Majority of Israeli Jews back killing terrorists on the spot, Peace Index poll finds

Only 4% of Jewish Israelis own personal weapons.

November 5, 2015 22:40
2 minute read.
Terror Israel

Terrorist shot dead after attempting to stab police at Cave of the Patriarchs. (photo credit: HAZEM BADER / AFP)


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Every Palestinian who has perpetrated a terrorist attack against Jews should be killed on the spot, even if he has been apprehended and no longer poses a threat, a majority of Israeli Jews believe, according to the monthly Peace Index poll released on Thursday.

Asked to what extent respondents agree with that viewpoint, one third said they strongly agreed, 19.7 percent moderately agreed, 17.1% moderately disagreed, 26.6% totally disagreed, and 3.5% did not know or declined to respond.

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But only 4.4% of Jewish respondents said they owned a personal weapon that could be used to kill terrorists.

The poll, sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, was conducted last Wednesday and Thursday amid headlines of stabbings in Israeli cities. The Midgam Research Institute polled 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult Israeli population.

The findings of the poll indicate that Israeli Jews favor taking more severe action against terrorists. Close to 80% backed destroying the family home of a Palestinian who murdered Jews for nationalistic reasons, but only half as much said they support destroying the home of a Jew who murdered Palestinians.

More than 70% said punishments given by Israeli courts to Palestinian terrorists were too light, but only half as much said sentences given to Jews who attacked Palestinians were too light.

Asked if the current wave of terrorism had changed their daily behavior, 64% of Israeli Jews reported that they have not changed their daily habits, such as taking public transportation and altering shopping routines, due to the security situation.


But 57% said they feared that they, or someone important to them, would be harmed in an attack.

By contrast, the Arab public expressed greater fear. Some 78% answered that they were apprehensive about being harmed and a majority (53%) did report a change in their daily habits.

Despite the wave of terrorism, more than half of Jewish respondents said they favor conducting diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians. But only 4.4% strongly believe such talks could lead to peace in the coming years and only 18.8% moderately believe talks could lead to peace.

Asked what grade institutions should be given for how they have dealt with the recent terrorism, 93% of Jewish Israelis gave a good grade to the IDF, 84.5% gave a good grade to the state police, 71% to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and less than 40% said they would give high marks to the government.

Among Arab Israelis, none of the institutions received good grades. Only 31.3% gave good grades to the IDF, 27.7% to the police, 15.3% to the Shin-Bet, and just 23.9% said they would give high marks to the government.

More than half of Jewish respondents (58%) consider that in the current state of affairs, Jews should not be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.

When asked, “Is [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s policy toward the conflict with the Arab world over the question of prayer on the Temple Mount good or poor from Israel’s standpoint?” 49% of Jewish Israelis and 65.5% of Arab Israelis responded that it is very poor or moderately poor.

The maximum margin of error for the poll is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.

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