Arab-Israeli conflict Israel Palestinians Zionism

Poll: many Israelis no longer accept a key part of the Zionist narrative

A surprising poll shows that many Israelis no longer agree with the most simplistic versions of the Zionist narrative. If the past is predictive, it will take about 5 years before it becomes respectable to air any of these opinions in much of the organized American Jewish community. But perhaps the “Diaspora lag” might not last as long this time, both because of the Web and because younger American Jews are more receptive to hearing and absorbing the Palestinian narrative.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from a JTA story:

Many Israeli Jews reject the idea that the Palestinians are primarily responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a new study finds.

The study, funded by a grant from the International Peace Research Association Foundation, found that the collective memory of Israeli Jews in general is significantly critical of Israel’s role in the conflict, and that they have somewhat rejected the “Zionist narrative” of the conflict which holds the Arabs/Palestinians primarily responsible for the conflict.

A total of 47 percent of Israeli Jews believe that Palestinians were expelled from Israel during the 1948 war, with 39 percent saying that “The refugees left due to fear, calls of leaders and expulsion by the Jews,” and another 8 percent saying the refugees left due only to expulsion by the Jews. Another 41 percent said that the refugees left “due to fear and calls of leaders to leave,” the traditional “Zionist narrative.”

Some 46 percent believe that Israel and the Palestinians are equally responsible for the outbreak and continuation of the conflict, while 4 percent blame only the Jews. Some 43 percent primarily blame the Palestinians.

In a question about who bears responsibility for the outbreak of the 1987 intafada, 23.6 percent of respondents said it was “Mainly natural hatred towards Israel,” and another 17.2 percent said it was “somewhat due to hatred.” Some 32 percent responded that the 1987 intafada was caused “More or less equally due to hatred and other reasons (such as unwillingness to be controlled and harsh treatment by Israel).”

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