Public gives thumbs-down to Rabin's planned Golan deal

As Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin promises that there will be no Israeli withdrawal from any part of the Golan Heights without a referendum, opinion polls indicate that more than half of Israelis oppose a peace agreement with Syria which would include a pullback from the area.

After testing the political waters by hinting that a token Israeli withdrawal might include the evacuation of one settlement, Mr Rabin said that even this will require a referendum.

A poll published in the daily Maariv shows that 56 per cent of Israelis say they would vote no to peace with Syria on the terms Mr Rabin is contemplating; 22 per cent would vote yes, 15 per cent did not know how they would vote and 7 per cent refused to reply.

Supporters of a peace agreement say that in the late 1970s a majority of Israelis were opposed to evacuating Sinai before President Sadat of Egypt visited Jerusalem and Camp David. They say that Israelis will support a withdrawal from the Golan if it is accompanied by an overall peace agreement which would include normalisation of relations and Syria breaking with Iran and Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Since Syria decided to reopen high-level talks in Washington at the end of the month there is a growing feeling among settlers on the Golan that they may face evacuation.

Hundreds of residents have started to examine their right to receive compensation if they have to leave.

Israeli commentators have difficulty in deciding how close Israel is to a deal with Syria because Syrian negotiating tactics are to act tough and not to be intimidated by the prospect of a Likud government winning the next election. Earlier in the week, however, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said that Syrian President Assad realised that "his best opportunity for an agreement is to do a deal with Rabin".

The prospects of a withdrawal from the Golan may also lead to a split in the Labour party, with the so-called Third Way movement threatening to set up their own party. Opinion polls show that they might win as many as six seats in the 120-seat Knesset. They are proposing a bill which requires a special majority of 70 Knesset members and 50 per cent of voters for a Golan pullout. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has attacked them, saying that no peace can be achieved with Syria without withdrawal from the Golan.

The right-wing Likud also faces a split which may damage it in the 1996 election. David Levy, the Moroccan Jewish leader, complaining that he and his supporters are being marginalised in the party by its leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, is edging towards setting up his own party. He has little support in the Knesset but has the loyalty of many activists. In a closely fought election his defection might give Labour the edge.

Mr Netanyahu, whose vision of the Likud of the future is close to the Republican party in the US, is not trying very hard to keep Mr Levy in the party. He turned up late at a reconciliation meeting with Mr Levy's brother who had already left.The 1996 election is likely to see the Prime Minister and the Knesset elected separately for the first time. Likud and Mr Netanyahu are both well ahead in the polls as they have been since the end of last year when the government's popularity collapsed in the wake of suicide bomb attacks. But there have been no suicide bombs in Israel since January, and Mr Netanyahu may have damaged himself last week by siding with Arab parties in a motion of no confidence against the government.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform