Israelis are rumored to be optimistic people, but a new survey to be presented at the Herzliya Conference on Tuesday shows most of the Israeli public is not overly encouraged by what lies in store for the nation.
|IDF assassination in Gaza – most Israelis expect conflict to rage on Photo: Reuters|
Overall, 77 percent of poll respondents said that even 20 years from now no changes are expected in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – some of those respondents said they believe the situation will only get worse.
The survey, which encompassed 500 respondents, aimed to examine prevailing views regarding the state of the country and the Jewish nation in 2025.
Labor party leader Amir Peretz and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu will no doubt be glad to hear that 44 percent of respondents said
they expect a leader from the social or economic spheres to lead the country in 20 years, while 36 percent said security figures will take the helm.
On another front, only 30 percent of respondents said the country's borders will remain the same in 20 years. Another 18 percent said they believe Israel will go back to the 1967 borders, with small modifications, 27 percent said Israel will go back to the 1967 borders and annex the largest settlement blocs, and 18 percent said Israel will annex additional West Bank territory.
No consensus over holy sites
Meanwhile, there is no consensus over holy sites either:: Some 43 percent of respondents said they thought that in 10 years all of the holy places would remain under Israeli sovereignty, while 30 percent thought that Israel would control the Western Wall while the Palestinians would control the Temple Mount. Another 25 percent said they expected joint supervision.
Questions about the fate of the Jewish nation overseas also showed a gloomy picture. Two thirds of those asked said they thought that the Diaspora would decrease in size, while half (49 percent) said they thought that anti-Semitism in Europe would increase in the next 20 years.
Some 80 percent of respondents said they thought the number of Israelis who will leave the country will not decrease and may even rise by 2025.
The poll also found that 42 percent of respondents believed that immigration to Israel would rise in the next two decades. Factors that would help increase immigration cited by respondents were an increase in benefits to new immigrations and employment assistance (46 percent), as well as a better attitude to immigrants on the part of veteran Israelis (24 percent).
Responding to the poll, Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski said: "The situation of Jewish communities overseas and their attachment to the State of Israel are important to the strength and national security of the State of Israel. The Jewish nation is the most important strategic asset for the State of Israel."
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