A new poll conducted by Magaar Mohot survey Institute has found that 41% of Israeli Jews believe that the Peace Now movement has caused great damage to the State of Israel while only 19% think it has not. Among new immigrants to Israel, 36% agreed that Peace Now caused great damage and 8% disagreed (Dr. Aaron Lerner, Poll: Peace Now has caused great damage to the State of Israel 41%:19%, Independent Media Review & Analysis, August 26, 2009). According to reports, other Israeli pollsters have made a similar finding: 58% of those surveyed agreed that Peace Now has caused great damage to Israel, as against only 28% who disagreed (58%: Peace Now Really is a Virus, Israel National News, August 31, 2009). These polls were taken after Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon described Peace Now as a virus.
Peace Now, which has urged the Israeli government and public to make major territorial concessions to the Palestinian Arabs and Arab regimes and heavily criticized past Israeli governments for not doing so and actually blaming Israel for the lack of peace. Despite 16 years since the commencement of the failed Oslo process, in which Israel ceded half of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza, as well as assets, funds and even arms to the Palestinian Authority (PA), only to receive unprecedented terrorism and extremism in return, Peace Now continues to urged massive concessions to the unreconstructed, terror-supporting PA.
Peace Now has a history of falsely claiming that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are built principally on land that is Palestinian-owned. In a 2006 report, Peace Now claimed that a large proportion of the settlements built on the West Bank are built on privately owned Palestinian land, including 86.4% of land upon which the city of Maale Adumim is built. After being proved false, Peace Now never addressed the objections, only eventually admitting that no more than 0.54% of Maale Adumims land was privately owned by Palestinians. Similar results occurred with respect of other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, such as Revava. Sued by The Fund for Redeeming the Land, which formally owns Revavas land, for libel in Jerusalem Magistrates Court, Peace Now was convicted of libel and ordered to pay the Fund 20,000 NIS and to make a public apology. ZOA has previously described the findings in the case of Revava.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The ZOA has always found it disturbing that Peace Now and other extremist left-wing groups have sought, in pursuit of a far left political agenda of withdrawing from Judea and Samaria and uprooting all Jews living there in the process because such is the nature of Palestinian demands, to defame law-abiding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as thieves. Additionally, while campaign relentlessly for Israeli concessions, Peace Now has continually ignored the failure of the Palestinians to fulfill their obligations under the Oslo Agreements to arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feed terror and extremism.
As these recent survey results show, the Israeli public is largely of the view that Peace Now, by its campaigns against Jews in Judea and Samaria, has done damage to the wider Israeli cause. Peace Now has given credibility to virulent anti-Israel extremists and media in their relentless campaign of defamation against Israel. The Israeli public, knowing firsthand what harm it has brought Israeli interests, has come out decisively against Peace Now.