'Majority of Jewish public favors resuming peace talks'

Survey finds most Jews and Arabs in Israel support negotiations, but Jews rank peace deal only as second most urgent issue in Israel.

peace index_311 (photo credit: Courtesy of The Israel Democracy Institute.)
peace index_311
(photo credit: Courtesy of The Israel Democracy Institute.)
A majority of the Israeli Jewish public – 64 percent – believes now is the right time to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority under US patronage, according to the findings of a survey conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute.
A majority of the Arab public (59%) also agrees with this view.
RELATED:Poll: 41% of Palestinians support resuming the IntifadaSurvey: Palestinians unsure Obama can secure peaceThe October 2010 Peace Index survey, carried out by telephone October 18-20, also found that 72% of the Jewish public favors the peace negotiations, but only 33% think they are likely to be fruitful.
The survey results were based on 601 respondents, who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel.
With respect to the price for extending the construction freeze, 74% support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, as a condition for extending the moratorium on building in the settlements.
In contrast, 79% of the Arab public opposes this demand.
If a permanent peace were reached with the Palestinians, half of the Jewish public would be willing to evacuate settlements that are located beyond the large settlement blocs (Gush Etzion, Ma’aleh Adumim and Ariel).
However, only 28% are in favor of Israel signing an agreement that would require an evacuation of all settlements in the territories. A 65% majority of the Jewish public opposes a full evacuation.
A complete evacuation in return for a permanent peace found overwhelming support (80%) within the Arab public.
The findings also highlight that 73% of the Jewish public believes that if a peace agreement is signed, the Palestinian leadership will not be able to uphold its commitments under pressure from opposition groups such as Hamas. In contrast, a 70% majority thinks the Israeli government will be able to uphold its commitments in the face of opposition from various domestic groups.
When asked, “What do the Palestinians really want?” a large majority of the Jewish public (80%) replied that the Palestinians had not come to accept Israel’s existence and would destroy Israel if they could. Furthermore, 74% believe that this position will not change even if a peace deal is signed.
Finally, the survey asked respondents to cite the most urgent issue that the government must confront.
Among Jews, the response was as follows: 25% ranked the “war on corruption and establishment of clean governance” as most pressing; 20% cited narrowing socioeconomic gaps; another 20% said peace with the Palestinians was most urgent; 15% ranked promoting economic growth; 14% cited strengthening the Jewish character of Israel; and 6% said strengthening democracy in the country.
Obtaining a peace deal topped the Arab public’s ranking of urgent issues with 38%, followed by promoting economic growth (31%), and strengthening Israel’s democracy (14%).