August 2009 Joint Poll: Israeli and Palestinian public opinion on US policy and negotiations

 

Half of Israelis and the majority of Palestinians want the US to play a more active role in the conflict; 40% of Israelis and 58% of Palestinians support yielding to American pressure to accept and implement the Arab (Saudi) Peace Initiative; a sizeable Israeli majority (66%) support talks with a national unity government composed jointly of Hamas and Fatah
 
 
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, between August 9-15, 2009
 
US policy toward the conflict following the intensified involvement of the US in the region
 
  • 49% of Israelis and 61% of Palestinians want now the US to play a more active role in the conflict. In December 2008, 49% of Israelis and 57% of Palestinians wanted the US to play a more active role in the conflict.
 
  • If indeed the US plays a more active role, 42% of the Israelis and 56% of the Palestinians expect this involvement to be successful, while 30% and 26% respectively think it will be a failure. 18% of the Israelis and 15% of Palestinians think it will have no impact.
  • 61% of Palestinians think that Israel would benefit more if the US intervened strongly in the peace process. In December 66% of Palestinians thought so. Among Israelis, 35% say that both sides would benefit, 33% - that the Palestinians would benefit and only 12% - that Israel would benefit from such intervention. In December 2008, 39% said that both sides would benefit, 25% - that the Palestinians would benefit and 14% - that Israel would benefit from such intervention.
 
Negotiation Tracks on the Agenda
  • Among Israelis 40% support the Saudi initiative which 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 refugees problem will be resolved through negotiation 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 relation. In the June 2009 poll 36% of Israelis supported it. Among Palestinians, 64% support the plan. In June 57% supported it.
 
  • 40% of the Israelis support yielding to American pressure to accept and implement the Arab (Saudi) Peace Initiative. Among Palestinians 58% accept such pressure. In December 2008,44% of Israelis thought Israel should accept such American pressure. Among Palestinians 56% believed they should accept American pressure to adopt and implement the Saudi Plan in December 2008.
 
  • As to their assessments of the other side’s response to such pressure: 29% of the Israelis believe Palestinians will reject and 58% think they will accept it, while 49% of the Palestinians think Israel will reject and 46% think it will accept it
 
Clinton Parameters
  • 45% of Israelis think Israel should accept American pressure to adopt and implement the these parameters and 44% think it should reject such pressure. Among Palestinians 45% believe they should accept American pressure to adopt and implement a plan according to these parameters and 52% say they should reject such pressure.
  • Among Israelis, 54% believe that the Palestinians would accept American pressure on this issue, and 32% believe that the Palestinians would reject it. Palestinians are split half in their assessment of Israeli response to American pressure: 48% think Israel would accept and 47% think Israel would reject it.

  • Palestinians and Israelis do not consider it likely that an independent Palestinian State will be established next to the State of Israel in the next five years. 69% of the Palestinians and 69% among Israelis think that chances for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State next to the State of Israel are non-existent or low; 30% and 28% respectively believe the chances are medium or high.

  • 64% of the Israelis support and 31% oppose mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people. Among Palestinians, 49% support and 49% oppose this step.

  • A sizeable Israeli majority (66%) support and only 30% oppose talks with a national unity government composed jointly of Hamas and Fatah if such a government is reestablished. In June these figures were 62% and 31% respectively
 
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 August 13 and15 , 2009. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 600 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew Arabic or Russian between August 9 and13, 2009. 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).