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The Peace Index:
Date Published: 08/07/2013
Survey dates: 01/07/2013 - 03/07/2013

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The June Index

Kerry’s chances of success. The overwhelming majority of the Jewish public in Israel does not tend to believe that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will bear fruit. Seventy-one percent see the chances of success as very or moderately low. The Arab public has exactly the same view, with 72% rating the chances that Kerry's mission will yield the desired results as moderately or very low.

The degree of flexibility required of Israel. Whether because they see the chances of Kerry's mission as low or because they have no interest in the renewal of negotiations, the majority of the Jewish public (58%) does not think Israel should show greater flexibility in order to facilitate the resumption of the peace talks. The Arab public holds the opposite opinion, with an unequivocal majority of 90.5% strongly or moderately agreeing that Israel should be more flexible in order to facilitate a return to the negotiating table.

Who wants a renewal of talks? The prevailing view in the Jewish public (67%) is that the Palestinian Authority does not really want to resume peace talks, while a majority (57%) thinks that the Israeli government wants to resume the talks. Here too the Arab public’s outlook is fundamentally different: 86% of Arab respondents said the Palestinian Authority is genuinely interested in returning to the negotiating table; as for the Israeli government, 51% of Arab respondents believe the Israeli government is genuinely interested in restarting negotiations while 41% think that it is not.

A cross-check of the Jewish public’s perception of the sincerity of the Palestinian Authority’s desire to resume peace talks and the question of whether Israel should show greater flexibility revealed that the respondents' assessment of the Palestinians’ intentions has a great influence on their positions on the need for greater flexibility. Sixty-eight percent of Jews who think the Palestinians sincerely want to return to the talks think Israel should show greater flexibility; among those who view the Palestinian intentions as insincere, only 24% think Israel should show greater flexibility.

To whom is it more important to renew peace talks? The most common view in the Jewish public (39%) is that resuming peace talks is equally important to both sides. More respondents, however, think the resumption is more important to Israel (30%) than to the Palestinians (16%). Twelve percent of Jewish respondents say renewing the negotiations is not important to either side. The picture in the Arab public is different: a definite majority of 59% thinks restarting the talks is equally important to both sides, 11% of respondents see it as more important to Israel, and only 275.% view returning to the table as more important to the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s chances of convincing his party of the benefit of the two-state solution. Member of Knesset and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon recently asserted that there is strong opposition to the two-state solution in the Likud and in the government, and hence Prime Minister Netanyahu’s declared support for this solution has no basis in the party or the government. We asked: “In your assessment, will Netanyahu succeed or not succeed in convincing the Likud to support an agreement based on two states?” The responses show that the Jewish public is almost evenly split between those who think Netanyahu will not succeed (45%) and those who think he will (42%).

We went on to ask what Netanyahu should do if most of the Likud opposes a two-state solution. Should he remain in the party? Or should he leave it, as Ariel Sharon did when there was opposition in the Likud to his unilateral disengagement plan? The distribution of responses to this question is less balanced: 50% of the Jewish public think or are sure that Netanyahu should remain in his party, while about a third (34%) think that in such a scenario he should leave it. When we asked whether Netanyahu would or would not leave the party if the Likud opposes an agreement based on two states, views were much more divided: a clear-cut majority (75%) affirmed that he would not.

In the Arab public, the prevailing opinion (48%) is that Netanyahu will not succeed in convincing the Likud to support a two-state solution, with only 35% believing he will succeed at that task. On the question of whether Netanyahu should leave the Likud if he does not succeed in convincing party members to support a two-state solution, the distribution of views in the Arab public was similar to that of the Jewish public—but in the opposite direction: 49% thought Netanyahu should leave the party while 30% thought that he should remain. However, on the question of what Netanyahu would actually do in a situation in which his support for the two-state solution is rejected by his party, the Arab public’s estimation is very similar to that of the Jewish public: a clear majority (65%) says that Netanyahu would stay in the Likud and only 17% expect that he would leave it.

(Dis)satisfaction with the government’s performance. To the question “To what extent are you satisfied or dissatisfied so far with the performance of the new government that took office after the 2013 elections?,” 71% of the Jewish public responded that they are not at all satisfied (37.2%) or not very satisfied (33.5%), and only about one-fourth answered that they are moderately (21%) or very satisfied (4%). In the Arab public, 35.5% of respondents were satisfied, 47% of respondents were dissatisfied, and 17.5% did not know.

The fall of Morsi's government. The June survey, which was conducted before the overthrow of Egyptian president Morsi by the army and against the backdrop of large demonstrations against him, asked whether from Israel’s standpoint it would be preferable for Morsi’s government, which was elected democratically, to fall or to remain in power. It appears that the Jewish public did not devote much thought to this issue; be that as it may, the inclination was against Morsi's government, with 39.5% preferring that he fall compared to 23% who thought it would be better for him to remain in power. Ten percent responded that from Israel’s standpoint it made no difference whether or not Morsi remained at the helm, and an especially high rate (27%) did not know. The tendency to prefer Morsi’s overthrow is consistent with the finding that the widespread view in the Jewish public before Morsi was toppled was that relations between Israel and Egypt were totally or moderately unfriendly (68%). In a similar vein, a majority of Jewish respondents (61%) were of the opinion that since Mubarak’s ouster, the relations between Egypt and Israel had changed for the worse.

In the Arab public, as in the Jewish, the most common view was that it would be better from Israel’s standpoint for Morsi’s government to fall (41% held this view, with 34% responding that it would be preferable for Israel that Morsi's government remain in power). However, on the question of the quality of relations between Israel and Egypt under Morsi, the Arab public was very evenly split: 42% defined the relations as very or moderately friendly, and 41% defined them as moderately or totally unfriendly. Unlike the Jews, the Arab public’s most frequent answer to the question of whether relations between the two countries had changed since Mubarak’s overthrow was that there has been no change at all (42%). At the same time, 33% thought that relations had changed for the worse and only 13% saw them as improving.

Graph of the Month: From Israel’s standpoint is it preferable for Morsi’s government to fall or remain in power? (Entire sample)

Graph of the Month: From Israel’s standpoint is it preferable for Morsi’s government to fall or remain in power?

The Negotiations Index for June, 2013
The Peace Index project includes ongoing monitoring of the Israeli public's attitudes towards peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The monthly Negotiation Index is comprised of two questions, one focusing on public support for peace negotiations and the other on the degree to which the public believes that such talks will actually lead to peace. The aggregated replies to these two questions are calculated, combined, and standardized on a scale of 0–100, in which 0 represents total lack of support for negotiations and lack of belief in their potential to bear fruit, and 100 represents total support for the process and belief in its potential. Each month, the Negotiations Index presents two distinct findings, one for the general Israeli population and the other for Jewish Israelis.

Negotiations Index: General sample: 48.1; Jewish sample: 45.2

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone on July 1–3 by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 601 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. The maximum measurement error is ±4.5% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.


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