Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll, March 2011
In the backdrop of the demonstrations in the Arab world, neither Palestinians nor Israelis consider such demonstrations to be capable of ending occupation in the West Bank
These are the results of the most recent poll conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
Given the dramatic events in the Arab world, we asked Israelis and Palestinians about similar demonstrations in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
48% of Israelis consider the chances of such demonstrations occurring in the West Bank against Israeli occupation to be medium or high. 40% consider those chances to be low or non-existent;.
Large majorities of both Palestinians (66%) and Israelis (73%) do not consider such demonstration in the West Bank to be capable of ending occupation or stopping settlements. Only 31% among Palestinians and 13% among Israelis think such demonstrations can end occupation and settlement activity.
63% of the Palestinians oppose and 32% support the attack in the Itamar settlement in the West Bank in which a family of five was murdered.
The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between March 17 and 19, 2011. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 601 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew Arabic or Russian between March21 and 28, 2011. The margin of error is 4.0%. The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Yaacov Shamir, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).
For further details on the Palestinian survey contact PSR director, Prof. Khalil Shikaki or Walid Ladadweh, at tel. 02-2964933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. On the Israeli survey, contact Prof Yaacov Shamir at tel. 03-6419429 or email email@example.com.
(A) Israeli and Palestinian attitudes regarding the uprising in the Arab world
- 52% of the Palestinians feel a need for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to organize demonstrations similar to those occurring in other Arab countries. 40% do not feel the need for such demonstrations. But Among Gazans, the percentage of those who feel the need to organize demonstrations against the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip rises to 67%. A majority of Israelis (54%) consider the chances of such demonstrations occurring in the Gaza Strip against the Hamas government low or non-existent; 36% consider those chances to be medium or high.
- 47% of the Palestinians feel a need for Palestinians in the West Bank to organize demonstrations similar to those occurring in other Arab countries. 50% do not feel the need for such demonstrations. But Among West Bankers,, the percentage of those who feel the need to organize demonstrations against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank decreases to 36%. A majority of Israelis (51%) consider the chances of such demonstrations occurring in the West Bank against the PA government low or non-existent; 39% consider those chances to be medium or high.
- 40% of Israelis consider the chances of such demonstrations occurring in the West Bank against Israeli occupation to be low or non-existent; 48% consider those chances to be medium or high.
- Large majorities of both Palestinians (66%) and Israelis (73%) do not consider such demonstration in the West Bank to be capable of ending occupation or stopping settlements. Only 31% among Palestinians and 13% among Israelis think such demonstrations can end occupation and settlement activity.
- 69% of Israelis think that the chances of such demonstrations to occur among the Israeli-Arab public against the Israeli government are non-existent or low; 22% consider those chances to be medium or high.
- A majority of the Palestinians (54%), and a plurality among Israelis (42%) believe that the chances of establishing an independent Palestinian state next to the state of Israel in the next five years did not change in light of the developments in Egypt and other Arab countries. 21% of the Palestinians and 25% of the Israelis think that the chances have increased; 23% of the Palestinians and 22% of the Israelis think that the chances have decreased. Majorities on both sides consider the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state as low or non-existent (67% among Palestinians and 59% among Israelis.
(B) Renewal of violence between Israelis and Palestinians
- 63% of the Palestinians oppose and 32% support the attack in Itamar in which a family of five was murdered.
- In light of the attack in Itamar, 59% among Israelis oppose and 33% support the government policy to relax the security measures in the West Bank such as the removal of road blocks.
- Among Israelis, 74% oppose and 16% support the settlers’ actions which damage Palestinian property and block roads (labeled “price tag”) in response to removal of illegal outposts by the Israeli government.
- 66% of the Israelis believe that that the settlers’ actions against Israeli soldiers and policemen during the evacuation of the Gilad farm in the West Bank pose a danger or grave danger to democracy. In our November 2002 poll 74% of Israelis believed so and 21% thought they do not pose a danger.
- 54% of Israelis think the Israeli government is not strict enough in imposing the rule of law in the “territories” while 34% believe it is strict enough. In our November 2002 poll, 53% believed it is not strict enough while 41% of Israelis believed that the government is strict enough.
- 63% of the Israelis support a tough governmental policy against extreme Israeli elements in the “territories” like those who shoot Palestinian olive pickers even if this can result in a confrontation with settlers; 30% oppose it. In our November 2002 poll, 70% supported such a policy while 24% opposed it.
(C) Conflict management, peace initiatives and threat perceptions
- After the US has used its veto power against the UNSC resolution regarding Israeli settlements, 47% of the Israelis and 57% of the Palestinians expect that negotiations will continue. 83%of the Israelis and 52% of the Palestinians expect that some armed attacks will continue as well.
- 54% of the Israelis support and 41% oppose talks with Hamas if needed to reach a compromise agreement with the Palestinians. However 53% think that the majority of the Israeli public opposes such negotiations and only 31% think a majority supports it.
- 56% of the Israelis oppose and 31% support the Saudi initiative, while 56% of the Palestinians support the plan and 41% oppose it. The plan calls for Arab recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel after it ends its occupation of Arab territories occupied in 1967 and after the establishment of a Palestinian state. The plan calls for Israeli retreat from all territories occupied in 1967 including Gaza the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and the establishment of a Palestinian state. The refugee problem will be resolved through negotiation in a just and agreed upon manner and in accordance with UN resolution 194. In return, all Arab states will recognize Israel and its right to secure borders, will sign peace treaties with her and establish normal diplomatic relation. In our December 2010 poll there was a similar level of support for the plan among both Israelis and Palestinians.
- In our poll we also examine periodically Israelis’ and Palestinians’ readiness for a mutual recognition of identity as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that 52% of the Israelis, support such a mutual recognition; recognition of identity and 36%oppose it. Among Palestinians, 48% support and 50% oppose it.
- Among Israelis, 54% are worried and 41% are not worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life, just like in our previous poll in December. Among Palestinians 70% are worried and 30% are not worried that they or a member of their family may be hurt by Israelis in their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or home demolished. In our last poll in December, 75% of the Palestinians said they were worried and 25% said they were not worried.
- The level of threat on both sides regarding the aspirations of the other side in the long run is very high. 60% of Palestinians think that Israel’s goals are to extend the borders of the state to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens. A plurality of the Israelis (34%) fears that the Palestinians’ aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.