A new poll has shown that a large majority of Israelis 70% oppose Israel relinquishing the Golan Heights to Syria, with only 22% of Israelis disagreeing. The poll of 550 adult Israelis, including Arab Israelis, carried out by the Panel Institute on May 21, 2008, also showed that a majority of Israelis (57% to 32%) believe that the recently reported Israeli-Syrian negotiations are connected to the investigation on corruption charges of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and that Prime Minister Olmert lacks legitimacy to carry out such negotiations (58% to 33%) (‘Poll: 70%:22% Oppose giving up Golan for full peace treaty; 57%:32% Negotiations connected to investigation 58%33% PM doesn’t have legitimacy to negotiate’, Independent Media Review & Analysis, May 21, 2008).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “As with another recent poll which showed Israelis opposed to concessions to the Palestinian Authority (PA), this poll clearly demonstrates that a clear majority of the Israeli public believe that relinquishing historically Jewish and strategically vital territory to an enemy regime that has not changed its ways is wrong. This is also backed up by the findings that show a majority of Israelis believe the negotiations with Syria to be a distraction from corruption charges and in any case something for which the government lacks legitimacy to do.
“Israel‘s security would be deeply harmed by relinquishing the Golan Heights. Syria may well have cut Israel in two in 1973 if it had been able to launch its surprise aggression against Israel from the Golan. Instead it had to use the valuable first days trying to retake it. The Syrian regime has not changed; on the contrary it is working overtime with Iran and Hizballah to further endanger Israel. Until this changes, there should be no talk of rewards or concessions to Syria.”