This writer has been a close observer of public opinion in Israel regarding the 1993 Oslo Agreement. After five years of Israel’s experience with that Agreement, a 1998 opinion poll indicated that public opinion about Oslo was inconsistent.
If that 1998 poll was valid, it would be reasonable to attribute the inconsistency either to some flaw in Israel’s system of multi-party cabinet Government, or to the flawed character of Israeli prime ministers, or both.
Consider the following September 20, 1998 report by Dr. Aaron Lerner:
Gallup poll – public inconsistent on Oslo
The following are some results of a survey of a representative sample of 550 adult Israelis carried out by Gallup for “Maariv” the week of September 18, 1998. (Sample includes Jews and Non-Jews; sampling error ± 4.5 percent.)
- Do you support or oppose continuing the peace process with the Palestinians? Support 79% Oppose 16% Don’t know 5%
- Do you support or oppose the Oslo agreements? Support 65% Oppose 28% Don’t know 7%
- Assuming that as a result of the Oslo agreements Israel will have to give up, in the end, most of the area of Judea and Samaria, under those circumstances, would you support or oppose continuing the Oslo process? Support 46% Oppose 46% Don’t know 8%….
Questions only to the Jewish population:
- If it were possible to move all the Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the Arab states, without Israel having to pay an international price, would you oppose or support it? Support 65% Oppose 26% Don’t know 9%
- Do you believe that the Arabs are interested in achieving a final and comprehensive peace with Israel or will they never give up their desire to destroy it? Will never give up on destroying Israel – 54%; Want peace – 34%; – Don’t know –12%
(Maariv, 20 September 1998)
If the public is confused about the Oslo Agreement after more than 15,000 Jewish casualties, and if Israel’s Government is still wedded to this disastrous Agreement, the present writer concludes that something is very rotten in the nation-state of Israel and that Israel’s system of government exemplifies what Alexis de Tocqueville called a “democratic despotism”!
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