A new poll has shown that a clear majority of Israelis 54% oppose extending the December 2009 unilateral 10-month freeze upon Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria that the Netanyahu Government imposed under strong pressure from the Obama Administration. In contrast, only 39% of Israelis were prepared to support a continuation of this unilateral freeze. The poll was conducted by Dahaf for Channel Two TV on September 28, 2010 (Poll: Israelis oppose extending freeze 54%:39%, Independent Media Review & Analysis, October 3, 2010).
This result is in line with an earlier polls showing majority Israeli opposition to freezing the growth of Jewish communities in disputed territories. An April 2010 Shvakim Panorama poll for Israel Television Channel 1, for example, found that Israelis oppose President Barack Obamas policy of demanding a freeze on Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem by an overwhelming 72% to 22% (Poll: Israelis oppose freeze, blame Obama for tension, think Obama turning to Arabs at expense of Israel, Independent Media Review Analysis, April 25, 2010).
This poll result is also in line with Prime Minister Netanyahus own position at the time of the imposition of the construction freeze in November 2009 when he said, This is a one-time decision and it is temporary … just as it says in the cabinet decision and as I have personally stressed in both closed and open forums. We will go back to building at the end of the freeze.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, This poll shows a clear Israeli majority opposing any extension of the 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria that recently ended. This suggests that Israelis understand that, even if there were a sound moral or strategic reason for Israel to bar Jews, and only Jews, from building homes within the defined borders of already established communities in Judea and Samaria, the biblical, legal and historic heartland of the Jewish people, the PA has done nothing since the construction freeze was instituted to justify any Israeli concession.
The margin of opposition to continuing the freeze is clear even as it may not appear large, but it is worth remembering that, only a decade ago, most Israelis we prepared to set up a Palestinian state and accept the argument that Jews had to be uprooted from their homes in Judea and Samaria in order to permit this to happen. That is clearly no longer the case when Israelis not only oppose more dismantling of Jewish communities but oppose even a temporary freeze on Jewish construction.