Foreign Policy Blogs

Poll: Jewish, Arab Israelis Critical of Kerry’s Mediated Peace Efforts

Photo Credit: Wickey-nl via Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wickey-nl via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, March 11, the Peace Index project run by the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute published the results of their latest poll. The poll indicates that the majority of the Israeli public distrusts and remains skeptical about the motives and considerations of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative to reach a framework peace agreement.

A large majority of the Jewish public (74 percent) feels America is putting more pressure on Israel than on the Palestinians to accept the framework agreement, while only five percent think the Palestinians are being pressured more and 12 percent think the two sides are similarly pressured. On the other hand, 29 percent of the Israeli Arab public sees the pressure on the Palestinians as stronger, 25 percent think Israel is more pressured, and 25.5 percent view the pressure on both sides as similar.

Both Israeli Arabs and Jews question Kerry’s motives for trying to reach a framework agreement. Sixty-three percent of the Jewish population and 56 percent of the Arab population think Kerry is mainly motivated by personal interest. Moreover, only 22 percent and 16 percent of the Jewish and Arab populations respectively hold the view that his efforts reflect honest concern for the future of the two sides.

With regards to Israel’s security, two-thirds of the Jewish public and 53 percent of Israeli Arabs believe that the agreement does not consider it a crucial factor.

When it comes to distributions of the Jewish public according to self-identification by political camp, the rate of those Israelis identifying themselves as right or moderate-right now stands at 51 percent, with the corresponding rates for the center and the left coming to 28 percent and 13 percent respectively. In other words, these camps are not equal in either size or political weight.

Below is the graph of the month created from the results of the question posed to Jews of opposing political views: If the framework agreement that Kerry proposes goes against your political position but is approved by the government and afterward by a referendum, will you then accept the framework or act to prevent its implementation?

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As the graph above shows, there are wide gaps between the political camps on this issue even though, in each camp, the majority favors upholding the rules of the game (58.4 percent of the right, 80.9 percent of the center, and 92.3 percent of the left). In the Arab public, at least on the declarative level, willingness to accept the rules of the game is lower: Less than half (42.5 percent) said they would accept the verdict, while 34 percent said they would keep acting against the implementation of an agreement that is not acceptable to them, even if it is approved by the government and the referendum.

This survey was conducted by telephone on Mar. 3-4, 2014 by the Midgam Research Institute. The 603 respondents to the survey represent a national sample of the Israeli population aged 18 and over.  The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent.

 

Author

Samantha Quint
Samantha Quint

My name is Samantha, I’m 25, and I made Aliyah in June 2013. I got my BA degree from George Washington University where I studied Jewish Studies and Middle East Studies. During my Junior year, I spent the traditional semester abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Since then Israel kept pulling me back, first with a summer professional course on peacemaking in Jerusalem and the West Bank and then a move to Tel Aviv to get my MA in Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston. I have a unyielding passion for traveling, Boston sports teams, and making the people around me laugh.

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