War and Peace Index, October 2009 Poll: c. 75% of Israelis support negotiations with the Palestinians

The poll, conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University, finds that three-fourths of the Israeli Jewish public currently supports holding negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians—the highest level of support registered in recent years on the War and Peace Index.

18.11.2009

 

In addition to finding that about three-fourths of the Israeli Jewish public currently supports holding negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians—the highest level of support registered in recent years on the War and Peace Index – findings also show that the public is divided on the question of whether freezing construction in the settlements is important or unimportant for a breakthrough in the talks with the Palestinians.
To this end, 47% think the freeze is important and 50% that it is unimportant. A majority of two-thirds, compared to one-third, also oppose the United States pressuring Israel on this issue.
 
Now that U.S. president Barack Obama has been in office about a year, the poll asked what the public thinks of his policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As in the past, now too his policy is perceived as clearly inclined to the Palestinian side. At the same time, when viewing the opinions on this question over time, a trend emerges of decline in the rate of those who think Obama is pro-Palestinian and a rise in the rate of those who believe his position is neutral or even pro-Israeli. In May 2009, 55% thought he was pro-Palestinian, 31% that he was neutral, and 5% that he was pro-Israeli; today the corresponding rates stand at 40%, 37%, and 8%. In other words, within half a year the percentage of those ascribing a pro-Palestinian policy to Obama fell by 15%, while simultaneously the rate of those who see him as pursuing a neutral policy rose by 6%, and a pro-Israeli one by 3%.
 
During Hillary Clinton’s latest visit to Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that from Israel’s standpoint negotiations for a settlement with the Palestinians can begin immediately. On the question of “In your opinion, was Netanyahu sincere about wanting to try and reach a settlement with the Palestinians?” it turned out that the Jewish public is evenly split between those who think he was sincere (46%) and that he was insincere (45%). A check of the answers according to party voting in the most recent elections shows that, among those who voted for the parties now forming the coalition, the majority thinks Netanyahu was sincere, with the exception of Torah Judaism voters most of whom, like most of the voters for the opposition parties, do not believe he was sincere.
 

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