Massive support for Israel prisoner swap - poll

2011-10-17 10:42

Jerusalem - An overwhelming majority of Israelis approve of the prisoner swap deal made with Hamas for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a poll in Israel's top-selling daily newspaper showed on Monday.

According to the poll published in Yediot Aharonot, 79% of Israelis back the exchange of Shalit for 1 027 Palestinian security prisoners, and only 14% oppose it.

The first stage of the deal, in which Shalit will be released after more than five years in Hamas captivity in Gaza in return for 477 prisoners, is set for Tuesday.

The deal is being challenged by four petitions to the High Court on Monday, filed by family members of victims of Palestinian militants and a group representing victims of attacks.

They say that the release of that many militants in return for one Israeli soldier is out of proportion and will risk the lives of Israelis.


According to the Maariv daily, the Palestinian militants to be released are collectively responsible for the killing of a total of 569 Israelis.

The Israeli High Court has never overturned any government decision to free prisoners involved in militant attacks.

While 50% of respondents cited in the poll feared that the release of the militants would negatively affect the safety of Israeli citizens, 48% said they did not share that fear, and trusted the security services.

The Mina Tzemah/Dahaf poll was carried out on Sunday among a representative sample of 500 Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, and gave a margin error of 4.4%.

When asked to describe the conduct of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in sealing the deal with the Islamist Hamas movement, 43% said he had acted "as usual". In contrast, 49% said he caved in to public opinion.

A Saturday poll commissioned by Channel 10 television found that 69% of Israelis backed the deal, while 32% opposed it.

The Hamas rulers of Gaza are to release Shalit, captured in a cross-border raid in 2006, in exchange for a first batch of 477 Palestinian prisoners. A second batch of 550 prisoners will be released within two months.

Israel, which will decide on the prisoners in the second group, has not yet announced their names, but a diplomat from Egypt, which brokered the deal, said his country had insisted since 2007 that they be members of Abbas's secular Fatah movement.

  • Dirk - 2011-10-17 11:10

    As much as I feel for Shalit and his family, and rejoyce in his imminent release,only time will tell if this will compromise the security of Israel.Most of the arabs to be released, are bloodthirsty murderous terrorists who were detained under conditions, unlike Shalit,accessible to the Red Cross- the difference between a civilized and uncivilized group.

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 12:05

      @Dirk You are saying "Most of the arabs to be released, are bloodthirsty murderous terrorists" So what do you call Ariel Sharon and his henchman that are responsible for the thousands of innocent men women and children killed in Sabra and Shatila and those Israelis that are responsible for other similar attacks

      Dirk - 2011-10-17 14:44

      Ariel Sharon? I regard him as a hero who put Israels security, under threat from murderous bandits, first. Otherwise, your generalization of the "thousands" killed, I reject as fabrication and untruth.

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 15:07

      The Israeli government is fabricating is that what you are saying. The Israeli inquiry put the blame for Sabra and Shatila with Ariel Sharon although they did not sanction him they did say that he is to blame read the report on wikipedia

  • Jaba - 2011-10-17 11:43

    This is awesome news. Israel must not let time pass too long after this agreement without taking the full advantage of the current negotiations. Hopefully both sides use this new communication and jump on the occasion – carry on talking with Hamas while the telephone is still warm. Peace could only be achieved through negotiation and compromise – “talking” leads to communication and compromise. Keep talking…

  • uwe.klopfer - 2011-10-17 12:27

    so the Palestinians believe 1 Israeli soldier is the equivalent off 1000 terrorists ? WOW. Those Israelis must be awesome soldiers !

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 12:48

      No the Palestinians don't think that 1 Israeli soldier is the equivalent of 1000 Palestinians, it is the uber mensch mentality that the Israelis have that make the Israelis believe that 1 Israeli = 1000 Palestinians. Which definition are you using for terrorist since if you are using Israeli and US definition then you should also say that the Israelis are also terrorists. By the way the US still defined Nelson Mandela up to 2 years ago as a terrorist. When ever he went to the US the Sec of State had to issue a special decree that he could enter US territory. Be careful how you use the term terrorist since today's terrorist is tomorrows greatest Statesman.

      Erica - 2011-10-17 13:18

      They are awesome and very young at that. Whereas the slipshod SA teen goes to uni and on to a life after school - the young Israeli men and women are out there fighting for the preservation of the Iraeli people. Very few have the luxury of starting a life first and are more mature than most of their counterparts in countries where they are not doing compulsory military duty. Their life starts only once their duty is done. If they make it out alive or in one peace - that is. They are so thankful for a kind gesture, whereas some of the teens in my personal experience are thankless brats who suck you dry.

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 13:30

      @Erica not so long ago in our distant past the same sentiments were expressed about white south african youths that were called up for compulsory military service to uphold an ideology that dehumanised a large portion of our country's population.

      Erica - 2011-10-17 13:41

      The white SA soldiers were not fighting to preserve a people, but rather an ideology. Israel on the other hand faces the threat by the Iranian president and others who vow to wipe them off the map. Through the centuries many have tried to get a piece of Israel and kill the Jewish nation. No property is as hot as in Israel. :)

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 14:05

      Zionism is also an ideology that is fighting for survival, and if you read any of Verwoerd's doctrine's or the doctrine's of the apartheid regime apologists you will find that they were fighting for their people against the "Swart gevaar" Modern day Israel is not Ancient Israel and people should make a serious study of the history surrounding Ancient Israel to realise that there is NO COMPARISON between the two although the Israeli Lobby whose ultimate goal it is to brainwash the world to believe that Modern Israel is an extension of Ancient Israel. It is the Israeli Lobby that talks constantly about "the killing of the Jewish people" instead of concentrating upon the injustices that is being wrought upon Palestinians that's been living there for many years who are being barred from cultivating their crops by an apartheid wall, who are being barred from living in their own homes by Israeli troops that occupy it to use as a look-out point, who are barred from renovating there homes that are becoming dilapidated due to age, who are barred from getting to a hospital a few 100 meters away to give birth because a young Israeli soldier doesn't feel like letting a pregnant mother thru.

      bl.saayman - 2011-10-17 14:52

      "The white SA soldiers were not fighting to preserve a people, but rather an ideology" Black SADF members imo had a better understanding of what were and still are at stake than many whites. Whites are unwelcome in Africa. Oliver Tambo made the following statement in Geneve on Nov 28, 1980: "The state of war which exists in South Africa is a war of national liberation, for selfdetermination on the basis of the Freedom Charter, whose adoption we are celebrating the 25th anniversary this year. It is, as Article 1 of Protocol I of 1977 recognises, an armed conflict in which peoples are fighting against ‘colonial domination and alien occupation and against regimes in the exercise of their right to self-determination'." That is why the white minority today is the target of the ongoing racist NDR and are officially and openly mocked as supremacists, settlers and colonialists that stole the country from its "rightful owners" by the SACP and ANC. Moreover, the so-called "people war" of the ANC was responsible for 80500 incidents of violence and 9200 deaths. Isreal should imo be forced to do what the Afrikaners did: Accept majority rule in a unitary state and allow the Palistinians to inter alia take over the Knessit, Isreal Defence Force, criminal justice system and public service. The Palistinians et al must respect the human rights of the minority including their property rights and their right to work as per the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Agree?

      Erica - 2011-10-17 14:56

      Zionism is not an ideology. Go through history and see how the Jewish people were persecuted and murdered. Anti-semitism slants are still rife and now taking hold in SA that is supposedly no longer associated with apartheid. Mr Tutu has become an anti-Israel advocate. What I do find quite amusing is the contradiction of his title - Archbishop. Jesus is a Jew! So you cannot advocate anti-semitic slants and in the same breath be associated with the Christian faith. Turn a blind eye, close your ears - whatever. The truth remains Israel is the only nation fighting for their preservation. The Jewish people advocate peace whilst a young Jewish man was beaten for wearing his yamuke. Sadly Dayaan, the time will come where friendship or even blood won't matter when people will have to choose between being friends of Israel or not.

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 15:16

      LMAO when ever Israeli hypocrisy or atrocity is brought to attention then immediately those that are highlighting it is anti-semite. Please come up with a better argument. THERE IS ATROCITIES BEING COMMITTED ON BOTH SIDES. Just as their is EXTREMISTS amongst the Palestinians there is EXTREMISTS amongst the Israelis. The sooner the Israeli lobby admit to this the sooner people can sit down and discuss lasting peace. DO NOT DEMONISE a whole populatio because of EXTREMISTS amongst them.

      Adam - 2011-10-17 16:27

      should we reward the palestinians who dont want to kill jews with flowers and chocolates? and should we just ask the bad ones to form a separate line so we can arrest them? think before you write ridiculous comments about this stuff

      bl.saayman - 2011-10-17 16:33

      You said: “The white SA soldiers were not fighting to preserve a people, but rather an ideology.” From all the negative thumbs my above comment recieved, I take it that by popular demand we do not have an agreement and will most probably never agree. However, I thought you and those that share your opinions are principled and will always be anti-apartheid or minority rule, no matter where it may the "ideology" of the day of the ruling minority. But now it appears that you are not pro-democracy and liberal human rights etc. but merely anti-Afrikaner or anti-white minority rule as it manifested itself at the time in for example in Zim, Namibia and SA. Did you at the time regard the Cuban/Russian surrogates in Angola as a friendly force and the "white soldiers" of the SADF as your enemy? Moreover, you are clearly feverishly anti-Palestinian and pro-Israel. Correct me if I am wrong please. It also seems at this stage that you lack fundamental guiding principles. Are you and those that support you hypocrites?

      Adam - 2011-10-17 16:50

      there will be peace when the arabs love their children more then they hate the israelis. why do u people think israel is special. show me where arabs/muslims live thats peaceful. you show me a muslim willing to die for god and ill show you 20 infidels itching to assist

  • Adam - 2011-10-17 14:42

    dayaan youve been watching too many arab news channels. if you think israel is so bad then ask your self what any normal country would do when facing constant suicide and rocket attacks. israel treats the misfits on their doorstep far better then any arab government ever treated their own people.

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 15:22

      I don't really watch TV but i do read wikileaks, and when i do watch i prefer BBC. Take your time and read the US Diplomatic Cables from Tel Aviv and you will find out how Israel has been lying to the world and how exasperated US diplomats are with Israelis

      Adam - 2011-10-17 16:23

      do u know who read wiki leaks? crack heads read wiki leaks. you're a conspiracy theorist. everything you have read may have substance to it, but you and i both know you very likely read it out of context and do not know the full version of the storey as wiki leak documents are a small part of what is a whole storey. why dont you focus you energy into being realistic and realising/admitting that israel has done very little wrong in terms of dealing with a constant threat. the arab world stands silent at the actions of their leaders, israel makes one little fart in the face of terrorists and the whole world comes attacking with fire and pick axes. something israel haters dont understand is this: israel is not going any where, now or later. weather you believe in god, the universe or the flying spaghetti monster, there still exists concepts called good and evil. good always triumphs, fortunately israel as long as it continues to act like a gentleman in the face of a drunk drug dealing child molesting palestine will always be successful and victorious. evil will only triumph when good men fail to act. israel acts and she acts with meaning. i sound crazy, but if u were wrong then israel would not be standing today.... on paper there is no way to even explain how israel still exists considering her neighbors. and dont bring the american sh1t, america only started to help out longggg after israel defended her self from invading arabs

      Dayaan - 2011-10-17 17:22

      Well if crackheads and conspiricay theorists are reading wikileaks then WHY ARE US GOVERNMENT INCARCERATING THE YOUNG SOLDIER THAT RELEASED THE CABLES, oh sorry thats not true according #Adam and his Israeli Lobby. WHY ARE US STATE DEPARTMENT IN OVERDRIVE LIMITING DAMAGE ALL OVER THE WORLD SINCE THERE SECRETS ARE NOT SO SECRET ANYMORE oh sorry thats not true according to #Adam and his Israeli Lobby Wikileaks is a figment of the worlds imagination. #Adam and Israeli Lobby certainly needs to catch a wake up as US Sec Defence stated recently that Israel might have the military might but certainly will not win if it doesn't change its policies since it is isolating itself, they should come to realise that no man is an island unto himself and the sooner they realise it the sooner people can sit down and discuss everlasting peace, if it wasn't for people like #Adam, Israeli Lobby and extremist Zionists there could have been peace long ago

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