PSR - Survey Research Unit:
Palestinian - Israeli Joint Press Release
25 September, 2005
TWO THIRDS AMONG PALESTINIANS, ISRAELI JEWS AND ISRAELI ARABS SUPPORT THE MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL AS THE STATE OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND PALESTINE AS THE STATE OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, conducted a joint survey of Palestinian and Israeli public opinion between September 7 and 21 , 2005.*
The poll was designed to explore one of the most difficult issues in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute: the recognition of the Jewish identity of Israel by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs and the recognition of the Palestinian identity in a Palestinian state by Israelis. In addition the poll examined changes in Israelis and Palestinians’ attitudes on a range of issues related to the conflict following the disengagement, both publics’ assessments of future developments and Palestinians’ attitudes on the forthcoming legislative council elections.
This is the 13th joint poll in an ongoing research project on the opinions of the two publics. The first poll was conducted in July 2000 in the wake of the Camp David summit.
The poll was planned and supervised by Dr. Yaacov Shamir, professor of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Dr. Khalil Shikaki, professor of Political Science and director of PSR. The two surveys included both identical questions as well as specific questions for each public. A representative sample of 1369 Palestinians in 120 locations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem was interviewed face-to-face with a sampling error of 3%. The interviews were conducted September 7-9. The Israeli data are based on telephone interviews with a representative sample of 499 Israeli Jews and a representative sample of 451 Israeli Arabs. The Israeli sample was properly weighted according to the proportion of the respective sectors in the population to produce the overall Israeli estimates (overall sampling error of 3.9%). The interviews were conducted in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian between September 11 and 19.
The following summary highlights the findings of the
joint poll. For further details on the Palestinian survey, contact Dr. Khalil
Shikaki at tel. 02-2964933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. On the Israeli survey, contact Dr. Yaacov Shamir at tel. 03-6419429 or email email@example.com
*This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.
Joint Israeli-Palestinian Public Opinion Poll, September 2005
(1) Mutual recognition of identity: Consistent majority support for a mutual recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people
Summary of Results
(2) Framing the disengagement
(3) Conditions in the Gaza strip following the disengagement
(4) Impact of the disengagement on attitudes towards settlers and assessments of the future of the settlement project
(5) Focus on Jerusalem: The barrier and the E-1 plan
In our survey we examined two of the most critical and sensitive areas of contention between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months and in the future: the barrier built by Israel around Jerusalem (“Otef Yerushalaim”) and the E-1 development plan in the corridor between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Edumim. On the first issue, Israelis were told that The security fence surrounding Jerusalem, will eventually bring about 200,000 Palestinians under Israeli rule and will separate other 55,000 Palestinians from the city. They were then asked whether the construction of the fence will strengthen or weaken Israel’s grip over Jerusalem, whether it increases or decreases the level of security in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem and whether they support or oppose the construction of the barrier around Jerusalem.
On the second issue Israelis were informed that the government has begun infrastructure work in the area located between Ma’ale Edumim and Jerusalem with the intention to join together the two municipalities. If this plan comes through it will substantially impair the territorial contiguity between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank. They were then asked if this plan increases or decreases the likelihood for a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, whether it strengthens or weakens Israel’s grip over Jerusalem and the extent to which they support or oppose the plan.
(6) Expectations for future developments and how to proceed from here.
Both publics were asked to assess the coming developments following the successful implementation of the disengagement and the new date set for the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority in January
5% of the Israelis and 25% of the Palestinians believe that negotiations between the parties will resume soon enough and armed confrontations will stop. 58% of the Israelis and 60% of the Palestinians believe that negotiations will resume but some armed attacks will continue; and 32% of the Israelis and 11% of the Palestinians believe that armed confrontations will not stop and the two sides will not return to negotiations.
The poll examined Israeli and Palestinian preferences concerning the next steps that should be taken in the course of the peace process. Both publics seem to differ greatly on the specific route they prefer for that purpose. 69% of the Palestinians prefer immediate return to final status negotiations on all issues in dispute at once and 25% prefer a gradual step by step approach. Among Israelis, 59% prefer a gradual a step by step approach and 33% prefer a final status solution of all issues at once.
If talks on a comprehensive solution begin, only 37% of the Israelis and 30% of the Palestinians believe it is possible to reach these days a compromise settlement with the current leadership of the other side. 59% among Israelis and 68% among Palestinians believe such a settlement is currently impossible.
When asked to assess how soon will a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians be achieved, 36% of the Palestinians and 22% of the Israelis believe a political settlement is not possible ever, 30% of the Israelis and 38% of the Palestinians believe it will be achieved in the next generation or many generation to come, 39% of the Israelis and 20% of the Palestinians think it will be reached in the next decade or the next few years.
If a compromise settlement is nevertheless reached, 49% of the Palestinians but only 18% of the Israelis believe Abu Mazin is strong enough to convince his people to accept such as settlement. As to Sharon’s ability to deliver a comprehensive settlement, 59% of the Israelis and 53% of the Palestinians believe he is strong enough to do that.
In the same context, 57% of the Palestinians and 60% of the Israelis support the Quartet’s Roadmap plan, compared to 40% among Palestinians and 34% among Israelis who oppose it.
47% of the Israelis believe that Israel should negotiate also with the Hamas if it is necessary in order to reach a compromise agreement; 50% oppose it.
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