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1 in 4 young Jewish Israelis support Palestinian right of return, new poll finds

April 20, 2018 at 11:53 am

Thousands of Palestinians assemble along the Gaza-Israel border to reaffirm the ‘Right of Return’ on 30 March 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

One in four young Jewish Israelis support the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, a new poll has found, reports +972 Magazine.

The survey, conducted by the Geocartography Knowledge Group among 500 Jewish Israelis, asked respondents: “In 1948, during the War of Independence, the majority of Palestinians who lived in the country were turned into refugees and have since been spread across the world.”

“The right of return of the Palestinian refugees refers to the possibility of every Palestinian refugee (and his/her descendants) to decide between actual return to the place where they lived until 1948, and other forms of compensation.”

“The significance of the recognition of the right of return may be that more than seven million Palestinian refugees will choose to return to Israel. To what extent do you support or oppose the right of return as presented?”

Read: Israel minister attacks civil servant who backs Palestinian right of return

The report noted that “the detailed wording and inclusion of ‘over seven million’ Palestinian refugees were meant to ensure that the respondents fully understand the significance of recognition and implementation of the right of return.”

Responding to that question, “16.2 per cent of respondents in the new survey answered that they support return, or that they support it ‘provided the refugees return in peaceful conditions’.”

Breaking down the respondents by age found that “Israelis between the ages of 18 and 34 support the right of return at a particularly high rate (25.9 per cent), compared to adults over the age of 55 (15.1 per cent) and those between 35-54 (7.3 per cent)”.

In addition, “Israelis who earn an average income are twice as likely to support the right of return than those who earn an above-average income (21.9 per cent as opposed 12.7 per cent)”.

Meanwhile, “support by secular Jews for the right of return was four times higher than that by ultra-Orthodox Jews (22.3 per cent as opposed to 5.2 per cent)”.

Read: The disappearing Palestinian right of return

There was also a difference “between second-generation Israelis, Israelis whose parents were born in Europe, and Israelis whose parents are of Mizrahi origin.”

“The first support the right of return at a much higher rate (22.6 per cent) compared to those born to European immigrants (14.1 per cent), and those born to Mizrahi parents (11.7)”.

The report referred to previous polls, such as one in March 2015 which found 20 per cent of Jewish Israelis saying they would “personally support the right of return for Palestinians if recognising that right does not involve the uprooting of Jewish Israelis from the homes in which they live”.

In 2017, another poll found that 26 per cent of Jewish Israelis responded positively to the question: “Do you support or oppose the right of Arabs to return to live in the areas where they lived before 1948, as long as there are no Jewish residents in these areas today?”