Poll: Most Israelis back Arab Peace Initiative

Study indicates that 69% of Israelis would back Netanyahu if he reached deal with all Arab states.

Netanyahu, Abbas 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
Netanyahu, Abbas 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to adopt the Arab Peace Initiative and reach a a final status agreement with the Arab states, the majority of Israelis would support the move, according to a poll whose findings were partially published on the Al-Monitor news website Monday.
The Israel Peace Initiative-commissioned opinion poll found that, after having the Arab initiative explained to them, 55 percent of respondents said they would support the initiative to some degree, with 27% “strongly opposing” and 17.5% unsure how to answer.
In a scenario where the prime minister backs the initiative, however, the number of proponents jumped to 69% and those who “strongly oppose” dropped to 18%.
The poll was conducted on May 20 by Israeli polling company New Wave Research, interviewing a sample of 500 Jewish, Hebrew-speaking Israelis over the age of 18, Al-Monitor specified. The sample margin of error was 4.4%.
The poll further found that the interviewees saw only Netanyahu or President Shimon Peres as suitable leaders to conduct negotiations with the Arab states, the former a favorite among 28% of poll participants, and Peres 4% behind him, Al-Monitor reported.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan were voted the next appropriate candidates for the task, followed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
The report also revealed that while half of the male interviewees support Netanyahu, the number drops to 31% among the female portion of the sample.
Moreover, the poll found that support for the prime minister is higher among older adults and “almost nonexistent” among younger ones, according to Al-Monitor. Additionally, the poll found that strong opposition to the prime minister is most widespread in central Israel.
Perhaps the most surprising result was that 73.5% of Hebrew-speaking Israelis had never heard of the Arab initiative, or knew of its existence but were unfamiliar with its details.