PSR - Survey Research Unit: Joint Palestinian Israeli Press release


PSR Poll No. 41 - Joint Palestinian Israeli press release

 

 

 

21 September 2011

PRESS RELEASE

 

Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll, September 2011

 

Over 80% of the Palestinians support turning to the UN to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state. About 70% of Israelis think that if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state Israel should accept the decision

 

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.

 

In the poll we explored Israeli and Palestinian attitudes regarding the Palestinian appeal to the UN to obtain recognition as an independent state. We also explored salient domestic issues in each public.

 

83% of the Palestinians believe they should go to the UN to obtain recognition for their state.

 

Majorities on both sides, 77% of the Palestinians and 79% of the Israelis, 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.


69% 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 (34%) or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians (35%); 16% believe Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements; 7% think that Israel should annex to Israel the PA territory; and 4% think Israel shouldinvade the PA and use force in order to prevent the establishment ofa Palestinian state.


If the UN recognizes the Palestinian state, 26% of Palestinians support a return to armed attacks on army and settlers to force Israel to withdraw from their state, 37% think peaceful non-violent resistance can force Israelis to withdraw; 30% think negotiations with Israel can bring it to withdraw. 54% of Palestinians in the West Bank say they would join large peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank and Jerusalem if they were to take place after the recognition of the Palestinian state.

 

As to the recent social protest in Israel, 44% of Israelis think the protest movement should turn into a political party and run in the elections. If indeed such a party participates in the next elections, 27% of the Israelis claim they will vote for it. Two thirds of Palestinians say the rising cost of living and their inability to provide a better future for themselves and their families could push them to demonstrate as well.

 

The Palestinian sample size was 1200 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 120 randomly selected locations between September 15 and 17, 2011. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 605 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic, or Russian between September 11-14, 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 and expectations regarding the recognition by the UN of the Palestinian state

  • 74% of the Palestinians believe they should go to the UN in September to obtain recognition for their state, since there is no point to return to negotiations now.
  • Majorities on both sides 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. 77% of the Palestinians and 79% of the Israelis think so, while 16% and 17% respectively think that the US will not use its veto power. A majority of Israelis (60%) also believes 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% believe they will not succeed to obtain this majority.
  • 50% of Palestinians think that a state of Palestine will become a UN member in September, while 43% do not believe so. Among Israelis, 37% think this will happen while 57% do not believe so.
  • A majority of Israelis (57%) believe that if Palestinians appeal for the recognition of the UN, Israel should take diplomatic measures to prevent such a step; 20% 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, 69% of the Israelis think Israel should accept the decision and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation (34%) or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians (35%). 27% believe Israel should oppose the decision, of them 16% think it should intensify the construction in the settlements; 7% that it should annex to Israel the PA territory, and 4% that it should invade the PA and use force in order to prevent the establishment ofa Palestinian state.
  • On the Palestinian side, 68% believe that if the Palestinians request UN membership, Israel will respond by stopping transfer of custom funds to the PA and making conditions of occupation harsher with more checkpoints and settlement activities, 10% believe Israel will only stop the transfer of custom funds, 12% think Israel will not stop transfer of custom funds but conditions of occupation will become harsher; and 8% believe Israel will do nothing and the status quo will prevail.
  • 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. 46% of Israelis think the Palestinians will resume the Intifada including armed confrontations, while 31% think they will start non-violent resistance such as peaceful demonstrations. More Palestinians however think peaceful non-violent resistance can force Israelis to withdraw (37%) than armed attacks on army and settlers (26%). 30% of the Palestinians think negotiations with Israel can bring it to withdraw, and 16% of the Israelis think the Palestinians will resume negotiations.
  • 54% of Palestinians in the West Bank say they would join large peaceful demonstrations in the West Bank and Jerusalem if they were to take place after the recognition of the Palestinian state. 44% will not participate.
  • We asked Palestinians what they think the PA should do after the UN recognizes the Palestinian state in September. 75% 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 inthe Jordan valley, and deploy Palestinian security forces in area C even if this leads to confrontations with the Israeli army and settlers. 21% think the PA should not do that. Similarly, 73% 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. 23% think the PA should not do that.
  • 28% of Palestinians and 10% of Israelis expect that after the Palestinians seek membership in the UN, there will be negotiations between the sides and armed confrontations will stop; 28% and 38% respectively think that there will be negotiations between the sides but some armed attacks will continue; and 23% of Palestinians and 49% of Israelis expect the sides not to return to negotiations and armed confrontations not to stop.

 

 

(B) Conflict management and threat perceptions

  • Majorities on both sides - 72% 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. Nonetheless, 54% of the Palestinians believe that if large peaceful demonstrations were totake place in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, they would contribute to speeding the process of ending Israeli occupation.
  • In our poll we also examine periodically Israelisí and Palestiniansí 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 58% of the Israelis support such a mutual recognition of identity and 36% oppose it. Among Palestinians, 46% support and 52% oppose it.
  • Among Palestinians, 73% are worried and 27% 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, 58% are worried and 42% 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. 58% of Palestinians think that Israelís 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 19% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians. The modal category among Israelis is that the Palestiniansí aspirations in the long run are to conquer the state of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel (38%); 20% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel. Only 21% of the Palestinians think Israelís aspirations in the long run are to withdraw from part or all of the territories occupied in 1967; and 37% of Israelis think the aspirations of the Palestinians are to regain some or all of the territories conquered in 1967.

 

(C) Domestic developments

  • 34% of Israelis think that the main reason for the eruption of the protest is the big gap in wealth distribution, 30% think it is the need for welfare policies that will relieve citizensí economic difficulties, 20% think it is the housing problem of young people, and 12% believe the main reason is a left wing plot to bring down the government.
  • 17% of the Israelis declared they participated in person in the protest. Among those who participated in the protest, 13% claim they built a tent, 35% expressed their views regarding the protest on the internet, 41% signed a petition, and 88% say they participated in a demonstration.
  • Among the general Israeli public, 81% support the social justice protest, and between 64% and 89% support their specific demands.
  • 44% of Israelis think the protest movement should turn into a political party and run in the elections. If indeed such a party participates in the next elections, 27% of the Israelis claim they will vote for it.
  • 24% of the Palestinians regard the widespread popular demonstrations for social justice in Israel as something good for the Palestinians; 25% regard these demonstrations as something bad, and 45% think they have no effect on Palestinians.
  • Interestingly, 66% of Palestinians say the rising cost of living and their inability to provide a better future for themselves and their families would push them to demonstrate, while 33% say these concerns would not push them to demonstrate in order to demand a better standard of living and a better life.

 

 


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

 

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