A report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has released a report showing that the majority of Israelis are not aware of the legal or demographic background of the Jordan Valley.
In a new report compiled by Dahlia Scheindlin of ACRI has shown that Israelis mistakenly believe that the Jordan Valley is sovereign Israeli territory. The report also showed that a majority of Israelis believed that the area had a majority population.
80% of Jewish Israelis, and 69% of secular Israeli’s, believe that the Jordan valley is sovereign Israeli territory according to the survey. Only 18% of respondents were aware that the region is an area that Israel occupies according to international law.
Similarly more than 80% of Jewish Israeli’s were incorrect or unaware as to the composition of the Jordan Valley, believing that a majority of inhabitants in the area are Jewish. In actual fact, the population of the area comprises some 65,000 Palestinians and 10,000 Jews
Interestingly the level of education of the respondents did not predict accurate knowledge of the situation in the region. In both those who had an academic education and those educated to high school level the number correctly identifying the Jordan Valley as an occupied territory was the same at 16%.
Scheindlin interpreted the results as explaining the emotional support Israelis give to Israeli PM Netanyahu policies in the area. Images of the Jordan Valley presented by Israeli leaders were uncritically accepted by the public. The report also highlighted, according to Scheindlin, that the Jordan Valley did not affect the daily lives of most of the Israeli public.
A recent report by B’T Salem showed that Israel was exploiting, to a much greater extent than the rest of the West Bank, the resources in the Jordan Valley especially in the area of water, Dead Sea minerals, Holy and other tourist sites. The area is also one of the most restricted in terms of Palestinian movement and construction. Nearly 55% of the area is defined as Israeli “state land” and Palestinian construction is not permitted there.