‘88% of Jewish Israelis oppose price tag attacks’

'Peace Index' reveals that Jewish public is split on the appropriateness of the state's response; majority wants social movement to continue.

Price tag attack on Jaffa restaurant (photo credit: Sami Abu Shehade Office)
Price tag attack on Jaffa restaurant
(photo credit: Sami Abu Shehade Office)
A large majority of the Jewish public in Israel oppose so-called “price-tag” actions against Palestinians and the IDF, a poll released Thursday by the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute revealed.
Price-tag attacks refer to retaliatory acts by right-wing activists against Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and IDF soldiers and army property, as defined by the survey.
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In recent months, graffiti reading “price tag,” along with derogatory references to Muhammad has been spraypainted at sites where mosques have been torched, Muslim cemeteries desecrated, IDF vehicles damaged and at the home of a Peace Now official in Jerusalem.
Most recently, 15 gravestones in the Mamilla cemetery next to the site of the Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance were spray-painted with graffiti. The headstones bore red paint saying “Death to Arabs” and the name of the Givat Assaf outpost, which is scheduled for demolition.
Eighty-eight percent of the Jewish public expressed opposition to so-called “price-tag” acts against Palestinians and an even greater majority of 93.5% oppose actions carried out against the IDF, the survey said.
Nine percent of respondents expressed support for the attacks.
Asked whether the state’s response to “price-tag” attacks is appropriate, the responses were less homogeneous.
Among Jewish respondents, 38% said they saw the authorities’ response to the attacks as appropriate, while 38% said the state reaction was “too mild” and 13% said it was “too harsh.”
Divided along religious lines, haredi respondents were most likely to view the state’s response to “price-tag” attacks as too harsh. Forty-nine percent of the haredi public, according to the survey, believe that the state reacts too harshly to the attacks while 33% said the response was appropriate.
The number of respondents who saw the authorities’ response as too mild was below one percent.
Among the “religious,” “traditional” and “secular” respondents, the majority said that the state’s response was either appropriate or too mild. Fortysix percent of secular respondents said that authorities were responding too mildly and 34% said the response was appropriate. In the “traditional” and “religious” public, the majority of those polled said that the state response was appropriate, but 38% and 31%, respectively, said that the response was too harsh.
Although a number of arrests have been made in connection to “price-tag” attacks in recent months, only three indictments have been issued. Earlier this week, two 18-year-olds and one minor were indicted in connection to attacks that occurred in March. Police asked for their remand to be extended, but on Monday night the court released the suspects on bail.
The survey also probed the public’s view of the prisoner exchange deal that freed IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners last month, finding that a large majority (78%) of both the Jewish and Arab public thought the deal was the “right” thing to do.
Asked whether the deal weakened Israel and harmed its deterrence, 58% of the general public disagreed while 38.8% said it did.
Those self-identifying as on the right of the political map were more likely to respond that the deal harmed Israel and its deterrence (47%) while only 33% of those identifying in the center of the political map and 20% of those on the left responded with the same answer.
The Israeli public’s views on the current state of the summer’s social protest movement were also explored in the survey, showing that a large majority of the public (75.7%) supports the continuation of the movement.
However, the respondents were more split when it came to gauging the success of the protests. Over 51% of the general public said that the movement had not succeeded in scoring significant achievements so far while 42.3% said it had not. That trend does not apply to the Arab sector, however, in which 48.9% of respondents said they believe significant achievements have been made compared to only 41.1% of Jewish respondents who gave the same answer.

JTA contributed to this report.