinians make a go
    of it. He couldn’t hand the keys to the “new” owner, show him
    around, leave him a house warming present, and wish him well.
    He had to shit on the doorstep on the way out which then gave
    Israel the chance to say, “See? The Pals can’t hack it. We’ve got
    to protect ourselves from them.” And, of course, Hamas obliged.
    Now, things might have turned out exactly the same way had
    Sharon done everything right. Who knows? No one. But it could
    have helped and, more importantly, it would have been the right
    thing to do. And this is the rub, really. Sharon didn’t want to
    admit that withdrawing was the RIGHT THING TO DO, only the
    NECESSARY thing to do. Because that would have impugned the
    status quo ante.
    But he didn’t have to grovel or make any big admissions; all he
    had to do was do the common, decent thing that MIGHT have
    helped the situation and COULD have led to peace. Who knows?
    (Half the people on these comments seem so certain of what
    would have happened “if only” the powers that be had done XYZ.
    Fakin’ Bacon will tell ya that he “knows” Iran isn’t working to get
    the bomb. I actually think he’s wrong. But no one really knows.)
    Now, if you want to say, “See? The Pals get 500 million in
    foreign aid,” then you INVITE the comparison with Israel, a fully
    functioning modern state that still gets 3 billion a year. You say
    it’s a 100 billion a year economy. Its GDP appears to be $202
    billion. And it still needs to suck on America’s teat? C’mon!
    Israel isn’t a bunch of infants or teenagers who need an
    allowance. Plus with $3 trillion a year, we could trick ourselves
    out with a really snazzy health care system that might do us
    some good. POA could even get some inpatient mental health
    counseling with a budget like that–who knows?
    One amusing irony around here was all the talk some time ago
    about the PNAC’s Clean Break paper. What seemed to escape all
    the usual suspects was that “clean break” meant a clean break in
    economic ties between the US and Israel (apart from military
    aid). Even the neocons were arguing for cutting aid to Israel!
    Their motives for making this suggestion were different, but
    who cares?

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  3. nadine says:

    If there had been rulers in Gaza to whom you could have handed it, those people would still be ruling Gaza now. But they aren’t, are they?
    That’s the result of Bush’s stupidity in pushing for elections. Lots of people tried to tell him and Condi Rice what would happen. But they wouldn’t listen.
    Sweetness, do you even hear how ridiculous it is to pound on Israel to withdraw for years and years (like Tom Friedman did, just for one example) and then blame Israel when they do withdraw for not withdrawing exactly the right way? You didn’t manage the hand-off right! Yeah, that’s the reason Hamas took over! If only you’d had a handover ceremony with Abu Mazen, it would all be different!
    Please. This is just another exercise in infantilizing the Palestinians: if Baby makes a mess, it’s Mama’s fault for not infant-proofing the room.
    The Gazans are not infants. They are radicals who are being enabled in their radicalism by $500 million in foreign aid to Gaza alone (according to Barry Rubin). At that, Hamas has only 37% support, according to the Pew poll, but don’t worry for Hamas, since Islamists don’t believe in holding elections which might vote them OUT of power.

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  4. Sweetness says:

    Nadine: (Though I think I get why Sharon withdrew from Gaza, it sent the wrong message in this regard.)
    The key problem there was that it wasn’t a negotiated withdrawal. Sharon didn’t make the “hand-off” and set out principles. He just picked up and left…and left a vacuum.
    IOW, you don’t just leave Gaza, you it TO someone.

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  5. nadine says:

    jdledell,
    There is nothing maximalist about my positions at all. If I saw any diplomatic opportunities I would be all for pursuing them. My hope for Israel is to pursue diplomacy when there’s an opening, but not to panic when there is not.
    Nobody negotiates while they are still hoping for total victory. My assessment is that the Israelis as a whole have given up on Greater Israel, but the Palestinians as a whole have not given up on Greater Palestine. This doubly true now that their sponsors include Iran as well as the Arab League.
    So Israel’s strategic goal must be to make them give up on Greater Palestine, to make them understand that Israel will not go away. Israel’s offering to cut its own throat lest the Palestinians cut its head off is exactly the wrong way to go about it. Israel must always be willing to deal, but must never offer unilateral concessions in vain hopes of appeasement. (Though I think I get why Sharon withdrew from Gaza, it sent the wrong message in this regard.) Your existential panic sends exactly the wrong message too.
    Did you read the exchange between James Risen and Yossi Klein Halevi on TNR? I think it’s well worth reading.

    Reply

  6. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I feel sorry for you. You offer no hope for Israel. Your negative and maximalist position on peace terms will never yield an agreement. Just remember G-d has tossed us out of Israel several times. Israel has lost it’s way and has forgotten the core of our faith. We’ve become brutal overlords, no different than Egypt of the distant past. May G-d have mercy on our souls.

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  7. nadine says:

    “Gaza caused the peace camp to collapse…Needless to say, the reasons are not all on Hamas’ shoulders. ”
    What, Israel made them stage a coup? Israel made them renege on the PA agreements? Israel made them fire rockets? If you say, “they had no choice because of their ideology” aren’t you just restating the problem, that there can be no peace with radical Islamists in charge?
    Or put another way, are you trying to say that Israel must pull out of the West Bank, knowing it will be a repeat of Gaza? Sounds to me like your fellow Israelis would rather save themselves the repeat of Operation Defensive Shield that would entail. Lots of situations could be worse than the current one.
    “You think that the arab league proposal is a sham. Okay but where is Israel’s counter offer? ”
    Didn’t Olmert make it? The Arabs are not offering negotiations, just take-it-or-leave-it. Give up everything first, then we’ll see if we feel like responding. If Olmert’s offer didn’t count for anything, then an Israeli counter-offer that they would even notice does not exist.
    “The language was despicable and advocated much more violence against Palestinians than I have ever heard Palestinians utter. ”
    You’re not exactly privy to Hamas or Fatah council meetings, are you? Plus, the Elon Moreh types don’t run the government. Hamas and Fatah do.
    “The arabs will never cease their hostility toward Israel unless there is a peace agreement”
    I think you have that backwards.
    “As technology advances and spreads, the disparity between Israel’s military and it’s neighbors will diminish. ”
    It is not technology that makes Arab armies suck; it is their autocratic societal structures, which make officers treat the men like dirt and keep information secret from them that they need to know, so it takes an Arab colonel to make the decisions that an American sergeant can make. Beside, Israeli innovative capacities will keep them ahead on the technology front too. Lee Harris is a good author to read on this subject.
    “Just remember, the encitement coming out of Egypt in the 60’s and 70’s was far worse than any coming from the Palestinians, even Hamas.”
    But then Sadat went to Jerusalem. Even though Sadat had been a Nazi, Begin welcomed him. And you know what drove him: Sadat had lost his hope of winning another war. Making peace cost him his life and the incitement continues.
    No Palestinian ever made Sadat’s turnabout. You know Arafat, that double-crossing gangster, never did; Hamas and Fatah have since reverted to irridentism.
    Every action the Palestinians take now, as opposed to their ritualistic whining, says they think time is on their side, they are in no hurry to negotiate, they expect to get handed freebies, they think their tactics are winning. In short, they may moan about how horrible the Occupation is but show no interest in negotiating to end it.
    It is strategic suicide to offer more and more concessions which only shore up this mentality.

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  8. Sweetness says:

    Jdledell…a sane voice…you need to hang out here more often. I used to read you over at tpm. Perhaps you became discouraged by the endless endlessness. Then again, it was better with the old software. Berkowitz, Zionista and others were great as well.

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  9. jdledell says:

    Nadine – Okay I’ll answer your question. Gaza caused the peace camp to collapse. The reasons are many and varied and beyond the limited scope of this discussion. Needless to say, the reasons are not all on Hamas’ shoulders.
    You think that the arab league proposal is a sham. Okay but where is Israel’s counter offer? Yes land for peace has many problems and risks but it is the only way to finally achieve peace without apartheid or transfer.
    As far as incitment, I hear much worse in Kiryat Arba than I do in Ramallah or Nablus. This trip I went to shul in Bat Ayin, Shilo and Elon Moreh. The language was despicable and advocated much more violence against Palestinians than I have ever heard Palestinians utter.
    Israel is facing a no win situation. The arabs will never cease their hostility toward Israel unless there is a peace agreement. As technology advances and spreads, the disparity between Israel’s military and it’s neighbors will diminish. I was in Israel for the High Holy Days of 1973 and know how close we came to losing that war. I know the fear first hand.I had a gun in my hand along with fellow Jaffa residents.
    A Peace Agreement may not bring us perpetual peace but perpetual war will bring our demise. In the end we have no choice but to take the risks for peace. Just remember, the encitement coming out of Egypt in the 60’s and 70’s was far worse than any coming from the Palestinians, even Hamas. Egypt killed more Israelis than the Palestinians by a wide margin. In the 60’s no Israeli could ever imagine a peace agreement with Egypt, they sounded like you. Yet Peace has come and it has been a boon for Israel.

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  10. nadine says:

    jdledell I know what made the Israeli Peace Camp collapse. Do you? You’re there but you talk as if the Peace Camp still existed. What made almost all your fellow Israelis change their minds about the prospect for negotiations? BTW, was there ever a Palestinian Peace Camp? If not, aren’t you avoiding the heart of the problem?
    We both know the Arab League proposal was designed to look serious to the ignorant without being serious – it demands Israel withdraw to the 67 lines as a precondition to talks, while only hinting at Arab normalization of relations afterwards. If it’s serious, let some Saudi princeling pollute himself by flying to Jerusalem to talk with some Israeli undersecretary about it. That alone would change the tone.
    Land-for-worthless-promises is a formula that has been tried over and over, and doesn’t work. Unilateral withdrawal work even worse. Or do you consider the Gaza withdrawal such a big success you want to repeat it the West Bank. When Hamas is launching missiles from the Judean hills, what are you going to say, Oops?
    Glad to hear Sari Nusseibeh is out of hiding. But you know the Palestinian incitement and the war on history continues unabated.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And Jdedell asks Nadine if she’s ever been to Israel. At this point, does anyone really doubt that Nadine IS in Israel? Considering her quick access to the relevent hasbara to disingenuously counter ANY topic of criticism against Israel, and her unrelenting efforts on this blog, is there really anyone naive enough to believe she has been honest about her residency or motives?
    Thats the problem with liars. After they are caught in one single lie, it is impossible to hold ANYTHING they say as being credible.

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If Jews such as Jdledell would speak up as one, perhaps they’d be able to wash the blood off. But until then, the world will continue to paint the Jews in Israel with the same brush they paint these lying murderous racist Jews like Nadine.

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  13. jdledell says:

    Nadine – Sari is not in hiding. I had no trouble finding him last month. He is still at Al Quds University and I did not see any formal bodyguards around him. I never said that he had power, it is just that he knows what is going on in the Palestinian leadership.
    That is one of your problems -everything that you think you know comes second hand via the media. Have you ever been in Israel? For example, I would have never known about the lease deal in Olmert’s negotiations had I not been in Israel for the elections and heard Livni describe it. Knowing Hebrew can yield a lot of information.
    Solving this conflict is not a game, yet Israel treats negotiations as if it were. How do we get the most and give up the least. The concept of “Auswitch borders” is ridiculous. The time for tank warfare is over and no borders are large enough to prevent rockets. Miltarily, Israel is so much stronger than any of it’s neighboring Arab states there is no way it faces a conventional military existential threat for the next 100 years.
    Israel spends an enormous amount of money maintaining the occupation – money better spent developing the country and our people. Israel’s leadership should be traveling the world with a sane peace proposal and gathering EU, American, Asian and UN etc support to end the conflict.
    The Arabs have put a proposal on the table. I don’t like it and you don’t like it. Where is Israel’s counter proposal for the world to see? Camp David proposals were never codified, Taba came closer to being fleshed out. Olmert’s proposals never saw the light of day to examine all the fine print. Beware of what the large print and maps offer that the fine print takes away.
    Nadine, do you think Israel will allow a viable and continguous Palestinian state that controls it’s own borders, airspace and water resources along with the arab sections of Jerusalem? Think of the West Bank for now. Gaza will have to be treated as a separate issue for now. For the forseeable future I believe the Palestinian state can only be established in the West Bank. Specifically, what do you think is a sane peace proposal?

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  14. nadine says:

    From what I’ve seen, Sari Nusseibeh is a fine guy, but he has no political power whatsoever. To pretend that he speaks for the Palestinian leadership, that his opinion of what the Palestinians will accept carries any weight, is patently ridiculous. It’s like saying Yossi Beilin is “plugged into” the Netanyahu government and speaks for them. It’s even more far-fetched than that, since Beilin was an MK once.
    If a symbolic “right of return” limited to 50,000 or even 100,000 had been acceptable, the time to have mentioned it was during real negotiations, by someone authorized to sign a deal.
    My question of whether a man with fewer connections could even express Sari Nusseibeh’s opinions without getting killed as a collaborator is a serious one. Could he? I’ve always gotten the impression that he could not. I checked Wikipedia for an update on Nusseibeh, and found this: “In January, 2010 Nusseibeh was reported to have gone into hiding out of fear for his life because in a sentence he wrote in a book entitled Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade he accepted as fact that the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem actually existed, a fact that is denied by many Muslims.”
    So even Nusseibeh is in danger for not toeing the current propaganda line. Just how is Israel supposed to make peace with people who have gone to war with anyone who accurately reports historical facts? Care to comment?

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  15. jdledell says:

    Nadine – Sari Nusseibeh has accomplished more in his life than you ever will. I really don’t understand the basis for your arrogance. You continue to make statements of opinion as if they were facts. Your mind is poisoned as badly as any Hamas member. To you everything is the Palestinian’s faults – never the Jew. Turn that around and you could pass for Khaled Meshal.

    Reply

  16. nadine says:

    “Personally, I could not accept the arab plan as is, but with some changes in the 67 lines to accomodate close by settlements(with land exchange) and the current Jewish areas of Jerusalem I think it’s doable. ”
    But the Palestinians can’t. They turned it down twice already. Without a counter. The deal killer wasn’t the Jordan Valley or borders or anything else, but “right of return” of five million Palestinians to Israel.
    The so-called Arab League peace proposal makes Israel withdraw to the 67 lines first, then hints that the Arabs might normalize relations afterwards. Or maybe not. Depends if the Palestinians say they are happy. What are the odds?
    “On the right of return, I have had numerous conversations with Sari Nusseibeh and he is pretty well plugged into the Palestinian political leadership.”
    Sari Nusseibeh! Boy, you are easily had! What weight does Sari Nusseibeh carry on the Fatah Central Committee? Or with Hamas? Sari Nusseibeh is kept around (would he even still be alive, if he didn’t come from an illustrious Jerusalem family?) to fool people like you that peace is around the corner if only Israel would give this, and that, and this, and that — never for anything in return, not even a gesture. Meantime, the PA rears another generation in the culture of suicide bombing as life’s greatest glory.

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  17. jdledell says:

    The Palestinians and the entire arab league proposed a peace settlement in March of 2002. They have been waiting 8 years for Israel’s counter proposal.
    Personally, I could not accept the arab plan as is, but with some changes in the 67 lines to accomodate close by settlements(with land exchange) and the current Jewish areas of Jerusalem I think it’s doable.
    On the right of return, I have had numerous conversations with Sari Nusseibeh and he is pretty well plugged into the Palestinian political leadership. As was part of the Geneva Accords and discussed at Camp David, a face saving return of probably 30,000 to 50,000 would do the trick along with compensation.
    What killed Camp David as well as Olmert’s peace approach is Israel’s contention that it needs to hold on to the border with Jordan. According to Livni, it was done by using a 99 year lease on the Jordan Valley area close to the border.
    There is no way the Palestinians can agree to let Israel control EVERYONE and EVERYTHING entering or exiting a sovereign state. Plus, Israel still wants to control all the West bank water resources as well as airspace. Those are deal killers.

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  18. larry birnbaum says:

    jdledell, I don’t know you and so I can’t judge your comments. I don’t know if you find much to be proud of in the United States, for example.
    By the same token you shouldn’t presume that you know me. I’m not “delighted” if Israel is breaking its word to the United States regarding settlement activity in the West Bank over this period. I’m not a proponent of “Greater Israel”. I don’t, on the other hand, think settlements are that big a deal if the Palestinians actually are serious about negotiating a peaceful resolution of this conflict. They don’t like settlements? Obviously. They want them to stop? Then they should negotiate a peace treaty as quickly as possible. They can put a proposal on the table tomorrow and the pressure will be on Israel to respond.

    Reply

  19. nadine says:

    “Obama blunders about, preventing the outcome he says he wants. He says he wants I/P negotiations, which he prevents by introducing new preconditions. Then he looks for someone else to blame for his own stupidity. Since Obama is a multi-culturalist, he has to find somebody white to blame, which means Israel every time”
    Here, you POS, I’ll say it again. Obama is a multi-culturalist, and multi-culturalism as practiced is a racist philosophy.
    Multi-culturalism takes what was originally a good idea – taking culture into account – to insanity, by making culture the only thing that counts, with all other values being relative and subordinate to culture. This culture fetish is self-contradictory, because if there are no true values but culture, how can you believe in anything? how can you believe that your own multi-cultural beliefs are better than somebody else’s homicidally monocultural beliefs? Will you let somebody commit murder in front of you if he says it’s right in his culture? Will you let him kill you? If not, by what right do you put your values over his? Multi-culturalists can’t resolve this contradiction, so they just try to refrain from judging any culture labeled as “other”.
    So if you’re “us”, which in practice means if you’re white, you can be held to the very highest of standards. But if you’re “other”, Arab or African or Oriental, different story, allowances must be made, “other” values must be understood, “narratives” must be respected — in short an excuse will be found for any behavior, and whatever is beyond excusing must be ignored.
    Everything gets viewed through the fun-house mirror of a litany of Western sins, Slavery, Colonialism, Orientalism, Racism (as if the East never did these things too, just as much and more, as the West), for which the West must perpetually atone. Maybe that’s why Obama keeps bowing. He never bows to white people, have you noticed? Not even to Queen Elizabeth.

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  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….. I suggest you get your butt over to Israel and you will hear comments about Palestinians hundreds of times a day far, far, far more offensive…..”
    Why would they do that when they can be despicable from the comfort of their own safe and secure couch in the good old USA? They just spew the lies and the bigotry and let someone else actually do the shooting.

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  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This is a staggeringly offensive remark, even considering the source”
    Good. If anyone deserves to be “offended” for peddling their hasbarist crap, its people like you or Nadine.
    “Obama blunders about, preventing the outcome he says he wants. He says he wants I/P negotiations, which he prevents by introducing new preconditions. Then he looks for someone else to blame for his own stupidity. Since Obama is a multi-culturalist, he has to find somebody white to blame, which means Israel every time”
    So, “Sweetness”, just what the hell do you think about Nadine’s statement, quoted above? Do you think its an argument put forth in good faith? Do you really think the ignorant propaganda pushing mouthpiece really believes such asinine blather?

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  22. nadine says:

    jdledell,
    You know the Palestinians will never deal unless they are forced to. Making the always fantasy-ridden Palestinians believe that Obama will deliver Israel to them trussed up and on the chopping block, which is what Obama is doing, will only make the war inevitable. Did the Gaza withdrawal lead to even one step towards a settlement, or away from it? It takes two sides to settle a conflict.
    Considering your views, I’d be considerably worried if you had found much “to be proud of”. It would mean the Israelis were about to do something suicidal.

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  23. jdledell says:

    Nadine & Larry – I just returned from 3 weeks in Israel and I must say I don’t find much in the country to be proud of. Most of the Israelis I spent time with have a visceral hatred of Palestinians. If you found the remark about Nadine “staggeringly offensive”, I suggest you get your butt over to Israel and you will hear comments about Palestinians hundreds of times a day far, far, far more offensive.
    One of the differences in this trip versus last fall was the Jewish contempt for the “other” has permeated Tel Aviv and other more cosmopolitan cities and is not limited to towns like Kiryat Arba, Bat Ayin, Ariel and other settlements.
    I’m sure you will both be delighted to know that the settlement freeze is bogus. There was a flurry of inspectors at the beginning but now none are to be seen and building in addition to the 3000 units is an open secret.
    More and more Israelis are adopting a “F#@K the world attitude”. The world is against us anyway so lets do whatever the hell we want. I think this is extremely dangerous for Israel and Jews. Losing our moral code will be the end of us as a people. About a quarter of the people I talked to wanted to nuke Iran. In addition, I’m sure you are aware that the West Bank aquifers are being drained dangerously fast and the future water issues are going to be explosive politically very soon.
    The talk is there is not enough water resources to support both a Jewish population as well as the Palestinians. You can guess where that conclusion is leading Israel. Many talk about doing another Lebanon war but this time taking the Litani and the surround water resources permanently. After all, it was originally ours a few thousand years ago.
    Unless this conflict is settled soon, Israel will no longer be the same and neither will our religion. I have relatives who serve in the IDF and border police. To hear their stories, if even half true, bring tears to my eyes for the failure of our faith. Go and see for yourself.

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  24. larry birnbaum says:

    “Isn’t there one single Jew out there, reading this, that has the brains or integrity to tell this ignorant wretch to just shut up?”
    This is a staggeringly offensive remark, even considering the source.

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  25. questions says:

    Here’s a Matt Taibbi piece from a few weeks ago. I guess I missed this. He has quite a writing style!
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/32255149/wall_streets_bailout_hustle/print

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  26. nadine says:

    questions, don’t know enough yet to have an informed opinion. My first reaction is surprise, and to wonder who was behind bringing these charges. Goldman has made out like a bandit under Obama. Geitner paid of AIG’s obligations to Goldman at 100%. (This may have something to do with the fact that Wall St was a big Obama contributor in 2008, giving 2 to 1 more to Obama than McCain. I believe Goldman lead the pack.) Of course, they did well under Bush to, what with the Hank Paulson connection. The ultimate protected insider firm.

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  27. questions says:

    nadine, any thoughts on the Goldman charges? Do you think a)there’s real fraud? b)if so, pervasive fraud or isolated fraud? c)could this really be bigger than, say, the CRA? (I’m sure you know my answers, but I’m curious about the other side. Have read some Wall Street commenters via kos, and it seems there’s some real concern about the breadth of the fraud at this point. If it’s fraud deep and wide, we could be in for a new economic event?)
    Some speculation that the timing is a message to the Senate on financial regulation. I don’t know that the gov’t is that coordinated on anything, though.
    It’ll be interesting to watch this one develop.

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  28. nadine says:

    “Shut up,” he explained.

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  29. Sweetness says:

    To be honest with you POA, the only person telling anyone to “shut
    up” on these comments is you.

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  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Obama blunders about, preventing the outcome he says he wants. He says he wants I/P negotiations, which he prevents by introducing new preconditions. Then he looks for someone else to blame for his own stupidity. Since Obama is a multi-culturalist, he has to find somebody white to blame, which means Israel every time”
    Amazing. Isn’t there one single Jew out there, reading this, that has the brains or integrity to tell this ignorant wretch to just shut up?

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  31. nadine says:

    “The main factor that deterred the surveyed to accept the agreement was:
    “I do not believe the Palestinian side will hold up their obligations”; ”
    Gee, ya think? Just because the Palestinians have trashed every agreement they made so far? They agreed to stop terrorism, stop incitement, recognize Israel, build a state — they’ve reneged on everything. And still 67% of Israelis accepted the idea. Talk about the triumph of hope over experience.

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  32. nadine says:

    POA, your Haaretz survey is out of date. The AJC poll they are reporting was taken in the middle of March. The McLaughlin poll I quoted was taken last week.
    For American Jews who don’t pay much attention, it’s easy to think that nothing much has changed under Obama. “Envoy” “Peace Process” “Negotiations” “Settlements” — we’ve all heard these words a million times for the last twenty years.
    But Obama’s animus is new. His fury at Netanyahu is new – this from ‘No Drama’ Obama, who is all gracious obsequiousness when talking to Ajmedinejad or Chavez or a dozen dictators around the world. His fury is reserved only for Israel, and for what cause? A routine housing announcement in an established Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem. Tehran is shooting, raping and hanging its democracy protesters, but Obama can’t be bothered to notice. But Israel builds a new apartment complex, and it’s an “insult,” a “snub,” a “provocation” to be “condemned”.
    You can feel hatred even if you don’t pay much attention. You can feel the wish to abandon Israel for some so-called “neutral” stance, which the NYT made official today, acting its usual capacity of White House press office. Ed Koch says he’s never been more terrified. Ed Koch supported Obama in 2008.
    The biggest irony is that if Obama thinks he is pleasing our Arab allies by this behavior, he is dead wrong. Oh, they have to bash Israel in public, it’s de rigeur for them. But it’s Iran they are terrified of, and Obama is only advertising how weak and untrustworthy he is as an ally, especially as he’s making it clear he intends to do NOTHING about Iran.
    But Obama is too inexperienced, naive and narcissistic to realize that. He’s listening to a bunch of unrealistic realists who have told him solving I/P is some kind of a magic key towards dealing with Iran, which wants to destroy Israel. Smart diplomacy, hoo-ha.
    Obama blunders about, preventing the outcome he says he wants. He says he wants I/P negotiations, which he prevents by introducing new preconditions. Then he looks for someone else to blame for his own stupidity. Since Obama is a multi-culturalist, he has to find somebody white to blame, which means Israel every time.
    Yes, American Jews are starting to catch on. They’re rather slow off the mark; independent voters are already ahead of them. But they’re getting there.

    Reply

  33. PissedOffAmerican says:

    67% of Israelis Support an Agreement with the Palestinians
    29/03/2010
    The Dahaf Institute recently conducted a survey called: “Positions of the Israeli Public and the Political Leadership (MKs) Regarding a Possible Peace Agreement”. The survey was commissioned for the Center for Peace under the directorship by Danny Abraham.
    The survey presented an option to a permanent agreement with the Palestinians based on similar principles of Ayalon – Nusseibeh agreement and the Geneva Initiative:
    1. Two-state solution (Israeli – Jewish State + Palestinian State);
    2. Return of refugees to Palestine only
    3. Demilitarized Palestinian state
    4. 67 lines with an exchange of territory
    5. Jerusalem – Jewish neighborhoods to be in Israel, Arab Neighborhoods to be in Palestine;
    6. Old City under a joint management – sovereignty for both sides and the U.S. together.
    The results:
    67% of Israelis (63% of Israeli Jews) – in favor of such an agreement.
    50% of Likud and Lieberman voters in elections in 2009

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  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Majority of American Jews support Obama’s Israel approach
    Since US-Israeli relations began to cool in early March, it has been assumed that US Jews disapprove of President Obama’s firm stance on settlements and the peace process, but a recent poll shows that most American Jews “view their leader and his dealings with Israel in a positive light,” Haaretz reports.
    The 2010 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion showed 73% of American Jews identify the current US-Israeli relationship as “positive” or “very positive.” 55% report they approve of the president’s approach to the US-Israeli relationship.
    However, those polled were less optimistic about the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, 72% responding that nothing has changed since last year. 80% said a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal cannot be brokered with Hamas in leadership anywhere in the OPT, and the majority of respondents agreed that Arabs seek the “destruction of the state of Israel.”
    On Iran, American Jews were divided almost equally in their response to the Obama administration’s stewardship of the Iranian nuclear situation: 62% of respondents support Israeli military action on Iran.
    http://palestinenote.com/cs/blogs/news/archive/2010/04/14/majority-of-american-jews-support-obama-s-israel-approach.aspx

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  35. nadine says:

    American Jews are starting to wake up to how much Barack Obama hates Israel, how he bows to the King of Saudi Arabia and asks nothing from Abu Mazen, but yells at Netanyahu like Bibi was some insolent servant instead of the head of a sovereign country. There was a poll of 600 American Jews taken last week:
    “According to the 2008 exit polls, Barack Obama won 78% to 21% among Jewish voters.
    Now, in the second year of Obama

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  36. larry birnbaum says:

    I appreciate the link. I only found what I could at Commentary. Not the most reliable source which is why I mentioned it and tried to check.
    That’s a bare majority but it’s something that can maybe be built on.

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  37. nadine says:

    “One of the takeaways was the inevitable collision of the immovable object of a Jewish state with the unstoppable force of Palestinian demographics. ”
    Maw, you have to be careful about the source of your numbers. The Palestinians are well aware of the power of the demographic threat, and their fidelity to the truth in such matters is non-existent, when the truth interferes with their political interest. Plus, many Palestinian refugees are on the UNWRA dole, and UNWRA figures are padded six ways to Sunday to game the system.

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  38. nadine says:

    “if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well. This is something I put in the book. But Taba is the problem. The Clinton parameters are the problem, because the Clinton parameters, in my view

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  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile, EVERY DAY……
    http://ingaza.wordpress.com/
    endless casualties of Israel

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The question before the one Larry Birnbaum cites……”
    Hmmmm, that question would explain the “difficulty” he had supplying a link, eh?

    Reply

  41. Barbara Bauer says:

    The An-Najah University poll is here:
    http://www.najah.edu/index.php?news_id=6411
    The question before the one Larry Birnbaum cites, regarding
    establishment of a state with some land exchange :
    “Do you accept the creation of a Palestinian state on the total area
    of the 1967 borders as a final solution for the Palestinian problem?

    Yes 51.7%
    No 44.7%
    No opinion/don’t know 3.5%

    Reply

  42. DonS says:

    “Conservatives universally think everyone else is just like them.” (frb)
    A corollary to this idea, or maybe a variation, is that conservatives appropriate a kind of arrogance that derives from their nonchalant non-critical use of language. This is because the ‘content’ of general conservative thought lies along the line of easy shibboleths, however irrelevant to the current world.
    As with most political constructs, it is possible to develop an entire understanding of the use and misuse of language and what it reveals about the speakers.
    Question is, who is listening? Is there any doubt that the import of language is more about the messaging than the actual significance of the message?
    Taken to another level, the surrogate battles over politics is more about power and the acquisition of power than about the practical and ethical use of power.

    Reply

  43. frb says:

    “Moreover, a majority of settlers believe most of the Israeli general public shares its opposition to dismantling settlements. . .”
    Conservatives universally think everyone else is just like them.

    Reply

  44. JohnH says:

    Such an offer!!! Fmr. Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami:

    Reply

  45. Maw of America says:

    I went to a panel discussion last night with Amy Wilentz, Saree Makdisi and Sandy Tolan. One of the takeaways was the inevitable collision of the immovable object of a Jewish state with the unstoppable force of Palestinian demographics. They all seemed to think that the younger members of each population are working at a grassroots level to make a solution come about. It won’t be the work of Netanyahu or Abbas. It will simply happen despite the forces of calcified regional politics.
    My question is whether the perception of Iran as a nuclear threat will outpace the forces of either a two-state solution or a rational pluralist nation. A strike against Iran will bring Russia, China and Brazil into a energy counterforce to push back against Israel and, presumably, the US.

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    This Israeli consensus is nothing new. Ehud Barak’s offer would have ripped up 80% of the settlements. So would Ehud Olmert’s offer. It is only offered as “news” to the ignorant. But as Larry points out, the offers didn’t work because the Palestinians don’t want a two state solution.

    Reply

  47. larry birnbaum says:

    As long as we’re doing polls, here’s one from An-Najah University in Nablus, via Commentary. They do have a polling center there, but their latest poll listed is a bad link. So I haven’t been able to go straight to them yet; hence I don’t have any way to assess this poll. Still, here are the results:
    Do you accept the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with some land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian problem?
    Yes 28.3
    No 66.7
    No opinion/I do not know 5.0
    Do you support or reject making Jerusalem a capital for two states: Palestine and Israel?
    I support 20.8
    I reject 77.4
    No opinion/I do not know 1.8

    Reply

  48. Carroll says:

    A little recap on the settlements.
    What is the Obama administration’s position on Israeli settlement activity?
    # President Barack Obama: “Settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward.” Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, May 18, 2009
    #…each party has obligations under the road map. On the Israeli side those obligations include stopping settlements… And in my conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu I was very clear about the need to stop the settlements…” Meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, May 28, 2009
    # The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” Speech at the American University of Cairo, June 4, 2009
    # Vice President Joseph Biden: “Israel has to work towards a two-state solution. You’re not going to like my saying this, but not build more settlements, dismantle existing outposts, and allow the Palestinians freedom of movement based on their first actions… This is a ‘show me’ deal – not based on faith – show me.” Speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, May 5, 2009
    # Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “… the President was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions… And we intend to press that point.” Meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Ali Aboul Gheit, May 27, 2009
    How have Israeli officials responded to U.S. calls for an end to settlement activity?
    Israel has rejected American calls for it to honor past agreements and stop all settlement activity. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that Israel will continue to allow “natural growth” construction in existing settlements. And while Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed that Israel evacuate 22 unauthorized settlement outposts, Interior Minister Eli Yishai has announced plans to allocate ministry reserve funds to support settlement expansion throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
    On August 18, in what has been interpreted as a goodwill gesture to President Obama, Israeli officials announced a “waiting period” or alleged moratorium on new building in the settlements. The waiting period, however, falls far short of Israel’s obligation to implement a comprehensive and immediate freeze on all settlement activities as stipulated in the 2001 Mitchell Report and the 2003 Road Map.
    According to Dror Etkes, of the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, there is no sign of a slowdown in actual settlement construction. In an interview with the Associated Press, Etkes said that “In practice, on the ground, construction is continuing, and the pace is even picking up.” According to Israel’s Peace Now, 1000 housing units are currently under construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. And just one day after Israeli officials leaked news of this so-called limited settlement freeze, Ha’aretz’s business supplement, The Marker, reported that the Israeli government is expected to invite bids for 450 new housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev.
    While the average population growth rate inside Israel is 1.8 percent, in the settlements it is 5.5 percent, and during the Oslo period fluctuated between 7 and 9 percent. This phenomenon is due to higher birth rates and Israeli government efforts to promote migration to the settlements. In 2007, the last year for which official figures are available, Israelis moving for the first time into the Occupied Territories accounted for 37 percent of the growth in the settler population (not including Occupied East Jerusalem).
    Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, recently said, “Washington has a strong enough memory of what Netanyahu did with natural growth last time he was prime minister, which is basically drive a settlement truck through that loophole.”
    What are unauthorized outposts?
    While all settlement activity in Occupied Palestinian Territory is prohibited by international law, “outposts” are settlements that are established without Israeli government approval. There are currently at least 110 such outposts. (PLO Negotiation Affairs Department – Negotiations Support Unit, “Summary of Israeli Road Map Violations since Annapolis.”) They are often comprised of mobile homes, huts and shacks that are both easily removed and easily replaced. For example, the Ma’oz Esther outpost has been repeatedly removed by the Israeli army and then subsequently rebuilt by settlers. The Israeli settlement watchdog group Peace Now dismisses such removals as “P.R. in light of the Washington meeting between Netanyahu and Obama” and an attempt “to create a false facade of outpost evacuation.”
    Such claims carry particular weight in the aftermath of the Israeli government’s 2005 Sasson Report. The report found that despite outposts being illegal under Israeli law, over the years numerous Israeli government ministries provided funds and material to construct and maintain the outposts.
    What have past agreements said about settlements?
    Oslo Accords (1993)
    The Oslo Accords left discussion of settlements to final status negotiations which were to begin no later than 1996 and to be completed by 1998. The Accords called for “a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.” UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the 1967 war, emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for the “termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State.” By basing the solution to the conflict on UNSC Resolution 242, the Oslo Accords implicitly call for the removal of the settlements.
    Israeli Settlement Activity Post-Oslo
    In 1992, the year before the Oslo Accords, there were 246,400 settlers living in more than 100 settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. During the Oslo years from 1993 to 2000, the Israeli settler population expanded by 71 percent. The Israeli government built 21,999 new housing units and the population grew to 371,904.
    Roadmap to Peace (2003)
    In 2003, President George W. Bush released the Roadmap to Peace, a document accepted by both the Israelis and Palestinians. Phase one of the roadmap outlines two actions Israel must take regarding settlements: “[Government of Israel] immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001” and “Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).”
    Did Israel Comply?
    From 2003 to 2007, Israel built 8,820 new housing units in settlements. And despite removing its settlers from Gaza in 2005, in 2007, Israel still had 133 official settlements, 102 unauthorized settlement outposts and 468,500 settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
    Annapolis Conference (2007)
    On November 27, 2007, President Bush released the “joint understanding” document that the Israelis and Palestinians agreed to at the Annapolis Conference. It stated in part that, “The parties also commit to immediately implement their respective obligations under the performance-based road map… The parties further commit to continue the implementation of the ongoing obligations of the road map until they reach a peace treaty”. Therefore Israel remained obligated to freeze all settlement expansion and remove outposts.
    Did Israel Comply?
    From December 2007 until May 2009, Israel began construction on 962 new housing units, in addition to the 3,229 units already under construction at the time that the joint understanding was issued. In March 2009, Peace Now revealed that Israel has drawn up plans to build 73,302 settlement housing units in 24 different settlements. There are now 133 official settlements, 110 outposts, and a settler population of 485,200 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (PLO Negotiation Affairs Department – Negotiations Support Unit, “Summary of Israeli Road Map Violations since Annapolis”).
    Do Israeli settlements violate international law?
    Israel’s settlements exist in clear violation of international law. They violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which bars an occupying power from moving its citizens into the occupied region. They also violate The Hague Regulations, which forbid the occupier from making permanent changes in the occupied territory unless it is a military necessity.
    The United Nations Security Council has passed several resolutions labeling Israel’s settlements as violations of international law. As well, in 2004, the International Court of Justice passed a unanimous ruling that the settlements violated international law.
    What is the impact of the settlements on a two-state solution?
    Israeli settlements pose a serious obstacle to the international consensus for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Currently, settlement-related infrastructure (including settler-only roads, army bases, the separation wall, closed military zones, checkpoints, etc.) consumes 38% of the West Bank. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) notes that, “The West Bank has been dissected into dozens of enclaves by the settlements and related infrastructure.”
    Without removing the settlements, a contiguous and viable Palestinian state is not possible. President Bush recognized this, stating in April 2008 that, “I assured the president [Abbas] that a Palestinian state’s a high priority for me and my administration: a viable state, a state that doesn’t look like Swiss cheese, a state that provides hope.”

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    What benefits does Israel provide to settlers?
    Israel promotes migration to the settlements in a variety of ways. It labels most of the settlements as “national priority areas”, giving settlers access to substantial economic assistance.
    This assistance includes, “generous loans for the purchase of apartments, part of which is converted to a grant; significant price reductions in leasing land; incentives for teachers, exemption from tuition fees in kindergartens, and free transportation to school; grants for investors, infrastructure for industrial zones, etc.; incentives for social workers; and [until 2003] reductions in income tax for individuals and companies.”
    Israel also provides local and regional governments with funding much greater than that disbursed inside Israel. In 2000, local governments of settlements received 65% more funding per capita than local governments inside Israel received. Regional settler governments received 165% more funding than their counterparts in Israel.
    Finally, the Israeli government funds the entire budget of the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division. This allows the WZO to promote and assist migration to settlements in ways that government ministries cannot.

    Reply

  50. DonS says:

    Israel has created a whale of a problem for itself by abetting the land grabs, encouraging expansion of settlers, and virtually ignoring outposts and the actions of renegade ‘settlers’.
    The problem as I see it has to do with internal fracturing within Israeli society and the absolute necessity to confront the most radical elements of fringe settlers; think Gaza evacuation writ large. The majority of those living in the territories would likely accept relocation — no doubt subsidized by the US, as is all of Israel (or cross subsidized if you prefer to draw out the economic analogy). ; The radical fringes will scream like hell, and certainly create a dilemma for the right wing of Israeli politics which will be forced to acknowledge in action everything it denies in word, that the continuation of a viable Israel is contingent upon massive withdrawal.
    As to the logistics, unlike some, I don’t see much more of a problem that happens everywhere else in democracies where the government mandates necessary relocation. How many ‘urban renewal’ projects in the US relocated how many hundreds of thousands of residents under the name of ‘general welfare’? And, again, the US will subsidize/cross subsidize most of the operation. . . as well it should since it has turned a blind eye to the creation of the problems, even abetted it through embracing the nefarious pressure of AIPAC types of organizations through the political system.

    Reply

  51. JohnH says:

    The term ‘settler’ is overly broad, and the poll reveals this. Many of the Israelis living in the Occupied Territories responded to subsidized government housing built with loans guaranteed by Uncle Sami, Israel’s sugar daddy. They are rational thinkers, unlike the crazies who dominate Israeli policy.
    And, as ‘questions’ implies, this would not be the first time that a whole country got hijacked by its most radical elements. You only have to recall the Cheney years…
    Criticism of the Israel government should intensify. Critics will be called a lot of nasty names, but people need to realize that this is how crazies always behave when their agenda cannot be justified morally or logically.

    Reply

  52. questions says:

    Dumb question — what percentage of Americans want/ed a public option for their health insurance? Wasn’t it in the 60s somewhere? What structures interfere in obtaining preferences?
    And just because many would be happy to move the settlers doesn’t mean that the settlers themselves would be happy or that there are convenient places to put people.
    In short, as nice as it might be to move these people and set up borders and make some serious peace, there are likely some significant institutional barriers.
    It’s a sad irony that perhaps the most preferred option might well be unobtainable.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    Another interesting detail from the survey:
    “Israeli settlers and the Israeli public as a whole overestimate
    the extent to which most settlement activity is driven by
    settlers’ sense of religious or national mission. The settlers were
    first asked which of three factors was the most important
    reason for their own decision to live in their current settlement.
    “Personal wish for quality of life, housing and community” (46%)
    was found to outweigh a sense of “national or religious mission
    to inhabit the land” (31%), while belief that the territories
    enhance Israel’s security (15%) was rated a distant third.
    Israeli settlers and the full Israeli public were then asked which
    of these three motives they thought was most important for the
    majority of settlers living in the West Bank. Both Israeli settlers
    and the full Israeli public mistakenly believe that a sense of
    national or religious mission far outweigh personal quality of
    life issues as the primary motive for most Israeli settlers.”
    I especially notice hat only 15% of the settlers apparently are
    dumb or crazy enough to believe that stealing Palestinian land
    enhances Israel’s security.

    Reply

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