PSR - Survey Research Unit: Joint Palestinian Israeli Press release


PSR Poll No. 45 - Joint Palestinian - Israeli press release

20 September 2012

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll, September 2012

 

Around 80% of Palestinians and of Israelis think that if Israel were to carry out a military strike against Iranís nuclear facilities, a major regional war will erupt. However a majority of Israelis do not believe that Israel will strike and the climate of opinion is against it

 

These are the results of the most recent Joint Israeli-Palestinian 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. The poll was supported by the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

 

82% of Palestinians and 77% of Israelis think that if Israel were to carry out a military strike against Iranís nuclear facilities, a major regional war will erupt.

 

A majority of Israelis (70%) do not believe now that Israel will bomb Iranís nuclear facilities without the US, and the climate of opinion in Israel regarding such a strike changed significantly since June: 65% of Israelis think now that the majority of the Israeli public opposes an Israeli strike against Iran without the US, compared to 52% in June. The actual level of support of Israelis for a strike against Iran has not changed: 52% support the cooperation between the US and Israel in bombing Iranís nuclear facilities, 18% support a strike by Israel alone without the cooperation of the US, and 24% oppose any strike.

 

Given the ongoing stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the most popular options among Palestinians are to go to the Security Council to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state (73%), followed by popular non-violent and unarmed resistance (61%) and a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state (56%). Israelis however think that the two most likely actions of the Palestinians are to approach the UN Security Council to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state (27%) and to return to the armed intifada (23%).

 

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 September 13 and 15, 2012. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 600 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between September 9 and 14, 2012. The margin of error is 4.5%. 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 military strike against Iranís nuclear facilities

         77% of Israelis think that if Israel were to carry out a military strike against Iran, a major regional war will erupt; 20% of Israelis do not think so. Among Palestinians, 82% think that such a strike would lead to a major war and 16% do not think so.

         52% of Israelis support the cooperation between the US and Israel in bombing Iranís nuclear facilities, 18% support a strike by Israel alone without the cooperation of the US, and 24% oppose any strike. The corresponding figures in our previous poll in June were very similar: 51%, 19% and 26% correspondingly. However the climate of opinion changed significantly since June: 65% of Israelis think now that the majority of the Israeli public opposes an Israeli strike against Iranís nuclear facilities without the US compared to 52% in June.

         Correspondingly, Israelis (70%) do not believe that Israel will bomb Iranís nuclear facilities without the US in the coming months; 23% believe it will.

         56% of Israelis think that all the Iranians hate Jews (26% oppose this statement). But only 20% believe that the purpose of the Iranians is to destroy Israel (60% oppose this statement), and 22% believe that the Iranians understand only the language of force (58% oppose). 28% blame only the Iranians for the current crisis, while 51% oppose it.

 

(B) Attitudes and expectations regarding the peace process

         Majorities among Israelis (73%) and Palestinians (71%) view the chances for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel in the next five years as low or non-existent.

         A majority of 61% Israelis and 52% of Palestinians supports a two-state solution, while 36% of Israelis and 46% of Palestinians oppose it. However 50% of Israelis and 57% of Palestinians think that the two-state solution is bound to fail because of the settlements; 47% of Israelis and 37% of Palestinians think the two-state solution is still relevant. At the same time, majorities among Israelis (65%) and among Palestinians (68%) oppose the one state solution in which Arabs and Jews enjoy equality; 31% of Israelis and 30% of Palestinians support this solution.

         As we do periodically in our joint polls, we asked Israelis and Palestinians about their 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 62% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 30% oppose it. Among Palestinians, 44% support and 54% oppose this step. In June 2012, 53% of the Israelis supported and 43% opposed this mutual recognition of identity; among Palestinians, 43% supported and 55% opposed this step.

 

(C) Conflict management and threat perceptions

  • Given the ongoing stalemate in the peace process, 42% of the Israelis think that armed attacks will not stop and the two sides will not return to negotiations. 46% of the Israelis believe that negotiations will continue but some armed attacks will continue as well. Only 7% of Israelis believe negotiations will continue and armed confrontations will stop. Among the Palestinians, 19% think that some armed attacks will take place and the two sides will not return to negotiations, 31% think the two sides will soon return to negotiations, and 26% think the two sides will return to negotiations but some armed attacks will take place. Finally, 18% think the two sides will not return to negotiations and there will be no armed attacks.
  • Given the stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the most popular options among Palestinians are to go to the Security Council to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state, followed by popular non-violent and unarmed resistance. 73% support the first option, 61% support the second. 56% support a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state; 44% support the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority; 39% support return to an armed Intifada; and 28% support the abandonment of the two-state solution and the demand for the establishment of one state for Palestinians and Israelis
  • When Israelis are asked what they think the Palestinians will do if there will be no negotiations in the near future, 27% of the Israelis say they will go to the Security Council to obtain a recognition of a Palestinian state; 23% think they will return to the armed intifada; 15% think they will unilaterally declare the establishment of a Palestinian state; 11% think they will abandon the two-state solution and demand the establishment of one state for Palestinians and Israelis; 6% think they will resort to popular non violent and unarmed resistance; and 6% say they will dissolve the Palestinian Authority.
  • Among Israelis, 51% are worried and 48% are not worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life, as they were in June 2012. Among Palestinians, 72% are worried that they or a member of their family could be hurt by Israel in their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or home demolished; 28% are not worried. Similar results were obtained in our June poll.
  • 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 23% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to the Palestinians. The modal category among Israelis is that the Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel (36%); 18% think the goals of the Palestinians are to conquer the State of Israel. Only 10% of the Palestinians think Israelís aspirations in the long run are to withdraw from part of the territories occupied in 1967 after guaranteeing its security, and 6% think Israel aspires to withdraw from all of the territories occupied in 1967 after guaranteeing its security. 26% of Israelis think the aspirations of the Palestinians are to regain all of the territories conquered in 1967, and 16% think the Palestinians aspire to regain some of the territories conquered in 1967.
  • These mutual perceptions are very much off the mark.

15% of the Israelis say the aspirations of Israel are to withdraw to the 1967 border after guaranteeing Israelís security; 43% say it is to withdraw from parts of the territories after guaranteeing Israelís security; 15% say it is to annex the West Bank without granting political rights to the Palestinians living there; and 15% say it is to annex the West Bank and expel the Palestinians living there.†††††††††††

         Among the Palestinians 37% say that the aspirations of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO are to regain some of the territories conquered in the 1967 war; 29% say it is to regain all the territories conquered in the 1967 war; 15% say it is to conquer the State of Israel and regain control over the pre 1948 Palestine; and 9% say it is to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel

  • Given the election of President Morsi in Egypt and the big changes he recently enacted in the senior military leadership, we asked Israelis and Palestinians what they expect will happen with the peace treaty and the relationship between Egypt and Israel. 9% of the Israelis and 12% of the Palestinians think that the peace treaty will be cancelled and armed conflict will resume; 28% of the Israelis and 19% of the Palestinians think that Egypt will work to erode the peace treaty but armed conflict will not resume; 47% of the Israelis and 42% of the Palestinians think that there will be no change in the relationship between Egypt and Israel or with regard to the peace treaty; and 12% of the Israelis and 21% of the Palestinians think that the Egyptian government will respect the peace treaty and relations between Israel and Egypt will improve.

 

(D) Domestic affairs and other issues

         A majority of the Palestinians think that if Obama wins the US Presidential elections, his victory will have no impact on Palestinian conditions (51%); 32% think it will have a negative impact, and 9% believe it will have a positive impact. Israelis prefer Mitt Romney to Barack Obama: 34% think Romney will be a better President for Israel, while only 26% say Obama; about a fifth of the respondents do not know.

         When Palestinians are asked to chose among four vital national goals for the Palestinian people, 44% selected the end of Israeli occupation in the areas occupied in 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital; 30% selected the right of return of refugees, 15% selected building an Islamic society, and 11% selected the establishment of a democratic political system.

         As in other opinion polls carried out recently, the Likud leads in terms of vote intention of Israelis if the elections for the Knesset were to be held now with 16%` the Labor party is in second place with 12%. When we add to the list of political parties a party of the social protest movement, 10% indicate they would vote for such a party, which puts her in third place after the Likud which declines to 12% and Labor with 11%. Since such a party has not been actually proclaimed, this prognosis is premature and speculative; however these results are noteworthy as they hold for a long time after the social protest of the summer of 2011; in March 2012 14% indicated they would vote for such a party in a similar question, and in June Ė 8%.

         On the Palestinian side, if presidential and parliamentary elections were to take place today, Abbas receives 51% of the vote and Ismail Haniyeh 40% of those participating in the presidential elections, while Fateh wins 37% and Hamas 28% of the popular vote of those participating in the parliamentary elections; all other parties combined receive 13% of the vote and 23% say they have not decided to whom they will vote.

 


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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