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Poll: Israeli Jews say they are pessimistic about peace process
ByGIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 6, 2013 08:42
"79% of Israeli Jews think new round of talks have a low chance of success of yielding agreement, while 18% disagree."
Israeli member of parliament Hilik Bar (C) sits next to Abdullah Abdullah (L).

hilik bar and PA reps 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Jewish Israelis have low expectations for the diplomatic talks between Israelis and Palestinians that were launched in Washington last week by US Secretary of State John Kerry, according to the results of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University monthly Peace Index poll released Tuesday.

The poll found that 79 percent of Israeli Jews think the new round of negotiations has a low chance of success in yielding a peace agreement, while 18% believes it has a high chance of succeeding. The numbers were very different among Arab Israelis, among whom 41% think there is a low chance of success and 47% believe there is a high chance.



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There were also large differences between Jewish and Arab Israelis regarding their perception of the sincerity of the sides in the diplomatic talks.

Among Israeli Jews, 63% believe the Israeli government is truly interested in returning to the negotiating table and just 29% believe the Palestinian Authority wants the negotiations.

Among Israeli Arabs, 58% say the Israelis are sincere about the talks and 85% believe the Palestinians are truly interested in the negotiations.

Sixty percent of Israeli Jews trust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to conduct negotiations in a way that safeguards Israel’s security, while 37% do not.

Twenty-nine percent of Israeli Arabs trust him to do so, and 64% do not.

Regarding Netanyahu’s ability to finalize a deal, 48% of Jewish respondents trust him to conduct the talks in a way such that, to the extent that it depends on Israel, a peace agreement will be signed, while 47% do not.

Among Arab respondents, 32% trust Netanyahu in this regard, while 59% do not.

Under the conditions of a permanent peace agreement with security arrangements, a demilitarized Palestinian state, international guarantees, and a Palestinian declaration of the end of conflict, 63% of Israeli Jews oppose withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders with land swaps, 58% oppose dismantling settlements while leaving the Ariel, Maale Adumim, and Gush Etzion blocs intact, and 50% oppose transferring Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to the PA along with a special arrangement for the holy places.

Seventy-seven percent of Israeli Jews oppose recognition of a Palestinian “right of return” involving the return of a small number of refugees and financial compensation for the rest.

If a referendum were held today on a peace agreement including withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and an evacuation of settlements, 58% of Jewish respondents and 33% of Arab respondents believe the agreement would be rejected by the people. Only 29% of Jewish respondents and 58% of Arab respondents believe it would win a majority.

When asked about the need for a Referendum, 62% of Jewish Israelis and 72% of Arab Israelis said it would be necessary if a peace agreement is reached that includes a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and an evacuation of settlements.

However, 34% of Jewish Israelis and 20% of Arab Israelis believe there is no need, and such a decision should be left to the the government and the Knesset.

Eighty-eight percent of Israeli Arabs and 46% of Israeli Jews think that all citizens should vote in such a referendum, while 4% of Israeli Arabs and 49% of Israeli Jews think the vote should be limited to Jewish citizens only.

Support for Bayit Yehudi leaving the coalition with Netanyahu due to the launch of the talks is higher among the party’s voters than among the general Jewish public. While 33% of Jewish Israelis said the party should exit the coalition and 51% say it should stay, among Bayit Yehudi voters, 46% are for quitting and 49% are against.

Forty-eight percent of the Jewish public and 71% of the Arab public believe the Labor party should immediately join the Netanyahu government in order to support the peace process from within, while 36% of the Jewish public and 9% of the Arab public think it should not.

The survey was conducted from July 28 to July 30 among 602 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel. The margin of error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.
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