Poll: 58% back stripping Jerusalem Arabs’ resident status
No less than 58% of the Israeli public supports canceling the resident status and its accompanying rights for Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The poll, conducted by the Midgam Institute under Dr. Mina Tzemach’s supervision, comes after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suggesting stripping residency from Jerusalem Arabs this week and announced he may take a tour of the area to consider the move.
Only 35% of the public oppose canceling the residency rights extended to Arab residents of Israel’s capital, according to the poll which was conducted for the Knesset Channel.
Another question in the poll yielded troubling results regarding the status ofJerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
According to it, a 56% majority said they supporting transferring Arab majority neighborhoods of the capital to the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), while 34% opposed.
The results are troubling, and highlight concerns among many, including governmental ministers, that Netanyahu’s move to strip residency is part of a plan to divide Jerusalem, the 3,000-year-old capital of the Jewish people.
In effect the PA already is being allowed to provide water, electricity and telephone service to many Arab majority neighborhoods in the capital where Jews are forbidden from entering by the government, in what has been termed a de facto division of the capital.
The poll also found that 74% of the public reasons that a bi-national state of Israel that would incorporate Judea and Samaria and grant citizenship to its Arab residents would not be able to exist in a democratic manner, indicating fears that a large Arab population would undermine the Jewish state.
Only 17% said that annexing Judea and Samaria and giving its Arab residents citizenship would not interfere with Israel’s existence as a democratic state.
Aside from the “one state solution” of annexing Judea and Samaria and making its Arab residents citizens, various other alternatives have been presented, including the suggestion to create a “Palestine” in Jordan.
That call was given even more credence in June, when Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs “one people living in two states.”