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January 2014 Peace Index

February 4, 2014 | IDI Press Release

77% of Israeli Jews Believe Palestinians Must Recognize Israel as the Jewish State

Majority of Jewish Israelis Think Incitement Means Palestinians Do Not Want Peace

Tuesday, 4 February 2014, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem – The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University have released the monthly Peace Index poll, which this month covers Jewish Israeli public opinion on a potential US framework agreement, terms of a final Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement, incitement and the boycott movement, and more.

A Potential American Framework Agreement

  • Palestinian Recognition of Israel as the Jewish State: As part of a framework agreement with the Palestinians, 77% of Israeli Jews believe it is important that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, while 21% believe it is not important.

    • By political self-identification, 77% of the right believe recognition is important, 84% of the center, and 63% of the left.
    • Among those who believe recognition is important, 41% believe it is important because it is a recognition of the basic principle of Zionism, 29% because it would help Israel counter a demand that it become a "state of all its citizens," and 19% because it would be compensation for Israel recognizing the Palestinian state as the state of the Palestinian people.
  • Effect of a US Framework Agreement: If the US presents a framework agreement which outlines an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, 67% believe that it will have a significant effect on the position of Netanyahu and his government in regard to the talks as Netanyahu cannot afford to ignore the US position or world opinion, while 24% believe it will not have a significant effect on the position of Netanyahu and his government as they are committed to their principles regardless of what the US says.
  • Coalition Shakeup: If Netanyahu's acceptance of a US framework causes parties in the government such as Bayit Yehudi or Yisrael Beitenu to threaten to leave the coalition, 49% believe that chances are high that Netanyahu will allow the parties to leave and will try to assemble a new government with current opposition parties, such as Labor and the ultra-Orthodox parties. 43% believe that the chances of this are low.

The Terms of a Final Agreement

  • Adjusting Borders

    • Support for the proposal: 51% of Israeli Jews do not support Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's proposal to annex settlement blocs while giving the Triangle (a concentration of Arab towns and villages) and Arab-populated parts of the Galilee to the Palestinian state as part of a peace agreement. 43% do support such a proposal.
    • Acceptance by the Palestinian Authority: 86% believe that chances are low that Liberman's proposal would be accepted by the PA, while 7% believe chances are high.
    • Acceptance by Israeli Arabs: 85% believe that chances are low that Liberman's proposal would be accepted by Israeli Arabs, while 9% believe chances are high.
  • Return of Palestinian Refugees: 81% believe Israel should not allow the return of a limited number of Palestinian refugees to Israel in return for a final peace agreement, while 16% believe Israel should allow such a return.
  • Responsibility for Refugee Problem: 74% would oppose Israel acknowledging partial responsibility for Palestinian suffering such as the refugee problem in return for a final peace agreement, while 23% would support such an acknowledgement.


  • Address Incitement Before or After Talks: 54% of Israeli Jews believe there is no point in continuing the peace talks because the incitement proves that the Palestinians do not want peace. 41% believe that if an agreement is reached Palestinian incitement will abate or even stop.

The Boycott Movement

  • Strength of the Boycott Movement: 50% of Israeli Jews believe that chances are high that calls for and imposition of economic and other sanctions on Israel will intensify, while 47% believe such chances are low. By political self-identification, 42% of the right see chances as high, 52% of the center, and 71% of the left.

Israeli Presidential Elections

  • Presidential Election System: 59% would prefer that the president be elected by the public, 20% would prefer that the president be elected by a public council made up of luminaries from various fields, and 16% would prefer that the president be elected by the Knesset as is done today. A majority or plurality of all political camps prefers election by the public including 62% of the right, 59% of the center, and 49% of the left.
  • Background of the Next President: 40% of Israeli Jews would prefer that Israel's next president come from the world of science and humanities, 30% prefer that the president come from politics, 15% prefer that the president come from economics and business, and 9% think the president's background does not matter.

This survey, conducted on January 28 - 29, 2014, included 609 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

The full results of the Peace Index are available on the Peace Index website.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Peace Index Co-Director Prof. Tamar Hermann, contact:
Yehoshua Oz
Director of International Communications

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