The Peace Index – December 2013

Standard

(N=606)
30-31.12.2013

1. What is your position on holding peace negotiations between Israel and
the
Palestinian Authority?

General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.   Strongly in favor    38.7/29.4/84.7
2.   Somewhat in favor    24.3/27.6/8.1
3.   Somewhat opposed    12.5/14.5/2.7
4.   Strongly opposed    19.4/22.8/2.7
5.   Don’t know/Refuse    5.1/5.7/1.8

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?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.   Strongly believe    7.4/4.5/21.4
2.   Somewhat believe    21.9/18.8/37.2
3.   Somewhat don’t believe    22.1/21.6/24.5
4.   Don’t believe at all    46.7/53.3/14.3
5.   Don’t know/Refuse    1.9/1.7/2.7

3. Recently there have been a considerable number of terror attacks in which
Israelis were harmed. The official position of the Israeli defense
establishment is that this does not constitute a third intifada but, rather,
an assortment of attacks by lone individuals. Do you agree or disagree with
that assessment ?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1. Strongly agree    18.0/19.9/8.8
2. Moderately agree    27.4/29.0/19.5
3. Don’t agree so much    19.1/19.0/20.1
4. Don’t agree at all    29.3/25.8/46.4
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    6.2/6.4/5.3

4. To what extent is Israel’s official policy toward the Palestinian
residents of the territories affecting or not affecting, in your opinion,
the recent upsurge of
attacks?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1. It is not affecting it at all    15.9/17.6/7.0
2. It is not affecting it so much    18.4/21.8/1.6
3. It is moderately affecting it    28.7/29.0/27.3
4. It is strongly affecting it    30.5/24.9/58.1
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    6.6/6.7/6.0

5. To what extent is the presence of the Israeli settlements in the
territories affecting or not affecting, in your opinion, the recent upsurge
of attacks?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  It is not affecting it at all    19.6/23.0/3.1
2.  It is not affecting it so much    20.1/22.8/6.7
3.  It is moderately affecting it    28.3/29.4/22.6
4.  It is strongly affecting it    29.2/21.8/65.8
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    2.8/3.0/1.8

6. Some claim that the only way to get the two sides, Israel and the
Palestinians, to sign an agreement is through strong external pressure
mainly from the United States, since otherwise they will never reach
agreements by themselves. Do you agree or disagree with this view?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  Strongly agree    31.4/27.0/53.2
2.  Moderately agree    22.7/22.5/23.7
3.  Don’t agree so much    14.5/15.6/9.5
4.  Don’t agree at all    29.1/33.0/9.9
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    2.3/2.0/3.7

7. Do you support or oppose the United States exerting pressure on both
sides, Israeli and Palestinian, to push them toward an agreement?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.    Strongly oppose    29.0/32.8/10.4
2.    Moderately oppose    18.3/20.5/7.4
3.    Moderately support    27.2/27.0/28.3
4.    Strongly support    22.0/16.2/50.5
5.    Don’t know/Refuse    3.4/3.4/3.4

8. And if the United States were indeed to start exerting strong pressure on
the sides, and if the Israeli government saw the peace plan laid on the
table as not being good for Israel, would, in your opinion, the
Netanyahu-led Israeli government be able or unable to withstand such
pressure?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  I’m sure it would be able    16.5/14.3/27.3
2.  I think it would be able    34.4/33.8/37.8
3.  I think it would not be able    24.6/28.1/7.7
4.  I’m sure it would not be able    17.9/18.7/13.7
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    6.5/5.1/13.5

9. According to your impression, to what extent is the United States, and
particularly its secretary of state John Kerry, committed at present to
bringing about the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the
Palestinians?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  Very committed    24.5/22.0/36.7
2.  Moderately committed    37.0/37.2/35.6
3.  Not so committed    21.1/22.9/12.0
4.  Not committed at all    12.4/12.3/13.1
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    5.1/5.6/2.5

10. And to what extent is the United States, and particularly its secretary
of state John Kerry, committed to ensuring Israel’s security in the context
of the negotiations with the Palestinians?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  Not committed at all    11.1/11.7/8.0
2.  Not so committed    18.7/20.4/10.2
3.  Moderately committed    34.2/36.0/25.4
4.  Very committed    31.7/27.5/52.3
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    4.3/4.4/4.1

11. Some claim there is no chance of reaching a peace agreement with the
Palestinians, and therefore the negotiations should be regional, with an
active role for Arab states including Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and
others. Do you agree or disagree with the claim that the negotiations should
be regional and not
just bilateral?

General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  Strongly agree    18.2/14.2/38.0
2.  Moderately agree    21.6/22.0/19.4
3.  Don’t agree so much    16.6/17.5/11.8
4.  Don’t agree at all    37.8/40.5/24.6
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    5.8/5.7/6.1

12. How do you rate the degree of trust on the Israeli side as a whole
toward the Palestinians at present? Please give a grade for trust on a scale
of 0 (no trust at all) to 10 (full trust).
General Public/Jews/Arabs
0    32.7/35.7/17.8
1    6.3/6.5/5.4
2    11.1/12.0/6.7
3    11.0/12.2/5.4
4    10.9/10.0/15.7
5    16.7/14.2/29.1
6    4.1/3.2/8.4
7    3.6/3.2/5.3
8    0.3/0.1/1.0
9    0.0/0.0/0.0
10    0.3/0.2/1.2
Don’t know/Refuse    2.9/2.7/3.9

13. How do you rate the degree of trust on the Palestinian side as a whole
toward the Israelis at present? Please give a grade for trust on a scale of
0 (no trust at
all) to 10 (full trust).
General Public/Jews/Arabs
0    34.4/35.5/28.9
1    7.6/8.1/5.4
2    9.7/10.8/4.5
3    8.8/9.7/4.1
4    8.9/8.8/9.4
5    12.6/10.7/21.9
6    4.7/3.0/12.9
7    3.0/2.3/6.7
8    2.0/2.1/1.7
9    0.4/0.0/2.2
10    0.9/0.9/1.3
Don’t know/Refuse    7.1/8.3/1.0

14. What is the degree of trust you personally have toward the Palestinians?
Please give a grade for your trust toward the Palestinians on a scale of 0
(no trust at all) to 10 (full trust).
General Public/Jews/Arabs
0    43.2/49.9/10.4
1    5.7/6.4/2.5
2    6.0/6.7/2.7
3    5.6/6.4/2.1
4    4.7/5.5/0.7
5    9.5/8.5/14.7
6    5.7/4.6/10.7
7    6.3/5.4/11.0
8    5.0/2.3/18.0
9    1.7/0.8/6.2
10    3.4/0.9/15.7
Don’t know/Refuse    3.2/2.7/5.4

15. In your opinion, given the history of the relations between the two
peoples, is it possible or impossible at present to build trust between the
Israelis and the
Palestinians?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  I’m sure it is possible    11.7/8.0/30.2
2.  I think it is possible    36.5/35.1/43.6
3.  I think it is impossible    21.5/23.3/13.0
4.  I’m sure it is impossible    28.0/31.2/11.9
5.  Don’t know/Refuse    2.2/2.4/1.2

16. To build trust between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which side has
the responsibility to take the more significant steps?
General Public/Jews/Arabs
1.  Mainly the Israeli side    14.5/11.1/31.5
2.  Mainly the Palestinian side    23.4/27.0/5.4
3.  Both sides to the same extent    58.7/58.4/60.3
4.  Don’t know/ Refuse    3.4/3.5/2.8

The Peace Index: December  2013
Date Published: 07/01/2014
Survey dates: 30/12/2013 – 31/12/2013
http://www.peaceindex.org/indexMonthEng.aspx?num=259#.UsvD1sfxu00

This month the Peace Index focused mainly on two interrelated issues: the
American peace initiative and Israeli-Palestinian relations.

U.S. commitment to reaching an agreement: A considerable majority (59%) of
the Jewish public believes that the United States is committed to bringing
about the signing of a peace agreement. The rate of those who think so in
the Arab public is even higher—72%. A segmentation of the Jewish sample’s
responses by the interviewees’ self-definition on a political right-left
spectrum reveals that a majority of all the camps believes the United States
is committed to achieving an agreement, but this majority is smaller on the
right (52%) than among the moderate right and the center (60%), the moderate
left (71%), and the left (75%).

U.S. commitment to Israel’s security: An even larger majority of the Jewish
public (63.5%) believes that the United States, and first and foremost
Secretary of State John Kerry, is committed to ensuring Israel’s security in
the context of the negotiations with the Palestinians. The majority of the
Arab public that thinks the United States is committed to Israel’s security
in the context of those negotiations is even larger than for the Jewish
public—78%. A segmentation of the Jewish interviewees’ responses according
to the same right-left spectrum shows that on the right as a whole, the rate
that sees such a commitment comes to 60%, in the center about two-thirds,
and on the left as a whole, 85%.

The significance of external pressure toward signing an agreement: We asked:
“Some claim that the only way to get the two sides, Israel and the
Palestinians, to sign an agreement is by exerting strong external pressure
on them, mainly from the United States, since otherwise they will never
reach agreements by themselves. Do you agree or disagree with this claim?”
It turns out that the Jewish public is divided into two almost equal camps,
with 49.5% agreeing with the claim that only external pressure will lead to
an agreement and 49% disagreeing. A segmentation of the responses here by
the respondents’ self-placement on the right-left spectrum uncovers profound
disparities: on the right, the majority (60%) disagrees with the claim, the
center is evenly split between the two positions, while on the left as a
whole a large majority—75%—agrees that without external pressure the sides
will not reach an agreement. The rate of those in the Arab public who agree
with the claim is very high—77%.

Support for U.S. pressure: As for positions on the U.S. exerting pressure on
the two sides, in the Jewish public 53% opposes such pressure and 43%
support such pressure. A segmentation of the responses by self-placement on
the right-left spectrum shows, as expected, that a majority on the right
(69%) and on the moderate right (64.5%) is against pressure, the center is
split, while on the moderate left and the left the support for such pressure
is high at 73%. Among the Arabs, not surprisingly, a majority (79%) supports
U.S. pressure aimed at reaching peace.

The Israeli government’s ability to withstand pressure: Here too the Israeli
Jewish public is divided: 48% say the government will be able to withstand
pressure and 47% that it will not be able. A segmentation by self-placement
on the right-left spectrum turns up small, unsystematic gaps between the
political camps. The Arab public credits the Netanyahu government with
greater ability to withstand pressure; 65% think it can hold up under U.S.
pressure if it is exerted.

A regional peace agreement: In light of the diagnosis of some Israeli peace
groups that the chances of reaching a bilateral peace with the Palestinians
alone are low and hence a regional approach should be adopted, we asked:
“Some claim that there is no chance of reaching a peace agreement with the
Palestinians, and therefore the negotiations should be regional, that is,
they should also include an active role for Arab states, such as Saudi
Arabia, the Gulf states, and others. Do you agree or disagree with the claim
that the negotiations should be regional and not only bilateral?” It turns
out that the Jewish public also has little yen for the regional possibility:
only 36% support including the regional states in the negotiations while a
majority (58%) opposes doing so. A segmentation by self-placement on the
right-left spectrum shows that only on the moderate left is there a small
majority (52%) that supports the regional approach, while in all the other
camps, including the “deep” left, the majority is against it. In the Arab
public a certain majority (57%) supports broadening the negotiations to
incorporate more of the region’s states.

(Mis)trust toward the Palestinians: Despite the trust that a majority of the
Israeli Jewish public feels toward the United States regarding its
commitment both to Israel’s security and to achieving a peace agreement,
this population’s trust toward the Palestinians is very weak both as a
personal position and as a group assessment. On a scale of 0 (no trust at
all) to 10 (full trust), the average grades for trust are 3.09 (personal
trust) and 3.29 (interviewees’ assessment of the general Jewish population’s
trust toward the Palestinians). It is notable, though, that the Jewish
public does not delude itself about the degree of trust felt by the
Palestinian population. Actually, this is a “mirror” assessment: the average
grade of the Jewish public for the Palestinian population’s degree of trust
toward Israel is 3.25. Nevertheless, as a segmentation of the responses to
the following questions shows, the Jewish public does not completely absolve
itself of responsibility for the Palestinian mistrust.

Is there a chance that trust will be built?: Despite the gloomy picture
regarding Israelis’ trust toward Palestinians, a considerable minority (43%)
of the Jewish public believes that, even in light of the history of the two
sides’ relations, it is possible to build trust between them, while 54.5% do
not see it as possible. The Arab public shows greater optimism, with 74%
seeing a chance to build trust in the future.

Who has the responsibility for building trust?: To the question of which of
the two sides has the responsibility to take the significant steps toward
building trust between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the majority (59%)
thinks the responsibility is held equally by the two sides (though the rate
of Jews who put the responsibility on the Palestinians is higher than the
rate assigning it to the Israelis—27% and 11%, respectively). In the Arab
public, 60% think the effort should be divided evenly between the two sides,
31.5% say Israel should invest more effort, and only 5% believe the
Palestinians need to make more of an effort for trust to be built between
the sides.

The influence of Israeli policy on the increase in terror attacks: A
majority, not large, of the Jewish public (54%) think Israel’s official
policy toward the Palestinian residents of the territories has an effect on
the recent increase in terror attacks. Surprisingly, dramatic disparities
between the political camps were not found on this question, perhaps because
they interpreted the term “official policy” in different ways. The majority
of the Arab public that thinks Israeli policy has an effect on the terror
attacks is much larger than for the Jewish public—85%.

The effect of the presence of the Israeli settlements in the territories on
the increase in attacks: In the Jewish public a small majority thinks the
presence of the Jewish settlements has an effect (51%) compared to 46% who
hold the opposite view. The gaps between the right and the left on this
question are huge (right—39% think the presence of the settlements has an
effect on the increase in terror attacks, moderate right—46%, center—53%,
moderate left—83%, left—91%). In the Arab public 88% see the presence of the
settlements in the territories has having an effect on the recent increase
in terror attacks.

Is a third intifada occurring?: We asked the interviewees for their opinion
on the defense establishment’s view that the recent terror attacks are an
assortment of incidents and do not indicate the beginning of a third
intifada. It turns out that the Jewish public is divided on the question of
the accuracy of this assessment: 49% agree with the stance of the defense
establishment while 45% do not agree with it.

Negotiation index: General sample—46.1 (Jewish sample: 40.3)
===========
The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict
Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. This
month’s survey was conducted by telephone on December 30-31, 2013, by the
Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 606 respondents, who
constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18
and over. The survey was conducted in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. The
maximum measurement error is ±4.5% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical
processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.

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