US spying protest 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
An overwhelming majority of Israelis believe the US spies on citizens of the
Jewish state, according to the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv
University’s monthly Peace Index poll released on Monday.
When asked if
the US listens to Israeli leaders’ and nationals’ conversations, 90 percent of
Jewish respondents and 62% of Arabs said yes.
At the same time, 65% of
Jewish Israelis and 22% of Arab Israelis support spying on friendly countries,
while 73% of Israeli Jews believe Israel already does so.
results come after The New York Times reported on Sunday that classified files
made public by fugitive former US National Security Agency agent Edward Snowden
showed that the NSA tracked Israeli military targets and shared material with
the IDF Intelligence Unit 8200.
This month’s Peace Index examined public
opinion on national security, the socioeconomic situation and the role of the
IDF, finding that most Israeli Arabs support allowing national service instead
of military service.
In fact, more Israeli Arabs (69%) than Jewish
Israelis (57%) think national service should be allowed in lieu of military
service and 68% of Israelis – 67% of Israeli Jews and 73% of Israeli Arabs –
support granting the same rights to those who complete national service as those
who served in the IDF.
Among Jewish Israelis two-thirds believe that
there is a high security risk to Israel, while about half as many Israeli Arabs
agreed with the statement.
When asked if the IDF is able to deal with
security threats, 86% of Israelis said yes.
Most Israelis (57%), both
Jewish and Arab, believe that socioeconomic challenges are more threatening to
Israel’s future than military ones.
Almost half (49%) of Jewish Israelis
identifying themselves as right-wing agreed with the statement, while 62% of
left-wing Jewish Israelis did.
The IDF maintained its image as the
“people’s army,” with 70% of Jewish Israelis agreeing with it. The index showed
that three-fourths (76%) of Jewish Israelis believe that the IDF should continue
depending on compulsory service, as opposed to canceling the draft and moving to
a professional army, which is supported by only 21% of Israeli Jews.
poll was conducted on October 28-29 and surveyed 600 respondents who constitute
a representative sample of Israel’s adult population.
The margin of error
for the sample is 4.5 percentage points.