New poll: 53% of Israelis think ethnic cleansing is the solution to the conflict

by Yaniv Reich on November 19, 2009

Israelis talk often and loudly about their desires for peace. But its never been clear precisely what peace concept it is they desire. In particular, Israeli notions of peace have never gone so far as to grant the Palestinians the same national rights that Israelis claim for themselves. Well, according to a new poll by Israeli National News (disclaimer: its a right-wing rag, sample size “more than 6,400”), a majority of Israelis are clear about what kind of “peace” they desire.

53.2% of surveyed Israelis say the “solution” to the conflict was the ethnic cleansing (“transfer”) of Palestinians out of occupied Palestine and into other neighboring Arab countries. This was the most popular option among all alternatives, including the two state solution, Jordanian citizenship in the West Bank, status quo, etc. For comparative purposes, only 30.8% of Israelis support the “two-states for two peoples” framework for peace.

Keep this information in mind next to you hear Israeli hasbara about “partners for peace” or when someone tries to claim that the two-state solution is the only “realistic” solution to the conflict. If only those Palestinians would “recognize Israel’s right to exist”, then everything would be SO much better.

Update: I’ve realized that Israel National News publishes the results of its online surveys as though they are legitimate news items. The disclaimer I gave must therefore be substantially strengthened. The results of this survey should be not be interpreted as statistically representative of Israelis, but rather representative of a group of INN readers who self-select into the survey.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RonCdeWeijze December 14, 2009 at 4:52 am

This is not, imo, about ethnic cleansing but about cultural integrity. We all need to respect each others’ knowledge and sensibilities, and the way to learn those is by testing what we know that the other culture senses against what we sense that the other knows, that we and the other know and sense invertedly (what you know is what I sense and v.v.) and that we live in one (1) reality. Transforming war into peace and not just into cold civil war all over the world, requires this independent socio-cultural confirmation emotionally and rationally. Respect should not be something as shallow as political correctness or multicolorism.

2 Yaniv Reich December 14, 2009 at 9:36 am

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Your argument for cultural respect is important, but it doesn’t change the fact that among large proportions of Israel, the crime against humanity that is ethnic cleansing is the preferred way of “resolving” the conflict.

This is the ultimate, and inexcusable, lack of respect for others. I therefore see ethnic cleansing and respect as deeply interrelated.

3 RonCdeWeijze December 15, 2009 at 1:35 am

It worries me that you ignore my rephrasing of ethnic cleansing (via cultural cleansing) into cultural integrity. It must be really hard to metabolize reality any other way.

4 Yaniv Reich December 15, 2009 at 10:18 am

It appears, then, that I misunderstood your comment having attempted to give you the benefit of my doubt.

If you are advocating for cultural integrity, i.e. some type of cultural purity, then I think your conception of culture and identity belongs to a romanticized and dated ideal from the dustbin of 19th-century European history.

There is no such thing as cultural integrity. There are only fluctuating and fluid identities, the dynamics of which have been a fact of human existence since before we evolved into a distinct species. No artificial notions of pure culture can avoid this fact.

5 RonCdeWeijze December 15, 2009 at 11:53 am

People unsure of their cultural identity, after some period of normalcy, tend to overcompensate their sense of insecurity sooner or later. Where I live, as long as I live here, Moroccan children grow up insecure about their cultural identity. In 2004, one of them that had played and grown up in my street as a normal Dutch boy, decided one day to dress in a religious outfit, to which he added a gun and a bended sward, and went out to kill Theo van Gogh ritualistically. Today, it turns out that the Toronto police uncovered a plot of ‘home grown’ terrorists who had worked out plans to blow up the city center and kill multiple thousands of people. In the past 20 to 30 years, many city centers, such as where I live, have agitated people who had lived there all their lives, with an influx of different cultures, many of which by their holy book definition anti Judeo-Christian, far too rapidly to have normal accommodation and assimilation. Instead, it worked the other way around. These people now long for the culture they lost and are in retro mode.

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