Bush recieves his support from the Christian right. If the Road Map were to actually be impimented he would lose this support and probably lose the next election.
End the occupation. How?
Compensation for leaving homes in West Bank and Gaza Settlements
In a recent survey carried out by Hopp Research Company, funded by Peace Now, and released in July, 2002 interesting data on settler attitudes towards compensation and withdrawal were revealed. Most important is a clear readiness of the vast majority of settlers to receive what they estimate as adequate compensation in order to allow them to leave their present housing and return to the State of Israel. Three thousand two hundred households were interviewed in 127 settlements throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
A pragmatic and realistic approach to the future among the overwhelming majority of settlers is revealed by the following few facts:
77% moved to settlements in order to improve the quality of their lives.
69% of all settlers view the receipt of financial compensation or a property exchange as the preferred option in the event of a peace agreement.
Only a small minority (6%) intends to oppose compensation and withdrawal through "any" means and of this only 2% could be termed "hard core."
The survey did not ask settlers about the readiness to leave now if compensation were available. In order to check this question, Peace Now sent letters to settlers in several places stating: We know that many Israelis currently residing in the territories are interested in living within the Green Line. However, these citizens are trapped because of the collapse of the value of their property within the settlements and because of the lack of any long or short-term plan for housing and employment.
Using our experience in public campaigns, we would like to launch an effort to establish a public entity whose task is to resolve all issues related to settlers who wish to leave their settlement homes and live within the 67 borders. Pressure should be exercised on government authorities to establish such an entity.
The responses to this letter were more than anticipated with dozens of families asking for help in ending the most difficult situation within which they are living.
A myth has been created by the settler leadership over the years, and their supporters, that sentiments against withdrawal among the settlers are so extreme that it will be nigh impossible to dismantle even one settlement. This myth has been re-enforced by the failure of any Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin) to order withdrawal from settlements, even when the public would have accepted such a move.
Within this context the importance of efforts to translate the willingness revealed by the Hopp survey into a program is clear. The majority of settlers are not nationalistic fanatics, nor extremists who would resort to force against a governmental decision. Rather, the majority is pragmatic, realistic, and looking for a plan which would resolve their housing problem in the near future.
Our goal is to organize and work now, not waiting for final status negotiations nor agreements. Work, publicity, and small moves have the potential to create a major shift in public opinion within Israel, a change of opinion among leaders, and a wave within the settler population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.