Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs Reveal Their Views on the Situation / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Israel is the victim of a Palestinian – Arabic campaign to de legitimize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. The main accusations are:
Israel is responsible for the continuing Israeli – Palestinian conflict because of the settlements built on Palestinian land.
The Israeli army is accused of war crimes against Palestinian civilians.
Israeli Jewish society is accused of racism towards Israeli Arabs.

In short, Israel is the cause of the troubles in the Middle East.

A survey published by the Saban center for Middle East policy at the Brookings Institution gives a different picture:

Israeli Jews views:

40% are in favor of a peace agreement based on return to the 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Only 27% are against a Palestinian state. 13% are yet undecided.
62% believe the government should do more to achieve peace.
43% believe peace will be achieved within 5 years. 8% believe it will take less.
47% think it will never happen.
But, 75% support Israel's definition as a Jewish state and are, therefore, against the Palestinian demand to settle the refugees in Israel (the right of return).

In short, the real issue from the Israeli Jews point of view is the refusal of Arabs and Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This means that the Jewish majority should be kept and the refugees should be settled in the Palestinian state.

Israel Arab views:

50% of Israel Arabs refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
2/3 are not willing to give up the demand for the "right of return" and insist the refugees should be settled in Israel
58% are against the annexation of Arab Israeli cities to the future Palestinian state.
36% define themselves firstly as Arabs, and only 22% define themselves as firstly Palestinians.
63% do not believe peace is attainable.

In short, Israeli Arabs wish to put an end to the Jewish state. They refuse to live in a Palestinian state, and insist on settling the refugees in Israel and turning the Jews into a minority. They recognize the right of self- determination of Palestinians and support a Palestinian state, but they do not recognize the right of Jews for self- determination.

The people around the world should understand that the real issue is not the settlements. Israel destroyed all its settlements in Sinai as part of its peace agreement with Egypt. Israel and Jordan exchanged territories as part of their peace agreement. Israel destroyed all its settlements on Gaza Strip and withdrew its army from Gaza Strip without a peace agreement because Israel is not interested in ruling other people. The Clinton- Barak proposal at Camp David in 2000 included a fair solution of the settlement issue, but Arafat rejected the proposal and Abu Mazen has not agreed so far to this proposal.

The real issue is that the Arabs and the Palestinians refuse to accept a Jewish state in the Middle East: This is Racism. Abu Mazen avoides negotiations with Israel on a peace agreement because he refuses to give up the "right of return" and to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He prefers getting a state from the UN thus avoiding giving up the dream to put an end to the Jewish state by settling the refugees in Israel.

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