In Haaretz, Yehuda Ben Meir (research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies and co-founder of the left-wing religious Zionist party Meimad) reports on two different polls finding between 41 percent and 46 percent of Israelis believe Israel should stop building in East Jerusalem until the end of negotiations with the Palestinians. Writes Ben Meir:
The Israeli public knows the difference between historical Jerusalem and those Arab neighborhoods that have never been part of the city. Therefore, the entire Jewish people, and the U.S. government as well, fully supported the restoration of the Hurva Synagogue in the Old City because this was justified. It embodies the revival of the Jewish people in their land, as well as their connection to the sites of their heritage and their right to possess them. Dispossessing Arabs of their homes and attempts to take over clearly Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are not accepted by the world, including most American Jews, and according to the poll results, not even by a large part of Israel’s Jewish population.