Israelis favor talks with new PA gov’t


More than half of all Israelis disagree with their government’s decision to boycott the Palestinians’ new governing alliance, which doesn’t explicitly recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist, a poll showed on Monday.


Thirty-nine percent of the 517 people surveyed by the Dahaf Research Institute said Israel should talk with the new Palestinian government, made up of Hamas and Fatah. An additional 17 percent said their government should engage only Fatah Cabinet ministers. The poll had a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Israel, which in recent months said it wanted to hold “political horizon” talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, reversed gears on Sunday and declared that it would only talk to him about security or humanitarian issues.

The upshot of the cabinet resolution that defined Israeli policy toward the new PA government, a senior government source confirmed Sunday night, was that the “political horizon” idea that was meant to strengthen moderate Palestinians by showing what they had to gain by rejecting Hamas’s extreme positions, was now no longer relevant.

March 19, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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3 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. Without knowing the questions put and sample from which the poll was drawn, it is not possible to say that Dahaf Research Institute’s conclusions would be different and if so by how much, if one factors in that Israel’s population is 20% Arab.

    Even if Robert Barnes is correct that in reality it is only about 20% of Israelis who favour any kind of talks with Palestinians, that fact will be lost in the headlines now appearing in a number of MSM newspapers, including here in Canada, the Globe and Mail, that has reported on the results of the Dahaf Research Institute’s poll and conclusions as has been reported by Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post.

    As far as the West and Israelis know, assuming similar reports in Ha’aretz and MSM Israeli television, the Dahaf Research Institutes conclusions as reported in the media are accurate.

    Those reported results could well influence the thinking of Israelis and the West to believe that most Israelis want to engage the Palestinians in peace talks. Israelis who might disagree will see themselves as the minority. Unless they have strong convictions in this regard, they likely be drawn to be part of the majority or just privately hold to their beliefs.

  2. The poll results are misleading. People forget that the numbers they quote include 20% Arabs. Take that out and all of a sudden the numbers change dramatically. Out of the Jewish population you’ll have over 50% opposing and maybe slight over 20% supporting.

  3. Given the consistent poll results over the last year confirming a growing majority of Palestinians are giving their support to Hamas in its stand against Israel, this report that over half of Israelis are in favor of talks with Fatah or the new Fatah/Hamas unity government is troubling.

    The GOI has chosen to disengage from any talks with the Palestinians except for security and humanitarian reasons. That was not a bold move, but a realistic one, since there really was no one to talk to except Abbas and he had no authority to bind the Palestinian government or even speak for that government. It seemed the best Abbas would be able to do is relay any position Olmert may have put forward and advised Olmert he would have to get back to him on that.

    This report is as troubling as it is inexplicable. Knowing what the majority of Palestinians think about Israel and Israelis, just what do Israelis think is possible for their government to discuss, let alone worth discussing with the Palestinians? Further, just who do Israelis think the GOI can engage in discussions with who can speak for the Palestinian unity government? Surely they know that Abbas is barely more than a figurehead.

    Until reading this report, I assumed from a number of previous reports that the Israeli people were about ready to agitate and push for the resignation of the Olmert government because of its failures and demand tougher stands against the Palestinians. Now I just don’t know where the heads of the majority of Israelis are at.

    Just how the majority of Israelis figure their GOI can have any meaningful peace talks with any Palestinians, is a real puzzler.

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