Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) gestures as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas looks on.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A majority of Israelis wants to renew peace talks with the Palestinian Authority in order to prevent further terrorist attacks, a poll found Tuesday.
In their monthly Peace Index poll, the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University asked a representative sample of the Israeli population whether they believed it was best to prevent terrorist attacks by renewing diplomatic talks with the PA.
The rates of Israelis calling for renewing peace talks were 57.2 percent among the general public, 52.5% among Jews and 81.2% among Arabs. Less than a third – 28.5% – of the public said to cease diplomatic contacts with the PA, including 33.1% of Jews and 5.7% of Arabs.
The Peace Index poll, which has been taken monthly for more than 20 years, found, as usual, that a large majority among Israeli Jews favors conducting negotiations with the PA even though they do not believe they will lead to peace.
Some 60% of Israeli Jews said they were in favor of peace talks in general, though less than 30 percent said they thought they would result in peace.
Asked if they believed the recent Palestinian violence was the beginning of an organized intifada or merely local initiatives, 31.8% of Israeli Jews said the former and 57.8% the latter.
The poll asked Israeli Jews about the rulings of the majority of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and religious Zionist rabbis currently barring Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and the minority permitting it. Some 47% said Jews should follow the ruling barring prayer on the holy site, and 25.6 said they should follow the ruling permitting prayer.
When asked whether the government should change the status quo barring prayer on the Mount even if it would lead to bloodshed, 38.6% said yes and 55.9% said no.
Regarding whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to build in Judea and Samaria to serve Israel’s national interests or strengthen his support on the Right, 64% of Israeli Jews said the latter and only 21.8% the former.
Some 69% of Israeli Jews described relations between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama as poor and 28% as good. But 82% said relations between Israel and the American people are good and only 11% said they are bad.
When asked who is responsible for the crisis in relations between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations, 29.7% of Israeli Jews said the Israeli side, 46.6% the US side, and 17.8% said both sides to the same extent. The percentage of people saying the Israeli side was to blame was higher among left-wing respondents, while right-wing respondents were more likely to blame the US.
The poll was conducted between November 3 and November 5 among 603 respondents, constituting a representative sample of the Israeli adult population. The margin of error was 4.1%.