JERUSALEM – A scientific poll that had been suppressed in Israel for the past month showing a plurality of Israelis favor transferring the Palestinian population out of Israel was released yesterday following inquiries and an article by WorldNetDaily.
The poll was commissioned by Mishalot Yisrael, a group formed to assess public opinion with regard to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw Jewish settlements from Gaza and parts of the West Bank this summer. Mutagim, a major Israeli polling company, conducted the survey Jan. 12.
Israelis were asked whether they “prefer the ‘Sharon/Peres Disengagement Plan,’ which includes transferring Gaza and Northern Shomron to Palestinian control and expulsion of all Jews who live there – a move that would bring Palestinian territory closer to major Israeli cities such as Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. Or do you prefer the ‘Jewish Alternative Disengagement Plan,’ which includes annexing these territories and expulsion of the Arabs living there to an area outside Israel, deep beyond a safe security buffer zone – a move that would effectively distance the Palestinian population from major Israeli cities like Ashkelon and Tel Aviv?”
The results showed 39 percent of the general Israeli population said they favor the mass transfer of Palestinians, while 37 percent favor Sharon’s withdrawal plan, according to the poll.
But Mutagim refused to release the survey results, claiming a question was entered late and the company was only able to interview 397 people instead of the 511 originally planned. The company offered to conduct another survey for free.
An independent polling company told WND the survey of 397 people, if conducted appropriately, would still be accurate and would only increase the margin of error by 0.5 to 1 percent.
Yekutiel Ben Yaacov, director of Mishalot Yisroel, told WND he demanded the poll results be released. In a conversation taped by Ben Yaacov because he says he suspected foul play, Mutagim market researcher Uri Pancier allegedly admits the results may be accurate and discusses his reluctance to release them.
“The polling companies are afraid. They don’t want to put anything out that shows the Israeli people would rather kick out the Palestinians and not evacuate the Jews,” Ben Yaacov said.
But following inquiries and an article yesterday by WorldNetDaily, Mutagim suddenly rushed to Ben Yaacov the official poll results showing Israelis favor booting the Palestinian population.
“I find it more than a coincidence that Mutagim quickly released the poll after WordNetDaily made it known there was a taped conversation where Mutagim admitted those results were found,” said Ben Yaacov. “There is an alternative to Sharon’s withdrawal plan, and we can’t be stopped from raising it.”
The poll is considered controversial by many in Israel. Politicians who in the past raised the possibility of expelling the Palestinian population, including the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and former tourism minister Rehavam Zeavi, were largely sidelined by the mainstream Israeli media and general population. Both were later assassinated.
Several Israeli polling companies, including the Dahav Institute, refused to conduct the survey.
Veteran Israeli pollster and Dahav chief Dr. Mina Tzemach told WorldNetDaily: “Yes, I refused to do it. The so-called alternative plan is unrealistic, immoral and it will never happen. Such ideas are damaging to the state of Israel.”