Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc.

Sign up for IRmep's periodic email bulletins!

New IRmep book now available!


on Twitter!

Audio podcast.gif (1429 bytes)

Email list Subscribe
Audio Archive
Video Archive
Israel Lobby Archive
About IRmep
Policy & Law Enforcement

centle.jpg (8432 bytes)







4/2/2004 MEASURE Poll:
The Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza and Proposed Annexation of West Bank Settlements
PDF/Printable  Video Overview from C-SPAN

The Middle East Academic Survey Research and Exposition project polled 100 Middle East academics about a proposed Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.   The survey was fielded between March 22 and April 2, 2004.   Drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees in Middle East area studies, IRmep compiled and presents 100 survey responses.  This poll should not be interpreted as a statistically significant reflection on the views of all US Middle East academics.


Question #1
Does the US currently have the global credibility and legal authority to legitimize a unilateral settlement giving Israel lands outside of 1967 borders?
(Source: IRmep MEASURE 2004)
g1.gif (2093 bytes)

Question #2
How would the formal US recognition of annexation of territory outside the 1967 borders likely affect terrorist attacks in the Middle East?
(Source: IRmep MEASURE 2004)
g2.gif (3703 bytes)

Question #3
How would the formal US recognition of annexation of territory outside the 1967 borders likely affect terrorist attacks in the United States?
(Source: IRmep MEASURE 2004)
g3.gif (3640 bytes) 

Question #4
Which factors could be most important in driving a US decision on whether to recognize land outside of 1967 borders as part of Israel?
(Source: IRmep MEASURE 2004)

a. Concern for the safety and security of Israeli citizens.
g4a.gif (3721 bytes)

b. Concern about winning the US led "war on terror".
g4b.gif (3734 bytes)

c. Lobby-driven domestic political concerns.

g4c.gif (3613 bytes)

d. 2004 presidential elections in the US.

g4d.gif (3535 bytes)

Question #1 Comments
Does the US currently have the global credibility and legal authority to legitimize a unilateral settlement giving Israel lands outside of 1967 borders?

These borders aren't even legal according to UN resolutions.  If it were any case other than with Israel the question wouldn't even arise.

U.S. foreign policy with regard to the Arab/Israeli question has only further angered the radical Muslims of the Middle East.  The US government has shown over and over how very little it really understands the needs of the non-Israeli people of the region. 

The US has the muscle to do whatever it wants; the issue concerns the willingness to act for the benefit of both sides. Thus the answer is NO to the phrase "outside the 1967 borders.” These borders were determined by international law, through the UN.

Must be done in negotiations with the Palestinians and as part of a total peace negotiation.

Where is the legal authority? Forget global credibility. Only if we want Armageddon early this year.

Bi-lateral agreements between the US and Israel cannot supercede international law.

The US has not been and remains an impartial player that lacks the credibility in much of the region

The issue here is legal authority - the US is not the first world power and will not be the last.  Suppose the next "cedes" US territory to another nation?

But it does have the power to do so in other words, it will do it, the rest of the word will yell and it will happen anyway.

If the Palestinians, the Arab states, the Muslim activists do not accept any settlement, it will not be worth the paper on which it is written.

Cease building the wall.   Encourage a new Palestinian leader by providing money for schools and healthcare.

Bring the Arab states into an international meeting with Israel to be held in Europe.

Not all problems will be solved by moving back to the 1967 lines

In a few words: The conflict needs “an honest broker."

US credibility will dramatically fall if this is supported.

Why should Israel be given any territory in the West Bank?  This countermands the Oslo agreements and the whole idea of a staged withdrawal.   The questions in this survey are really improperly stated -- It is NOT a matter of the US's rights or abilities to annex territories that it does not "own" - But it is the US international stature and ability to legitimize a settlement that is the issue.  Since you have not explained how MUCH territory, or where it is in the West Bank, or why it must be exchanged, my responses will be skewed.    I definitely approve of US involvement A.S.A.P. to bring about a negotiated peace - but without the above information, I can't answer properly.   

Implement them within a negotiated solution.

Proceed from the Saudi proposal.

Israel and every other nation are bound by international law. Israel must comply with UNR 242 and 338. Israel must also cease its racist practices against the Palestinians, including but not limited to exclusive privileges for Jewish citizens, the denial of return to Palestinian refugees and the building of the apartheid wall on Palestinian land.

No one does.

Very bad move. Israel has to withdraw from all the territories occupied in 1967 war. There cannot be real justice and peace without it.

Such a move will only deepen current resentment on the "Arab Street."

The US should put pressure on Israel to respect the 1967 borders in order to reestablish its global credibility. It should stop siding with Israel blindly.

In 1967 the entire world community--with the exception of Israel--expected Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders. It should be U.S. policy that Israel be required to do so.

The U.S. never has the legal authority to legitimize Israel taking lands outside of its 1967 borders.  It is not the right of the U.S., I believe, to give away either Arab or Israeli land.

The international community has already agreed on many occasions that the 1967 lines are what is needed to end this conflict. Also, the Arab World (including the Palestinians) would accept no less, which are Israel's direct neighbors, not the US.

But it will solve enough to where Palestinians will finally have an independent homeland

The U.S. and Israel have no legal authority whatsoever to seize any portion of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or the Golan Heights. Both are suffering from almost total lack of credibility within the world community for their rogue actions, and arrogant "might-makes-right" attitudes.

The US administration has taken quite a blow to their credibility over the past year.

US does have credibility at the most Arabian governments because USA have solved their problems with Israel as happened with Egypt after 1973 war.

Enforce, yes. Legitimize, no, as US legitimacy in Arab world = 0.

The Israelis and the Palestinians to secure politically distinct states along the territorial lines that were explicitly recognized by the international community prior to 1967 is the basis for any eventual just settlement.  Negotiations between the two states

Violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.

It has neither the global credibility nor the international legal authority to give away territory.  It is illegal under the Geneva Conventions for an occupying force (Israel) to annex occupied territory unilaterally; it is therefore illegal under the same Convention for the US to bless such a unilateral annexation.

The US lacks the legal grounds for making these determinations, which belong properly in the UN from which the initial 1947 plan emerged, as unrealized as it has been.   Furthermore, the US has increasingly lost whatever legitimacy it once had in dealing as an "honest broker" in the Israel Palestine Conflict. In a word, the US has been perceived and has, in many instances, become increasingly a biased party to the conflict in practice as well as in policy statements and omissions.

The right of two peoples

U.S. policy is so shameful that even to call it that purports to give dignity to the something from a sewer.

No one has the right to give Israel lands outside of 1967 borders.

On the one hand the US is the only broker available with authority recognized by both sides.   On the other hand, I do not believe that the international community would accept any annexation that does not also have UN approval.   The US could recognize unilaterally, but does not have the power to legitimize unilaterally.

Any US credibility that existed at the end of the Clinton Administration has eroded almost completely with the Bush Administration's ideological bent in Middle East politics.  However, it is clear that nothing will move forward without the US.

US is committed to push Israel to implement all the UN Resolutions concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict.

America has a long history of overwhelming support for Israel during "peace negotiations". Our current regime is viewed with extreme cynicism in the Middle East and has shown almost no concern for the rights of Palestinians. Israel needs to withdraw to its '67 borders. The occupation must end. But America has no will to bring things to a just conclusion, instead we support Israel's constant efforts to expropriate more land, build illegal walls/borders, and trample the human rights - not to mention lives - of Palestinians.

Taking land as a result of occupation is a clear violation of international law and will not settle the conflict or increase Israeli security, but will increase existing injustice towards Palestinians.

Absolutely not.  We are seen as maintaining a double-standard when it comes to Israel, instead of holding it accountable to ALL UN resolutions, as other nations are expected to do. The only way to regain our credibility is to act with honor and abide by international law and make all our allies do the same. Then you will see the shift in world opinion, including among many right here at home.

The US and the international community have always considered these settlements to be contrary to international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.  To flip flop and unilaterally recognize any such settlement as legal Israeli territory would have no international support and, indeed, would diminish US credibility even further.

The current US administration is not perceived, internationally or regionally, as an "honest broker" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The question is worded problematically.  Can the US legitimize a unilateral settlement recognizing Israel's appropriation of lands outside its 1967 borders, meaning lands in the West Bank, Gaza, or Golan?  No one can legitimize such an appropriation.  The only way that such an appropriation could be made legitimately would be through a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine, in which a Palestinian government agrees to recognize Israel's seizure of certain of those lands, probably in exchange for others. Unilateralism really is not a good approach for creating an impression of legitimacy.

Israel will do as it pleases and the US will slap fingers at most.

The US has little to know credibility in this or any other area re: to the Israeli/Palestinian Peace Process. 

The issue is between Israel and the Palestinians, not the US. The US involvement is a major part of the problem.  Current US policy is very pro-Israel and is the $2 billion a year in foreign aid to Israel.  The US has no legal authority in Israel.  How would US citizens feel if another country voiced support and "legal authority" in the disposition of land in the US?


Question #5 Comments:

Other comments and observations about realistic territorial solutions that provide security to Israelis and Palestinians:

A true solution would be to recognize Palestinians and Israelis as equal citizens with equal rights and benefits and representation in the same state. Impossible in current
Israel because of its linking religious identity to citizenship. The US would also not support a representative government in a newly structured state because it feels secure in its relationship with Israel and uses its geographic location and military to secure insurance for its claims to oil. Both the current Israeli government and the US government benefit from oppression of Palestinian people in that the oppression creates violence which legitimizes the use of state force.

The solution has to be created and implemented by Israelis and Palestinians together. If the US can help do that, fine. There can be no solution without the inclusion of Palestinians in decision making and implementation, nor with only US Israeli action.

The full pressure of the US government should be brought to bear on Israel to stop the horrible murder of Palestinians.  The current leader of Israel killed the efforts for peace, of the last Prime minister.  He should be forced out of office.  It is unconscionable that the US Government has NEVER taken seriously the issues of the Palestinians.  

Israel and the US must sit down with the democratically elected officials of Palestine. Support for the legitimate PA authority must begin at once.  The only solution will be to remove most of the Israeli settlements and create a viable Palestinian state, not disconnected enclaves.

Security for Israelis will come with the end of their occupation of Palestinian lands.  The only reason for Palestinian violent reaction is the violence which is visited upon them daily from Israeli armed forces and border guards and the inhuman conditions under which they are forced to live by the occupying power.   The US needs to stop supporting Israeli occupation and human rights violations by withholding financial and military aid from the Israeli government.  The US needs to actively push for implementation of relevant UN resolutions rather than making two unequal sides "negotiate". This will go a long way towards making us more safe here in America.  It has not been done up to now because of Lobby-driven domestic political concerns.  However, there are a lot of people who feel the same way I do, and the US government's needs to put this to the test.  Maybe by doing the right thing, they will win domestically also. 

A peaceful two-state solution would probably be a reality today or near to it if Sharon had not pulled out of the Taba negotiations after his election in 2000.   According to Israeli and Palestinian negotiators they were within two weeks of an agreement but Sharon did not want a peaceful settlement.

I feel as though reference to US national interests need to be made somewhere in this survey.

The 1967 borders will be the basis for peace between Israel and its neighbors plus the Palestinians, with guarantee of the borders by the US, UN, and European Union. This is the proper way to go.

Israel should be content with having colonized two-thirds of Palestine and get on with life inside of its own borders. Revisionist Zionists and their ilk are the biggest threat to security in Palestine.

As long as Israel insists on taking land, demanding security, economic & political support from the US with minimal thought to Palestinian rights to their homeland US support will be harmful to peace & our credibility in the eyes of the world. Without world support full peace cannot be established. 

It's interesting to note the utter lack of concern, on this survey, with notions of justice and international law; there are only bland pronouncements concerned with "security" which has always stood as a cover for maintaining the status quo of Israeli hegemony.

Immediate implementation of resolution 242, the only internationally recognized basis (incl. by the warring parties) for co-existence, as confirmed by recent Arab overtures such as the Fahd plan.

Give back all the territory conquered in 1967 including Jerusalem to have a lasting peace. Your questions are also framed to solicit a particular response, which is dangerous.

More Arab public attention needs to be given to the fact that Iran is backing this relatively new type of Palestinian terrorism, and the high cost people all over the Middle East have paid; in the tourist industry, for example. 

Public attention in the Arab world needs to be drawn to the fact that Iran is backing this relatively new type of Palestinian terrorism, and the high cost people all over the Middle East have paid; in the tourist industry, for example.  

Israel should respect the 1967 borders. The Palestinians have the right to their own state and it should be within the '67 borders. All settlements should be removed and dismantled in order to achieve peace and security to both sides.

Crown Prince Abdullah's pledge to accept the State of Israel if it returned to the 1967 borders was a potential turning point; that initiative has been ignored. Time, in my opinion, for a "two-State solution" is running out.  A return to the 1967 borders, along with a formula for aid and compensation to displaced Palestinians, offers the only hope for the long-term survival of Israel and for a diminution of anger-based Islamic violence.

Israeli citizens would have better security if they pulled back from both Gaza and the West Bank.  There are issues that needed to be diplomatically discussed between the two parties in order to achieve this. Realistically, in the current political climate there, and especially, I believe, with Ariel Sharon in government, this will probably not happen anytime soon.

The Wall: if Israel really wants to build a security wall, it should only be built within the 1967 borders, and quit sucking up more Palestinian land.

The big, fat elephant in the room that Israel and the U.S. seem unable to see: 1967 borders, without settlements, and a sharing of Jerusalem. Anything short of this basic formulation will certainly fail.

Creating a new Palestinian regime over their own land similar to the rest of Arabian ones may control the unleashed forces in the area. Diminishing terror attacks will not be sudden over the accord but it may take some time if some developments are achieved for the people in the Palestinian areas.

A realistic territorial solution is one that is perceived by both sides as fair. Since that is impossible, all that can be hoped for is a perception by both sides as equally unfair. Rather than endorse an Israeli plan, the US should enforce its own--but that is politically impossible, so in the end there is little hope.

The best way to gain peace is by making life better for the Palestinian people and allowing them their human rights.  Land grabs are the worst way to gain peace and security.

Only a full withdrawal from all territories occupied by Israel in June 1967, in Gaza, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, negotiated in a context addressing all issues under dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, will meet with the support of the international community and put to rest this perennial cause of international instability, including terrorist attacks.

Consideration ought to be given to the safety and security of the Palestinian population--conspicuously missing among your options for question 4.  All too often the US has claimed to represent a "balanced" perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but has generally failed to consider the effects of its policies on the largely defenseless and voiceless Palestinians.  Given the harsh and provocative conditions of life under Israeli military occupation, the Palestinians must be given a positive way forward.  Unilateral Israeli decisions should not be given the sanction of official United States policy.

These questions miss the point. One major purpose of the Zionist Organization was to provide a national home to which Jews all over the world might go when facing persecution. This means an eventual need for expanded borders beyond those of 1967. The high Palestinian birthrate means an eventual Palestinian majority in the lands west of the Jordan River. Adjusting borders now doesn't alter these basic facts. Only a dramatic change in the ways these two peoples view each other can make a difference.

Realistically, all Jewish colonizing "settlements" need to be closed down everywhere in the West Bank and Gaza.  Since 80% of those surveyed indicated willingness to be bought out, this could start immediately.

The only realistic territorial solution would be a total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.  Minor adjustments of the 1967 Green Line might be permitted if agreed to by Palestinian negotiators and Israel's retention of some parts of Arab East Jerusalem is probably inevitable (and would have to be agreed to by Palestinians).  This kind of solution would provide security to both Israelis and Palestinians. But the kind of land division put forth at Camp David in 2000 would not provide adequate security or viability to the Palestinians; nor would the kind of land division envisioned by Sharon with his plans for construction of the separation wall, or any unilateral annexation of West Bank territory, with or without US endorsement.

The recognition of Israel by the US and other states in the late 1940's was premised on the territorial boundaries which your survey is evidently calling the (pre-)1967 borders.  Hence, the entity called Israel in the light of international conventions consists of that (pre-) 1967 territorial designation. To recognize borders that increase Israel's territory at the expense of Palestinian lands is to recognize "the acquisition of territory by force" which directly contradicts an explicit principle in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The only solution is for Israel/Palestine to be democratized, that is, for the whole area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan to evolve into a bi-national state. That will take a long time. The idea of leaving a "Jewish state" that includes even parts of the 22% of the country that its indigenous people have still not been uprooted from is too arrogant to contemplate.

Life is not fair; it is our job to make it so.  Fairness, even-handedness will create peace in the Middle East and will lead to eventual acceptance of democratic ideals in the world.  

The US should use diplomatic means to persuade Israel to curb their aggression.

Whatever territorial settlement they arrive at must include economic viability, and therefore dignity, for Palestinians.

A real two state solution that provides Palestinians with the whole West Bank and Gaza, including the Jerusalem suburbs would be a start.  This must include Palestinian control of borders and safe passage from West Bank to Gaza.  Administration of Jerusalem could be worked out.

Out of the whole territory of Palestine, the W. Bank and Gaza constitute only 22%; the appropriation of more land from this minimum is more than shame and injustice.  The Arab-Israeli conflict will never end even if this 22% is left for the Palestinians.   The alien Zionists of Thirteen Tribe will never be able to swallow Palestine for ever.  This statement is not based on emotion and unrealism, but an expression of a deeply-seated wound and humiliation, which one day shall surface and overcome.  Jews and Arabs will have better days ahead after the demise of the superimposed Zionism on them. Thanks.

How can the United States continue to support occupation and oppression of one group of people while claiming at the very same time to be liberating countries from oppressive regimes (Iraq, Afghanistan)?  Do not the Palestinians have a right to their own land and human dignity?  Perhaps Israel should unilaterally withdraw from Gaza without seeking at the same time to annex other Palestinian territory.  The U.S. policy on the Palestinian/Israel issue is one that certainly costs credibility in the global and foreign policy arena.  It would truly be a shame if we supported a unilateral withdrawal while at the same time approving for annexation of territory.  Does not this seem to be a contradiction in goals?

US policy re territorial solutions is driven by Israeli interests and is largely driven by actions of the Israeli lobby in the US and right wing Christians.

The problem is that "realistic" and "pragmatic" solutions don't stand a chance given the history of fear and hatred, the uneven power distribution and the ideologically driven identity politics of nearly all parties. A single, secular democracy including makes most economic sense and would ultimately be most secure, but the "two state" solution generally accepted by the majority of Palestinians and Israelis seems the most likely to succeed. For that to happen, as we can see from experience, it's crucial that US policy needs to change and become truly "fair and unbiased." However, seeing how easily the American people were deceived into supporting the distracting current Iraq War, I'm pessimistic about the political feasibility of that.

The US has allowed the illegal occupation and illegal settlement building to continue for over 35 years. To sanction a de facto illegal situation is morally reprehensible and contrary to international law. To base foreign policy decisions on lobbies with their own narrow agenda, instead of abiding by UN resolutions and international law is the reason we are where we are. If you want to end terrorism, then apply the law equally to all parties, whether friend or foe. That will be a huge factor in decreasing terrorism. Our foreign policies have actually contributed to its increase, and who really benefits? Justice is supposed to be blind, not dependent on who's paying one's campaign.

Per international law, any deviation from the 1967 borders in the context of creating two states must be mutually agreed upon by Israel and Palestine.  Unilateral annexations will only inflame the situation and make a permanent peace that much more difficult.

The only realistic long-term territorial solution is for a mutually agreed-upon Israeli withdrawal from the entire West Bank and Gaza with some minor territorial adjustments -- basically, the Clinton Plan proposed at Taba in January 2001.

The Geneva Accord is the best thing around because it is the fairest, but it alone will not stop Islamist terror because the Islamist terror groups do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel's existence at all, within any borders whatsoever.  That's the conundrum:  Israel must make massive territorial withdrawals for peace, the Palestinians must give up the right of return and dissociate themselves once and for all from terror groups -- but even those steps will not be sufficient to stop terror, and therefore in the meantime, there is little incentive, in the eyes of a large segment of the Israeli public, to make hard concessions.

Realistically, territorial solutions that provide security to Israelis and Palestinians require first of all that both Palestinians and Israelis want to have security more than they want reasons to kill each other.  With the current array of political leaders on each side Sharon/Likud for Israel and Hamas in the ascendant for the Palestinians, it does not look like a situation where either side wants security for both peoples.

1949-67 boundaries plus a change in Israeli policies and attitudes.

The first thing to do is to End Israeli Occupation of Palestinian lands and to recognize the "Right of Return" for Palestinian Refugees. The US should become an honest broker, which it is not.  It supports the occupation no matter how draconian.

Withdraw financial support from Israel.


Measure is the acronym of Middle East Academic Research and Exposition.  MEASURE is a grant funded research tool that advises policy makers and the American public on highly relevant topics.   MEASURE surveys are fielded by the Washington DC based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, (IRmep) a non-profit, non-partisan, non- ideological public policy institute. 

MEASURE surveys academics via a series of multiple choice and open questions to compile and aggregate of informed opinion on timely policy issues.

100 MEASURE survey candidates are drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees
Middle East area studies.  Not all MEASURE candidates teach or write about contemporary Middle East issues, but are generally more informed and involved in regional issues than their counterparts in academia, and reside within Middle East university departments.

MEASURE survey results are presented in aggregate form only.  Individual responses are anonymous.  MEASURE survey results are presented to the public in a timely fashion and also made available to policy makers and the press.    MEASURE avoids uninvited or multiple survey responses by soliciting response by invitees only and discarding repeat responses.

Download PDF

 |  home | search | site info | privacy policy  | contact us! | MEASURE | CPLE

spacer.gif (905 bytes)
Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. (IRmep)
Telephone: (202) 342-7325 E-mail: IRMEP Info Comments about this Site

Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 IRmep. All Rights Reserved.
Content may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole

or part without the expressed written consent and
citation of IRmep unless otherwise directed.

This site is optimized for Internet Explorer 5 or higher and a

screen resolution of 800 x 600 and above