PSR - Survey Research Unit: Joint Palestinian Israeli Press release


Survey Research Unit - Joint Press release

 

 

28 June 2011

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll, June 2011

 

Palestinians are determined to go to the UN in September and not to return to negotiations with Netanyahu, in line with Israelis’ expectations

 

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.

 

65% of the Palestinians believe they should go to the UN in September to obtain recognition for their state, despite President Obama’s statement that it would be a mistake for them to do so. 65% of Israelis believe the Palestinians will indeed go to the UN.

 

61% of the Palestinians think they should not accept President Obama’s call to return to negotiations with the Netanyahu government, and 60% of Israelis do not expect them to do so.

In light of President Obama’s speech, a majority of 88% of the Palestinians think the US position is closer to Israel, while only 8% think it is closer to the Palestinian position. Israelis are split in their assessment: 42% think the US position is closer to Israel and 40% think it is closer to the Palestinians.

 

Majorities on both sides, 57% of Palestinians and 51% of Israelis, believe that if the Palestinians turn to the UN General Assembly for recognition of a Palestinian state, they will succeed to obtain a two thirds majority. Majorities on both sides, 76% of the Palestinians and 65% of the Israelis, also believe that the US will use its veto power in the UN Security Council in order to prevent the UN from admitting the state of Palestine as a UN member.

 

Almost 60% of Israelis think Israel should accept the decision if indeed the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians; 20% believe Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 5% think that Israel should annex to Israel the PA territory; and 6% think Israel should  invade the PA and use force in order to prevent the establishment of  a Palestinian state.

 

Palestinians are split in the ways they think they can force Israel to withdraw from the territories, if the UN recognizes the Palestinian state. About a third thinks they can do so through armed attacks on army and settlers, and another third thinks peaceful non-violent resistance can force Israelis to withdraw; 26% think negotiations with Israel can bring it to withdraw.

 

The Palestinian sample size was 1196 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in  127 randomly selected locations between June 16 and 18, 2011. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 604  adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew Arabic or Russian between June 12 and 21, 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 pcpsr@pcpsr.org. On the Israeli survey, contact Prof Yaacov Shamir at tel. 03-6419429 or email jshamir@mscc.huji.ac.il.

 

 

MAIN FINDINGS

 

(A) Israeli and Palestinian attitudes regarding Obama and Netanyahu’s recent speeches

·      A majority of 50% of Palestinians support President Obama’s call for a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines with territorial swaps; 46% oppose it. A majority of 54% of Israelis opposes this plan and 40% support it.

·      With regard to the security issues, Israeli opinion is split, while Palestinians oppose Obama’s proposal that the Palestinian state will be demilitarized, it will have no airplanes, tanks, missiles, or any other heavy armaments, and the Israeli army would carry out a full and phased withdrawal from the Palestinian state. 66% of the Palestinians disagree with this principle, and only 31% support it; 46% of Israelis disagree and 48% agree with it.

·      President Obama also said that a permanent peace should be based on the principle of two states for two peoples, the state of Israel as a Jewish state and a homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people, each would have the right to self determination, mutual recognition, and peace. 51% of the Palestinians and 67% of Israelis support this principle, while 47% and 29% respectively oppose it.

·      President Obama stated that it would be a mistake for the Palestinians to go to the UN in September to obtain recognition for their state. Despite this statement, 65% of the Palestinians believe they should go to the UN in September and 31% believe they should not go. 65% of Israelis believe the Palestinians will go to the UN, while 24% think they will not go.

·      President Obama also called upon the Palestinians to return to negotiations with the Netanyahu government, even though Prime Minister Netanyahu declared during his stay in Washington DC that Israel will not freeze settlement construction and refuses to accept the principle of returning to the lines of 1967 with swaps. 61% of the Palestinians think they should not accept the call to return to negotiations, and 60% of Israelis do not expect them to do so.

·      In light of President Obama’s speech, a majority of 88% of the Palestinians think the US position is closer to the Israeli position, while only 8% think it is closer to the Palestinian position. Israelis are split in their assessment: 42% think the US position is closer to the Israeli position and 40% think it is closer to the Palestinian position.

·      Considering the two speeches by Obama and Netanyahu during Netanyahu's visit to the US, we asked Palestinians whom they think decide what the other should do regarding the peace process. 63% said Israel decides what the US should do and 32% said the US decides what Israel should do. 2% said neither decides what the other should do.

 

(B) Israeli and Palestinian attitudes and expectations towards September

·      Majorities on both sides - 57% of Palestinians and 51% of Israelis - believe that if the Palestinians turn to the UN General Assembly for recognition of a Palestinian state, they will succeed to obtain a two thirds majority. 36% of the Palestinians and 41% of the Israelis believe they will not succeed to obtain this majority.

·      Majorities on both sides also believe that the US will use its veto power in the UN Security Council in order to prevent the UN from admitting the state of Palestine as a UN member. 76% of the Palestinians and 65% of the Israelis think so, while 18% and 22% respectively think that the US will not use its veto power.

·      Palestinians are split with regard to the question whether a state of Palestine will become a UN member in September, while a majority of Israelis do not think so. 48% of the Palestinians think this will happen while 44% do not believe so. 34% of the Israelis think this will happen while 57% do not believe so.

·      A majority of Israelis (52%) believe that if Palestinians appeal for the recognition of the UN, Israel should take diplomatic measures to prevent such a step; 21% think Israel should support this step, and 13% believe Israel should threaten to annex the Palestinian Authority territories in this case.

·      If indeed the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, 30% of the Israelis think Israel should accept the decision and start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation; 29% think Israel should accept the decision but not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians; 20% believe Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 5% think that Israel should annex to Israel the PA territory; 6% of the Israelis think Israel should invade the PA and use force in order to prevent the establishment of  a Palestinian state.

·      On the Palestinian side, two thirds believe that if the UN recognizes the state of Palestine, Israel will respond by making the occupation worse and by increasing settlement building while 18% think Israel will do nothing and the status quo will prevail. 13% of the Palestinians think conditions in the occupied territories will become a little better.

·      We asked Palestinians how they think Palestinians can force Israel to withdraw from the territories, if the UN recognizes the Palestinian state, and Israelis what they think Palestinians will do. A majority of Israelis (54%) thinks the Palestinians will resume the Intifada including armed confrontations, while 18% think they will start non-violent resistance such as peaceful demonstrations. Palestinians however are split between these two options: 34% think armed attacks on army and settlers, and 32% think peaceful non-violent resistance can force Israelis to withdraw. 26% of the Palestinians think negotiations with Israel can bring it to withdraw, and 19% of the Israelis think the Palestinians will resume negotiations with Israel.

·      We asked Palestinians what they think the PA should do after the UN recognizes the Palestinian state in September. 76% think the PA president and government should enforce Palestinian sovereignty over all the territories of the West Bank, for example by opening roads in area C, start building an airport in  the Jordan valley, and deploy Palestinian security forces in area C even if this leads to confrontations with the Israeli army and settlers. 20% think the PA should not do that. Similarly, 75% think the PA should insist on assuming control over the Allenby Bridge terminal from the Israeli side even if this leads to the closure of the terminal. 20% think the PA should not do that.

·      Majorities on both sides, 58% of the Palestinians and 70% of the Israelis, think that most European countries will recognize the Palestinian state in September, while 37% of the Palestinians and 23% of the Israelis think that most European countries will not recognize it.

·      A majority of Palestinians (56%) think the position of the EU countries regarding the peace process is closer to the Israeli position, while a majority of Israelis (64%) think it is closer to the Palestinian position.

 

 

 (C) Conflict management, peace initiatives and threat perceptions

·       58% of the Palestinians support the Saudi initiative and 38% oppose it, while 29% of the Israelis support and 61% 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 negotiations 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 relations. In our March 2011 poll there was a similar level of support for the plan among both Israelis and Palestinians.

·       Palestinians and Israelis have a mirror image perception of the chances that Fateh and Hamas will succeed in implementing the reconciliation agreement they reached. 59% of the Palestinians and 34% of the Israelis believe they will succeed to do so, while 37% of the Palestinians and 59% of the Israelis believe that Fateh and Hamas will not succeed.

·       56% of the Israelis oppose and 39% support talks with the Hamas government if needed to reach a compromise agreement with the Palestinians.

·       45% of the Israelis oppose and 51% support talks with a government of specialists supported by Hamas and Fatah if needed to reach a compromise agreement with the Palestinians.

·       Majorities on both sides regard the chances for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state next to the state of Israel in the next five years as non-existent or low: 53% on the Israeli side and 62% on the Palestinian side. 29% and 30% respectively regard these chances as medium, and only 14% of Israelis and 6% of Palestinians regard these chances as high.

·       Majorities on both sides - 69% of Israelis and 64% of Palestinians - do not think that if a peaceful popular revolt like in Egypt or Tunisia were to erupt against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank it would be capable of ending occupation. Only 19% of Israelis and 34% of Palestinians think it would be capable of ending occupation.

·       After the UN recognition of a Palestinian state, if large peaceful demonstrations were to take place in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to break through check points and close army and settlers' roads, 52% of the Palestinians say they think they will participate in them and 46% say they think they will not. A majority of 51% of the Palestinians think that if such large peaceful demonstrations were to take place in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, they would contribute to speeding the process of ending Israeli occupation.

·       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. Among Israelis, 59% are worried and 39% are not worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life.

·       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 its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens, and 21% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians. The modal category among Israelis is that the Palestinians’ aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel (37%); 18% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel. Only 17% of the Palestinians think Israel’s aspirations in the long run are to withdraw from part or all of the territories occupied in 1967; and 38% of Israelis think the aspirations of the Palestinians are to regain some or all of the territories conquered in 1967.


This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the onrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah.

 

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