The Jerusalem Post published a rather interesting poll result saying that Israelis are surprisingly flexible (much more flexible than Kadima and Likud leaders) on the issue of Jerusalem territorial concessions:
63 percent of Israelis are willing to make concessions on the borders of Jerusalem in exchange for “real peace” with the Palestinians. Of them, 54% are willing to relinquish Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, but not in the Old City, the Jewish Quarter or the Western Wall, according to the study by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.
Seventy-five percent of those who said they would be willing to make concessions for peace admitted they did not believe that real peace with the Palestinians was a possibility.
That’s a solid majority in favor of returning Arab neighborhoods to Palestinian control. Personally, I don’t believe that retaining Israeli control over Arab neighborhoods in the Old City can work as a long term solution. There will have to be some flexible solution to this conflict that allows Jewish neighborhoods in the Old City to rest under Israeli control and Arab neighborhoods under Palestinian. That’s not an easy problem to resolve, but I firmly believe that there is a way to do so.
And the fact that 75% of respondents don’t believe real peace is possible doesn’t bother me. I read that number differently than some would. What interests me about it is that while a vast majority of Israelis believe that peace isn’t possible, a sizable majority of those naysayers STILL are willing to return Arab land and population to Palestinian control in the quest for such a real peace. In other words, their hope is trumping their cynicism. That is a good thing. A sign that peace is possible despite the dangerous and damaging bellicosity of their leaders.
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