Who supports dividing Jerusalem? Not the Palestinians


H/T Margie

The results of a study by Pechter Middle East Polls, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, recently reported by Ynet, points to a remarkable fact, one that will likely not be widely reported as it contradicts the popular narrative of Palestinian attitudes  ahead of the possible Palestinian bid for statehood in September:  none of the East Jerusalem residents who participated said they supported the division of Jerusalem.

Further, when asked if, in the event of a two-state solution which includes the division of Jerusalem, only 30% of East Jerusalem Palestinians surveyed said they’d want to become citizens of the new Palestinian state. 

When asked if they would consider moving to a city in the new Palestinian state if their neighborhood became part of Israel, 54% said they wouldn’t move, with only 27% expressing their desire to move.

Also, 44% of east Jerusalem’s residents seem content with their standard of living, while 31% said they were not content with it.

The results of this poll, which included Palestinians living in all nineteen neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, wildly contradict conventional wisdom about Palestinian opinion, and suggest that elites in the media and elsewhere who continually repeat the mantra about the absolute necessity of dividing Jerusalem, as a prerequisite for peace, are most certainly out of touch with the views of most Palestinians living there.

This poll represents another example of how facts and logic (and the views of Palestinians themselves) about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict are often ignored – a political blind spot informed by an adherence to rigid ideological orthodoxies. 

26 comments on “Who supports dividing Jerusalem? Not the Palestinians

  1. Your quotes from the survey are notably selective and self-serving. Let me offer a few other selective quotes:

    1) 75% responded positively to this question as against 8% in the negative: “In your view is there or is there not discrimination in the services provided to Arab and Jews by the Jerusalem municipality?”

    2) 66% declared that “The ease or difficulty of obtaining building permits?” was “the most dissatisfied aspect of life”.

    3) Almost 70% stated that “Delays/ restrictions at checkpoints or due to the wall” were “a big or moderate problem”.

    4) Almost 50% said that “Threat/ intimidation from Jewish settlers or Israeli police & border guards” was “a big or moderate problem”.

    5) About 45% said that “Corruption/ malfeasance from Jerusalem municipal officials” was “a big or moderate problem”.

    Note: Figures in points 3 – 5 are taken from graphs, so are approximate.

    It seems to me that these complaints are precisely the sort that are regularly (and accurately, it seems) reported in The Guardian

  2. sencar

    And yet … and yet, despite the negativity you carefully choose to display, they want to live in Israel, not “Palestine”.

    Why do you think that’s the case?

  3. As usual, faced with a clear contradiction with the received view, anti-zionists adopt the “but Israel it´s not perfect” strategy. And they are the ones that accuse Israel of claiming perfection! It´s illogical, dishonest and mendacious.

    These people are never satisfied and no matter what, they´ll always find that Israel doesn´t match *their* fantasy standards. They should understand that Israel doesn´t exist to satify their ridiculous demands. She exists, as every nation does, to serve the interests of their citizens, which include a Jewish majority and an arab minority. If these neo-progs think that this is “ethnofascism”, well, there are around 140 countries for them to dismantle and one wonders why they are fixed on Israel (of course we all know the answer).

  4. This survey echoes the kind of complaints that the Guardian has against Israel constantly and exhibits the same fatal flaws. What the Guardian doesn’t do and what this survey doesn’t contain are ratings for the PA or some other administration on the same measurements. This survey is not a comparison but a statement.

    One of the main criticisms of Israel here is that minorities feel discriminated against. Let us see any other administration PA or any other, where most people don’t feel discriminated against in some way or other. I have an accent which causes very distinct responses, marking me out among the rest of the community and affecting reactions to me.

    The main criticism of the PA is corruption on a huge scale. If they complain about Israeli corruption, a facet that Israel is attempting to weed out and that is being pursued in the courts day after day, from Prime Ministers down then the openly practised PA corruption would worry them a great deal more

  5. Hi Akus & Margie

    It’s refreshing to see responses that don’t routinely resort to screaming abuse, like those of some I could name.

    Noone denies that the PA is corrupt, least of all The Guardian. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/search?q=Abbas+corruption&section= and scroll down to ‘most relevant articles’ section. Searching on ‘PA + corruption’ or ‘PLO + corruption’ should give further examples.

    Margie, this isn’t about discriminating against someone with a funny accent. The survey shows that a significant number of East Jerusalem Palestinians report not just that they are discriminated against by individuals but that rules and restrictions created by the authorities have a major deleterious effect on their day to day lives. Moreover half of them report being threatened and intimidated by settlers and Israeli officials to a significant degree. Surely any humane Israeli jew should be ashamed of a society that can produce this situation.

    It is obviously difficult to interpret the findings about citizenship and willingness to move but I’ll have a try:

    1) Most people are motivated primarily by a wish to maintain a secure and decent standard of living for their family, rather than by politics. East Jerusalem Palestinians know that most in Gaza and the West Bank are a lot worse off than they are. Opting for an independent Palestine would be a jump in the dark, almost certainly for the worse in material terms.

    2) Most people don’t want to move from their homes, even when conditions are less than ideal As I posted elsewhere on this site, most Iraqi jews didn’t want to move to Israel in 1949, even though they were sometimes ill-treated and even killed by arab neighbours. When they did move under zionist pressure many were unhappy in their new homes.

    3) One thing the survey shows for sure. Palestinians don’t opt for Israeli citizenship because they are well-treated by the jewish authorities!

    • What do you think are the main differentiating factors between quality of life for Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, Sencar? I agree that opting to live in an independent Palestine would indeed be akin to a leap in the dark, but why is that? Surely if there were parity between standards and quality of living in Israel and Palestine, these people would have no problem identifying with their Palestinian brethren and making that leap?

      I believe that the main reasons that Iraqi Jews did not want to move from their homes was because they would have been in even worse danger if they chose to. If Bataween drops by, perhaps she should clear that up for us all.

      What you are arguing is “Better the devil you know…” but I am saying that Israeli Arabs know a great deal more about the Palestinian devil to whom they might be hitching their futures than you give them credit for in your post.

    • Actually sencar, I wonder whether you are basing your argument on the Shabi family’s experience rather than hard evidence? I’d like some links to statistics, studies, etc, about what you say was the rationale for “most Iraqi Jews” not wanting to move to Israel in 1949.

    • Serjew
      Perceived discrimination is not necessarily objective discrimination which is something I was trying to explain. If you think that Arabs are threatened by Jews then you haven’t experienced the reverse of this in Jerusalem yourself. More than once we’ve had our car deliberately bumped from the back by people who speed away after doing so. There is a great deal of tension between people but you have only read of one side of this.

      The same rules and regulations apply to all Jerusalem residents. It is well known that a great many Arabs have built houses illegally in Jerusalem on public land and complain of ethnic cleansing or discrimination when the appropriate measures are taken against them.

      Here’s a document listing how illegal building happens in other countries and how the transgressors are treated. http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp498.htm

  6. Hi Serendipity

    My first source for the Iraqi Jews story is “The Gun and the Olive Branch” by David Hirst, pp 155-164. You’ll find a long, scholarly discussion of the matter here: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d7shawaf.pdf
    In a nutshell 125,000 (97%) of the Iraqi Jewish population emigrated to Israel in the early 50’s (not 1949 as I mistakenly wrote earlier). In 1950 the Iraqi government passed a law permitting Jews to renounce Iraqi citizenship and emigrate. Initially very few did so. Then several bombs went off in Jewish areas. After each one the numbers opting to emigrate escalated until nearly everyone went. The bombs were at first thought to be the work of arab extremists but later Iraqi courts convicted Israeli agents of the crimes. I think the evidence for the Israelis’ guilt is convincing but of course some writers don’t believe this. In a sense it doesn’t matter; the point is that until they were scared into going most Jews didn’t want to emigrate. As The Chief Rabbi of Iraq, Sassoon Kheduri, said: “The Jews – And the Muslims – in Iraq just took it for granted that Judaism is a religion and Iraqi Jews are Iraqis”.

    • The identity of those who perpetrated the terrorist bombings, and the role these
      attacks might have played in prompting the exodus, are debated to this day. While
      Abbas Shiblak believes that the bombings were the work of Zionist emissaries who
      succeeded in their cherished aim of stampeding the Jews of Iraq to Israel, Moshe
      Gat argues that the attacks, which he presumes were the work of Iraqis of extreme
      Arab nationalist persuasion, did not spur the exodus. Gat believes that the lifting of
      martial law on 18 December 1949 and the enactment of the Denaturalisation Law
      in March 1950 enabled the majority of Iraqi Jews to leave a country in which they
      had grown to feel uncomfortable and even unsafe, especially as a result of events
      in the 1940s. These events included the farhud, the trial and execution of Shafiq
      Adas, the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and a wave of arrests targeting Jews in OctoberNovember 1949 after the discovery of the illegal Zionist underground, an event
      which threw the Jewish community into disarray and forced the resignation of its
      head, who had largely failed to ameliorate his community’s woes. [

      • There are rumours of terrorist bombings attributed to Jews/Zionists/Israelis in practically every Arab capital. If it had been true of one city only and if there had been proof beyond the he said she said we are always fed on sites such as this the single bombing might have been credible. That it is told of every city makes me doubt that it happened anywhere at all.

  7. “75% responded positively to this question as against 8% in the negative: “In your view is there or is there not discrimination in the services provided to Arab and Jews by the Jerusalem municipality?””

    And 90% of fifty million Germans once thought themselves oppressed by fifty thousand Jews. So what? Self-absorption is not reality and indeed may be entirely fantasy, a reflection of nothing more than hatred.

    The reality is that Iraqi Jews fled, and Israeli Arabs don’t.

  8. ” I think the evidence for the Israelis’ guilt is convincing but of course some writers don’t believe this.”

    Predictable. This sencar is now reduced to peddling Protocols-like anti-Semitic revisionist conspiracy theories. CiFWatch shouldn’t allow it.

    The bombs were placed by the anti-Semitic Istiqlal Party. Iraqi Jews left for the same reason most of the million Mizrahim left the Muslim countries: They were fed up with 1300 years of semi-apartheid, and preferred safety, freedom, self-respect, and self-determination in Israel.

  9. Just a Thought

    Back to the abuse, I see.

    Are you seriosly suggesting that services provided to Jerusalem Jews and Palestinians are equal?

    Israeli arabs may not be fleeing now but I seem to remember many thousands of Palestinians fled in 1948…. If Lieberman & Co have their way we may yet see thousands more flee from Jerusalem.

    The link between the bombs and the emigration isn’t seriously disputed (except perhaps by your good self) though of course the identity of the bombers is.

    • Are you seriosly suggesting that services provided to Jerusalem Jews and Palestinians are equal? sencar where do you live? Have you any idea whatever of the reality of Israel where all citizens are equal before the law. One of the judges who tried the ex-President of Israel for rape is an Arab. Do you have the gall to suggest that he is treated less well than anybody else or that he would not complain if he or his relatives or anybody else he knew was treated unfairly?

      This is Israel. Not Libya.

  10. Sencar,
    David Hirst was not in Iraq at the time, my family was.
    There are many reasons why 90 percent of the Iraqi Jews fled – the ‘Zionist bombs’ excuse is not one of them:
    1. They feared a repeat of the Farhud 1941 pogrom in which 145 Jews were murdered.
    2. Shafik Ades was executed in September 1948, a wealthy anti-Zionist Jew with gt Muslim connections. If he could be hanged, then what future did less fortunate Jews have in Iraq? they reasoned.
    3. Jews could not work
    4. Jews could not pursue higher education
    5. Jews had to pay extortion money to pay for war in Palestine
    6. Jews were arrested for having Jewish books or less
    7. Jews could not travel
    The ‘bombs’ thesis has been debunked by Tom Segev among others.

  11. “Surely any humane Israeli jew should be ashamed of a society that can produce this situation.” secar

    Again, this is pure moralizing and condescending BS. Who are *you* to decide who is a “humane Israeli Jew” and about how he sees his country? What are your credentials to pass judgement of perfection about a tiny country that have been constantly under threath of destruction, but still is a damn successful (and multicultural) liberal democracy, and which accepts a minority with citizenship status, freedom of religion, use of their own language, etc , while most countries would have just expelled or killed them with no second-thought? What if you spent a bit of your self-righteousness on the issue of reparations to the 700.000 Jews expelled from the islamic paradises, many of whom where part of of such ancient communities that lived and thrived there way before the arrival of the hordes of the crazy-schizophrenic-pedophiliac prophet (piss be upon him).

    So, again, ziontruth´s got the crucial point: *you* have no credentials, credibility nor authority whatsoever to hector Israel on moral behavior.

    And, please, cut the victimizing tactic of “i´m being subject to abuse, oh poor little me”. Grow up and be ready to take the heat back after spewing your anti-zionist nonsense. Because that´s what you are, an anti-zionist pure and simple, with no interest in “truth/logic”.

  12. “Are you seriosly suggesting that services provided to Jerusalem Jews and Palestinians are equal?” sencar

    And what about you, the self-proclamed searcher of “truth/logic”, are you serious at all!?? So, you still plays the same “but Israel is not perfect”
    tactics. Do you think blacks are treated 100% equally in the US? Do you think the EU treats its minority 100% equally? Not to mention the pathetic islamic paradises that have *institutionalized* discrimination, in other words, which are the *real*, unabashed ethnoracialists. Can´t you, paladin of “truth/logic” see any differences between the USA, EU and Israel on one side, and the islamic failed nations (and many african ones) ?
    An incredible lack of nuance from such a self-styled “truth-seeker”,eh?

    Ah, but I can imagine your multicultural excuses, and you´ll come up with some historical/cultural justifications, plus the standard victimological fairy tale of western imperialism and such non-sense, which is just the other side of your condescension, this time of the “racism of low expectation” or “compassionate racism” types.

    As our church-lady would have said: SHAME ON YOU!

  13. bataween

    I’m quite aware of the Farhud 1941 pogrom and Shafik Ades’ execution. The point is Jews didn’t start emigrating after those criminal events. They started in any numbers only after the first bomb and accelerated after subsequent bombs.

    SerJew

    Your abuse doesn’t bother me at all. I just prefer to talk to people who can keep a civil tongue in their heads. No doubt ther are many good qualities about Israeli society. Its treatment of the arab minority certainly isn’t one of them. Saying that the minority would be treated worse in other countriies is probably true but scarcely stands up as a justification.

  14. sencar,
    Read about the treatment of Coptic Christians in Egypt
    Read about the treatment of Bahais in the islamofascist regime of iran
    Read about the treatment of Armenians by Turkey
    Read about the treatment of gays in the islamofascist regime of iran
    Read about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia

    Are you fair or biased?

  15. “Your abuse doesn’t bother me at all.” sencar

    So, be consistent and quit whining about abuse.

    ” I just prefer to talk to people who can keep a civil tongue in their heads.” sencar

    Well, and I prefer to talk to people that are at least consistent and not a full-time moralizer of Israel.

    “No doubt ther are many good qualities about Israeli society. Its treatment of the arab minority certainly isn’t one of them. Saying that the minority would be treated worse in other countriies is probably true but scarcely stands up as a justification.” sencar

    This is yet another BS from you. No one denies minorities are treated differently, in the US, the EU, Israel and basically *everywhere*. Welcome to human nature. In fact, this is one of the main reasons for the invention of nations, so that a reasonably homogeneous population, which shared similar values and cultural/historical traditions could agree and build a stable society.

    Now, if you can´t see the difference of treatment of minorities in different countries, then what you are doing is again inventing an imaginary standard of perfection, that doesn´t exist (and never existed) anywhere in human history.

    Now, if you wanted to implement your utopia of 100% equality and *if* you were a bona-fide “truth-seeker” you would first of all, study the catasthropic recent attempts to implemnt it, utter failures which left untold misery and piles of corpses. all in the name of good intentions.
    Second, you would set your priorities straight: which places on earth have the *worst* record of ill-treatment of minorities and human rights violations? Yes, these are places such as Iran, China, Turkey, Syria, Lybia,
    Nigeria, Congo, Zimbabwe, Jordan, just to name a few. Then you shoudl invest all your energies in one of these. However, you instead focuses your attention on Israel, which doens´t have a perfect record, but it is million-years better than those other places.

    So, tell us, why your obsession with Israel´s imperfections when other places have *MUCH* worse ones? Methinks you just don´t like Israel, period, and uses this humanitarian mask to justify your little shameful hatred.

  16. Sencar: “I’m quite aware of the Farhud 1941 pogrom and Shafik Ades’ execution. The point is Jews didn’t start emigrating after those criminal events. They started in any numbers only after the first bomb and accelerated after subsequent bombs.”
    Not true. Those who could wangle a visa left for Persia and India after 1941 (cf the authors Marina Benjamin and Violette Shamash).
    Illegal immigration was running at 1,000 a month in 1949. It was because the Iraqi authorities could no longer control the situation that the Iraqi government agreed to official Jewish emigration.
    The time lag can be explained by the fact that it took a few weeks for the Baghdad airlift to be set up.
    The bombs are a red herring. For the record, only the bomb in January 1951 killed people and by then the vast majority of Jews had left or had registered to leave.
    (Funny how bombs only become a significant factor if you can blame the Jews. The recent Marrakesh bombing killed three Jews, but no-one is saying that the remaining Jews of Morocco are scrambling to leave. In fact the JC had an article saying that they felt safer in Morocco than in Israel!)

  17. bataween

    Let me quote from the article I referred to above: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d7shawaf.pdf. “Few Jews signed up between 9 March 1950, when the Denaturalisation Law came into effect, and 8 April 1950, when the first bomb was thrown. Yet in the period between 9 April 1950 and the registration deadline
    of 8 March 1951, during which the second bombing occurred (on 14 January 1951), virtually the entire community of Iraqi Jews signed up for emigration.”
    I would urge you to read the article which largely consists of a critical review of two books (The Lure of Zion: The Case of the Iraqi Jews, by Abbas Shiblak, and The Jewish Exodus from Iraq, 1948-1951, by Moshe Gat). Gat takes your position on the bombers’ identity and the effect of the bombings on emigration, Shiblak mine. The review seems to me balanced and fair to both sides. Broadly its conclusions are: 1) “It is likely that we will never know for sure who the perpetrators of the attacks were.” 2) “he (Shiblak) succeeds in demonstrating that these bombings were a major factor in the flight of Iraqi Jewry”.

    I think that these are my last words on this particular issue.

  18. Dissent magazine? Wow, I read the article – just another “Zionists made us do it” B.S.

    Iraq passed Nazi-era laws that slowly stripped the rights of Jews and forced them out. Syria did the same exact thing. Martin Gilbert spelled it out quite nicely. Baathism is after all inspired by Nazism.

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