Thursday, 6 February 2014
Peace Index Poll: 80.5% of Israeli Jews oppose return of any Palestinian refugees to Israel
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
The interesting question missing from this poll is if Israelis think that we would ultimately suffer more economically from the consequences of actually making a deal with the Palestinians than from
sanction for failing to make a deal.
The Peace Index – January 2014
1. What is your position on holding peace negotiations between Israel and
1. Strongly in favor 33.9
2. Somewhat in favor 27.5
3. Somewhat opposed 14.0
4. Strongly opposed 19.4
5. Don’t know / Refuse 5.2
2. Do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority will lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians
in the coming years?
1. Strongly believe 6.7
2. Somewhat believe 19.6
3. Somewhat don’t believe 21.3
4. Don’t believe at all 50.0
5. Don’t know / Refuse 2.3
3. In your opinion, to what extent is it important or not important that, in
a framework agreement with the Palestinians, they recognize Israel as the
state of the Jewish people?
1. Very important 62.6
2. Moderately important 14.4
3. Not so important 7.6
4. Not important at all 13.2
5. Don’t know/ Refuse 2.2
4. (only for those who answered “Very important” or “Moderately important”)
Why, in your opinion, is it important that the Palestinians recognize Israel
state of the Jewish people; is it mainly because:
1. Such recognition entails recognizing the basic principle of Zionism
2. Such recognition is a fair recompense for Israel recognizing the
Palestinian state as the state of the Palestinian people 19.4
3. Such recognition would enable Israel to deal in the future with demands
to change Israel into a state of all its citizens 28.8
4. All to the same extent 4.3
5. None of those; something else 3.7
6. Don’t know/ Refuse 3.1
5. Cabinet ministers and security officials have been talking a lot about
anti- Israeli incitement in Palestinian education and propaganda. Some claim
there is no point in continuing the peace talks because such incitement
proves that the Palestinians are not at all interested in reaching an
agreement. However, some claim that there is a reasonable chance that if
there is incitement, it will abate and perhaps stop completely after an
agreement is reached that is acceptable to the Palestinians. With which of
these two claims do you agree more?
1. With the first claim—that there is no point in continuing the talks
because the incitement proves that the Palestinians do not want peace
2. With the second claim—that it can be reasonably assumed that if an
agreement is reached that is also acceptable to the Palestinians, the
incitement will abate or even stop 40.8
3. Don’t know/ Refuse 5.2
6. Do you support or not support the proposal by Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman that, in an agreement with the Palestinians, Israel would annex
the large settlement blocs while the Triangle and Arab-populated part s of
the Galilee would be annexed to the Palestinian state?
1. Strongly support 18.7
2. Moderately support 24.4
3. Don’t support very much 19.0
4. Don’t support at all 32.1
5. Don’t know / Refuse 5.8
7.What, in your opinion, are the chances that Lieberman’s proposal would be
accepted by the Palestinian Authority?
1. Very high chances 1.9
2. Moderately high chances 5.4
3. Moderately low chance 25.4
4. Very low chances 61.0
5. Don’t know / Refuse 6.3
8. And what are the chances that most of the Israeli Arabs would accept
1. Very high chances 1.3
2. Moderately high chances 7.4
3. Moderately low chances 23.0
4. Very low chances 62.1
5. Don’t know / Refuse 6.2
9. And if the Americans soon present a framework agreement that is an
outline for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, will or will this not
affect the position of Netanyahu and his government in the context of the
negotiations with the Palestinians?
1. It will not have a significant effect because the Israeli government
will always uphold the principles that are important to it, and it makes no
difference what the Americans say 23.8
2. It will have a significant effect because Netanyahu cannot allow himself
to ignore the U.S. position or world public opinion by disregarding such an
3. Don’t know / Refuse 9.2
10. If parties currently in the government, such as Bayit Yehudi or Yisrael
Beiteinu, threaten to bolt the government if Netanyahu accepts the framework
agreement that the Americans present, what are the chances that he will
allow them to leave and work for a new government with other parties, such
as Labor and the haredi parties, that currently are in the opposition?
1. Very low chances 19.5
2. Moderately low chances 23.0
3. Moderately high chance 31.1
4. Very high chances 17.4
5. Don’t know / Refuse 9.0
11. Recently there have been more and more calls in Europe and the United
States to impose economic and other sanctions on Israel and force it to curb
the building in the territories and moderate its positions on the terms of a
peace agreement with the Palestinians. What, in your opinion, are the
chances that this trend will intensify and harsh sanctions will be imposed
on Israel, including a full boycott of the export of products from Israel?
1. High chances 21.2
2. Moderately high chances 28.7
3. Moderately low chances 29.9
4. Very low chances 17.1
5. Don’t know / Refuse 3.0
12. If such harsh sanctions were to be imposed on Israel by Europe and the
United States, to what extent, in your opinion, would Israel be able or
unable to cope with them successfully and maintain the same positions on the
and the negotiations?
1. I’m sure it will not be able 16.0
2. I think it will not be able 30.2
3. I think it will be able 27.5
4. I’m sure it will be able 21.7
5. Don’t know / Refuse 4.6
13. In return for a final peace agreement, in your opinion should or should
not Israel agree to the return of a limited number of Palestinian refugees
1. I’m sure it should 2.5
2. I think it should 13.7
3. I think it should not 17.9
4. I’m sure it should not 62.6
5. Don’t know / Refuse 3.4
14. In return for a final peace agreement would you support or oppose Israel
acknowledging its partial responsibility for the suffering that was caused
Palestinians, for example, in creating the (abovementioned) refugee problem
1. I’m sure I would not agree 51.9
2. I think I would not agree 22.2
3. I think I would agree 16.2
4. I’m sure I would agree 7.1
5. Don’t know / Refuse 2.7
15. In a few more months President Peres will end his tenure and elections
will be held for a new president of the state of Israel. Would you prefer
that the new president come from the political world, the world of science
and the humanities, or the world of economics and business?
1. From the world of economics and business 14.5
2. From the world of science and the humanities 39.8
3. From the political world 29.8
4. It does not matter 9.1
5. Other 1.6
6. Don’t know / Refuse 5.1
16. Whom would you prefer to elect the president?
1. As currently practiced, the members of the Knesset 16.1
2. A public council that would be specially formed for this purpose of
people with a recognized public status in various fields 19.6
3. The general public 58.6
4. Other 1.5
5. Don’t know / Refuse 4.2
The Peace Index: January 2014
Date Published: 04/02/2014
Survey dates: 27/01/2014 - 28/01/2014
The impact of an American framework agreement: Amid reports that the Americans will soon present a “Kerry outline,” that is, a framework agreement for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, we looked into whether the Israeli public thinks such an outline will or will not affect the stance of Netanyahu and his government in the negotiations with the Palestinians. The findings reveal that a large majority of the Jewish sample (67%) foresees a substantial impact, since they do not believe Netanyahu can allow himself to ignore the U.S. stance and worldwide opinion. The gaps on this question between the political camps—the right, the center, and the left—turned out to be small.
The impact on the coalition of accepting the framework agreement: The responses to this question show that the Jewish public is divided on whether Netanyahu will work to form a new government with parties such as Labor and the haredi factions if the Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu parties will threaten to bolt the coalition if Netanyahu accepts the framework agreement. Some 48.5% see the chances that he will try to form a new government as high, while 42.5% view them as low. Those interviewees who located themselves on the right side of the spectrum are more or less split regarding the chances of forming a government with other parties, while in the center and on the left the majority sees high chances that this will happen.
The chances of stepped-up sanctions on Israel: The Jewish public is also more or less divided regarding the chances that various elements in Europe and the United States will step up the demand for economic and other sanctions on Israel, leading to a comprehensive boycott of Israeli exports aimed at forcing Israel to curb construction in the territories and moderate its positions in the peace talks with the Palestinians. Fifty percent see the chances of such measures as high while 47% regard them as small. When it comes to assessing this risk, the disparities between the political camps are very large: on the right, 42% see the chances of boosted sanctions as high; in the center that figure comes to 52%; while on the left 71% see high chances of such a development.
Israel’s resilience: Here too, on the question of whether Israel will or will not be capable of coping successfully with major sanctions if imposed, and whether it will or will not alter its positions on settlements and the talks as a result, the map of responses is not clear-cut. Of the Jewish sample, 49% think Israel could manage with the situation; 46% are sure or think it could not. Not surprisingly, here too there are large disparities by political camp: only a minority of those on the right (32%) think Israel would have trouble withstanding the pressure without revising its positions, compared to 56% of those placing themselves in the center and 67% of those who locate themselves on the left.
In return for a peace settlement, could Israel agree to the return of a certain number of Palestinian refugees? The survey shows widespread opposition in the Jewish public (80.5%) to the idea that, in return for a permanent peace settlement, Israel could agree to the return of even a limited number of Palestinian refugees.
Taking responsibility for Palestinian suffering: Likewise, 74% of the Jewish respondents did not agree that, in return for permanent peace, Israel could acknowledge even partial responsibility for the suffering that was caused to the Palestinians—for example, in creating the refugee problem.
Recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people: An overwhelming majority (77%) of the Jewish sample responded that it is important to them that as part of the settlement, the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Out of these respondents, 41% say this is important because it entails recognition of the basic principle of Zionism; 29% consider such recognition as important because it will enable countering future demands to make Israel a state of all its citizens; while 19% view such recognition as a fair recompense for Israel’s recognition of the Palestinian state as the state of the Palestinian people. A segmentation of the responses by political camp shows that all along the political spectrum a majority ascribes importance to Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but in different majorities: 63% of those who situate themselves on the left, 84% in the center, and 77% on the right. Particularly interesting is the discrepancy in reasons for favoring such recognition. Whereas those placing themselves on the left primarily view such recognition as a fair recompense for recognition of a Palestinian state, in the center and on the right the main consideration is that such Palestinian recognition means recognizing the basic principle of Zionism.
The importance of incitement in Palestinian educational materials: We asked: “Cabinet ministers and security officials have been talking a lot about anti-Israeli incitement in Palestinian education and propaganda. Some claim there is no point in continuing the peace talks because such incitement proves that the Palestinians are not at all interested in reaching an agreement. However, some claim that there is a reasonable chance that if there is incitement, it will abate and perhaps stop completely after an agreement is reached that is acceptable to the Palestinians. With which of these two claims do you agree more?” A majority of the Jewish interviewees (54%) agreed more with the first claim, only 41% with the second. On this question the gaps between the political camps are huge: on the right, 77% agree with the first claim, compared to 42% in the center and only 21% on the left.
Territorial swaps: The Jewish sample is divided in its reactions to the proposal of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that, in the context of an agreement with the Palestinians, the large settlement blocs would be annexed to Israel while the Triangle and Arab-populated parts of the Galilee would be annexed to the Palestinian state. Forty-three percent support this proposal while a (small) majority of 51% opposes it. The rate of opponents on the right stands at 52.5%, in the center at 45.5%, while reaching 67% on the left. In any case, it appears that both supporters and opponents of the proposal are aware that it is not feasible, with the large majority (86% and 85%, respectively) seeing small chances that it would be accepted by the Palestinians or the Israeli Arabs.
From the political-security issue we moved on to a domestic Israeli issue: the upcoming election for the presidency of the country. How would the public want the president to be elected, and from which world would they prefer that he come?
How should the president be elected? Not surprisingly, in light of the low level of trust in the political institutions, a clear majority (59%) of the Jewish interviewees expressed a preference that the president be elected by the general public, 20% prefer that he be elected by a specially constituted public council of people with a recognized public status in various fields, and only 16% favor the present system where the president is elected by the Knesset. In all the political camps the majority or the highest rate prefers election by the general public, but in different proportions: 62% of the right, 59% of the center, and 49% of the left.
Which world should the president come from? Out of three worlds, 40% of the Jewish interviewees said they preferred that the elected president come from the world of science and the humanities, 30% from the political world, and only 14.5% prefer that the president come from the economics and business domain. This question, too, turned up substantial gaps between the political camps. On the right, the rate who prefer that the president come from the world of science and the humanities (33.5%) is the same as the rate who prefer that he come from the political world (35%); in the center, and all the more so on the left, there is a clear preference for the world of science and the humanities over the political world (respectively, in the center, 46%-30%; on the left, 60%-19%).
Negotiations index: Jewish sample—43.8
Graph of the month: What, in your opinion, are the chances that harsh sanctions will be imposed on Israel including a comprehensive boycott of its exports, and what are the chances that Israel will be able to withstand such sanctions without changing its policy? (%, high chances, by political camp)
The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone on January 28-29, 2014, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 609 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult Jewish population aged 18 and over. For technical reasons, the data for the Israeli Arab sample will not be published this month. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is 4.5% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.