Poll: Israelis oppose unilateral withdrawal from West Bank, split on annexation

TAU/IDI poll finds 49% of Israeli Jews and 72% of Israeli Arabs disagree with idea that Israel should annex areas important to it for settlement and security in the West Bank.

June 5, 2014 16:29
1 minute read.
West Bank settlement of Maale Efrayim in the Jordan Valley.

West Bank settlement of Maale Efrayim in the Jordan Valley.. (photo credit: REUTERS/ Baz Ratner)

Half of Israeli Jews oppose annexing parts of the West Bank, but almost the same amount would back such a move, according to the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s monthly Peace Index Poll, published Thursday.

The poll showed 49 percent of Israeli Jews and 72% of Israeli Arabs disagree with the idea that “Israel should officially annex the areas that are important to it for settlement and security in Judea and Samaria,” but 43% of Israeli Jews and 18% of Israeli Arabs agree with the statement.

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Over half (55%) of those who advocate annexation self-identified as right wing, while 33% said they’re centrist and 22% were on the left.

Most Israeli Jews (60%) oppose unilateral withdrawal from substantial parts of the West Bank, while 25% support it. The opposite trend exists with Israeli Arabs; 68% favor it and 21% oppose. Of those who favor unilateral withdrawal, 77% are left-wing.

Despite indications that the US blames Israel for failed peace talks, 64% of Israelis do not think the US is scaling back its support for Israel. Half of Israelis (51%) believe that Israel would not be able to withstand a significant reduction of US support, but 70% of right-wing Israelis think the opposite.

The vast majority of Israelis do not sympathize with “price-tag” attacks, but the percentage opposing them varies, depending on which minority the attacks target: 73% against churches, 67% against mosques, 64% against the property of Israeli Arabs and 59% against Palestinian property in the West Bank.

Most Israeli Jews (67%) believe that the police is making a real effort to apprehend the perpetrators of “price-tag” crimes, but less than half of Israeli Arabs (48%) agree.

As for ongoing debates on the defense budget, 48% of Israelis agree with the Finance Ministry that the defense budget was recently increased and any further expansion would cut into welfare services. A third of Israelis (35%) agree with the Defense Ministry that increases are needed because of the threats Israel faces.

The survey was conducted last week, polling 605 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel. The margin of error is 4.1 percentage points.

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