Monday, November 19, 2012

What Do Most Israelis Expect?

A poll in today's Jersualem Post says that "85 percent of Israelis" believe that it was right of Israel to embark on the "Operation Pillar of Cloud."  (I have to believe that this percentage, and the others below, are of Israeli Jews not all Israelis. Twenty-five percent of Israelis are non-Jews, and I have to believe that a vast majority of them are against this operation. The fact that the Jerusalem Post can so easily say "Israelis" when then mean "Israeli Jews" is itself a large part of the problem.)

But when asked what should happen next, 45% said to continue air strikes, 22% said to seek a cease fire, and just 25% recommended a ground offensive. (Presumably 8% had no opinion.).

I understand the 22% who want to seek a ceasefire. Most of these people, no doubt, are a part of the 15% who did not  think the operation was a good idea in the first place.

What I don't understand is: what do the 70% who want this to continue want? Do they believe that Israel can crush Hamas completely and unilaterally, with no agreement of any sort?  Are they against agreements because they don't want to restrict Israel's freedom of action in the future? Or are they simply against offering Hamas any carrots (easing of the blockade  perhaps)? Or are they just intent on maximum punishment and revenge? Are they willing to risk more Israelis casualties - both civilian and military - in order achieve these "goals"? - not to mention Israel's international support, and increased hatred on the part of Palestinians.

I think the answer is simply that people don't think clearly in situations like these. These answers are from the gut, not the brain. We see similar reactions on the Palestinian side.

The good news, I suppose, is that 15 percent think this whole operation was and is a bad idea. If I am right that this is 15% of Israeli Jews, and if we can assume that virtually all of Israel's non-Jews are against this operation, than that means that 35-40% of all Israelis are against it.

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