U.S. President Donald Trump looks towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while delivering an address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. .
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
While the US declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel continues to cause diplomatic disputes, a poll released Wednesday revealed that the majority of Jewish Israelis believe the announcement was good for Israel and that President Donald Trump understands Israel’s interests.
The monthly Peace Index of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University found that 65% of Jewish Israelis believe Trump’s December announcement was in Israel’s best interest, while two-thirds of Arab-Israeli respondents think it was not.
Furthermore, 64% of the Jewish public thinks that the recent United Nations resolution rejecting
the US declaration, is not likely to cause harm to Israel’s interests.
A clear majority, though smaller (59%), also thinks Trump understands Israel’s interests to a very great or moderately great extent.
Segmentation by political camps shows that the overwhelming majority of those on the Right believe the declaration well served Israel’s interests (81%), while more than half of those in the Center (56%), and a minority on the Left (24%) agree.
128 countries defy Trump, vote for UN resolution slamming his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, December 21, 2017 (Reuters)
A similar picture emerged for the pattern of responses to the question on the extent to which the US president understands Israel’s interests. On the Right, a majority of 72% thinks he understands them well, compared to 53% of those in the Center and 30% of those on the Left. In the Arab public, 52% say Trump does not understand Israel’s interests.
Though 72% of the Jewish public believe that – following a comprehensive and stable peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians – Jerusalem should remain the united capital of Israel, over 60% of the general Israeli public agree that “Jerusalem is already divided into two cities: the eastern city and the western city.” This latter statistic is up from 56% in 2008 and 49.5% in 1999.
Among the Arab-Israeli public, 44% want the city to be divided with the eastern part serving as the capital of Palestine and the western part as the capital of Israel, while 22% want it to remain united and be the capital of both Israel and Palestine.
The survey was conducted by telephone and Internet on December 26-27, 2017, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents – 500 Jews and 100 Arabs – who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population of Israel, aged 18 and over. The margin of error is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.