The US is expected to go to war as early as next week against Syria, which has
vowed to “set Israel on fire” in retaliation. Lebanon could get embroiled, which
could lead to Hezbollah unleashing its stockpile of 60,000 missiles and rockets.
And an International Atomic Energy Association’s report last week indicated that
Iran has escalated its nuclear program.
Nevertheless, only 16.4 percent
of Israeli Jews believe their security situation will worsen in the new year of
5774 that starts on Wednesday evening, according to the Peace Index, an Israel
Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University poll released on Tuesday.
surveyors found that 46.1% of Israeli Jews believe their security will remain
the same, while 28.3% think it will improve.
Among Israeli Arabs, 29.8%
believe their security situation will improve, compared to 26.9% who believe it
will get worse, and 28.6% who say it will remain the same.
Asked how the
country’s foreign relations would change over the coming year, Israeli Arabs
were much more likely to predict that things would get worse. Among Arabs, 35.1%
said they would worsen, 21% said they would improve, and 28.8% said they would
remain the same.
Among Jews, 16.6% said they would worsen, 24.1% said
they would improve, and 49.8% said they would remain the same.
of Israelis (Arabs and Jews combined) believe their financial situation will
improve, compared to 33.7% who believe it will worsen and 36.2% who feel it will
remain the same.
Just 15% believe social gaps will narrow in the coming
year, while 37.8% think they will get wider and 39.4% say they will remain the
Ahead of a year in which nearly the entire country faces municipal
elections, 51.4% believe that their leaders’ level of attentiveness to the
public will remain the same. The proportion saying it will improve is 17.4%;
those saying it will worsen, 18.9%.
diplomatic talks, Israelis are as pessimistic now as in past Peace Index polls.
Among Israeli Jews, only 7.7% strongly believe negotiations will lead to peace
with the Palestinians over the coming years. Twentyfour percent say they
somewhat believe, 20.6% lean toward not believing, and 46.5% do not believe at
Among Israeli Arabs, 16.5% strongly believe negotiations will lead
to peace, 30.3% believe somewhat, 24% somewhat don’t believe, and 23.5% do not
believe at all.
Despite their pessimism about chances of the
negotiations’ success, Israelis still favor coming to the table. Some 68% of the
public supports the talks, 27% opposes the negotiations, and 5% does not know or
had no answer.
Fifty-four percent of Israeli Jews disagree with Bayit
Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett’s recent assertion that the two-state solution is
dead, while 41% agree with him. Among Israeli Arabs, 58% disagree and 32%
Forty-eight percent of Jewish Israelis agree with Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement that a peace agreement is vital to preventing
Israel from becoming a binational state without a Jewish majority in the
foreseeable future, while 45% disagree.
Among Arab Israelis, 34% agree
and 50% do not.
In light of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas’s recent statement that if an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is
signed, the Palestinians will see it as the end of the historic conflict between
the two peoples, 78% of Jewish respondents do not believe that the Palestinians
would truly see such an agreement as marking the conflict’s end, while 20% do
Among Arab respondents, 48% do not believe and 44%
Asked about US President Barack Obama’s commitment to Israel’s
security, 71% of Israeli Jews and 82% of Israeli Arabs believe that Obama is
committed to it, while 27% of Israeli Jews and 8% of Israeli Arabs believe he is
The survey was conducted last Tuesday and Wednesday among 601
respondents who constituted a representative sample of the country’s adult
population. The margin of error for a sample of this size is 4.5 percentage
Meanwhile, a separate poll taken for The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew
sister publication Sof Hashavua found that 74% of Israelis considered themselves
happy with life and 71% were optimistic that their personal situation would
improve in 5774.
Asked who they wanted to lead the country, 23% said
Netanyahu, 10% said opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich, 7% were for former
prime minister Ehud Olmert, 6% wanted Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and former
IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, 5% were for Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Economy
and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, and just 2% wanted Finance Minister Yair
The poll of 505 respondents was taken from Thursday to Monday and
had a 4.3-percentage point margin of error.