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Why referendum on West Bank is unlikely to change anything

Instead of going to the streets, the Israeli peace camp prefers an online campaign that is unlikely to change anything within Israeli public opinion.
A Palestinian boy holds a sign that reads "we demand our dignity" in front of  Israeli soldiers during a protest calling for the reopening of a closed street in the West Bank city of Hebron August 24, 2016.  REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma  - RTX2MW1E
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On Sept. 9, the day that the “ethnic cleansing” clip by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made waves on both sides of the ocean, large banner ads reading "Decision at 50" appeared in the Israeli media. The website to which the ads directed readers says the campaign is being sponsored by Israeli men and women who think that after controlling the territories for 50 years, it is time to hold a referendum on their fate.

Activists involved in the initiative, who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, said the organizers do not really expect their campaign to result in a referendum; they are seeking to use the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War to restore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the occupation and the settlements to the top of the national agenda. The site also explains that formulation of the referendum question would be part of the “public debate” to which the campaign will give rise.

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