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November 2013 Peace Index

December 2, 2013 | IDI Press Release | For Immediate Release

77% of Israelis Don't Believe Agreement Will Prevent Iran Going Nuclear

Only 27% of Israelis Believe Israel Could Find Alternative Ally as Faithful as US

Monday, 2 December 2013, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem - The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University are releasing the monthly Peace Index poll covering Israeli public opinion on the Iran nuclear agreement, the relationship between Israel and her allies, the desire for peace among Palestinians and Israelis, and the potential entry of the Labor Party into the coalition.

Israeli opinion on the agreement between Iran and the Western powers and its effects on peace negotiations was assessed.

  • Iran Agreement Preventing Nuclearization: 77% of Israelis do not believe that the agreement recently concluded between Iran and the Western countries will lead to the end of Iran's nuclear weapons program, while 18% believe it will.
  • Iran Agreement's Effect on Palestinian-Israeli Peace Negotiations: Israelis were asked how the recently signed agreement between Iran and the Western countries would affect the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

    • Israeli Government's Position: 38% of Israelis (39% of Jewish respondents and 33% of Arab respondents) believe that the agreement will have no effect, 26% (26% of Jewish respondents and 29% of Arab respondents) believe Israel will take a tougher position, and 23% (22% of Jewish respondents and 28% of Arab respondents) believe Israel will be more conciliatory.
    • Palestinian Authority's Position: 40% of Jewish Israelis believe the PA will take a tougher stance, 34% believe the agreement will have no effect, and 12% believe they will be more conciliatory.  40% of Arab Israelis believe the PA will be more conciliatory, 25% believe the PA will be tougher, and 23% believe it will have no effect.
    • The US's Position: 38% of Israeli Jews believe the agreement will have no effect on the position of the US Government, 30% believe the US will be tougher on Israel to compensate the Sunni Arab world, and 20% believe the US will be more inclined to Israel to "compensate" for the agreement.  32% of Israeli Arabs believe the US will be more inclined to Israel, 31% believe the agreement will have no effect, and 27% believe the US will be more stringent towards Israel.

The survey assessed Israeli opinion on Israel's relationship with the US and other potential allies.

  • Israel's Closest Ally: 71% of Israelis believe that the US is Israel's most loyal and important ally, while 26% believe it is not.  Among Jewish Israelis, self-described left-wingers believe the US is the most significant ally by the largest margin (90%), followed by centrists (84%) and right-wingers (63%).
  • Israeli Dependence on the US: With regard to Israeli dependence on military, political, and economic assistance, the majority of Israeli Jews (55%) believe Israel is moderately dependent on US assistance, while a minority believe their country is either totally dependent (24%) on American assistance or only marginally or not dependent at all (17%).  A majority of Israeli Arabs (58%) believe Israel is totally dependent on US assistance, while a minority believe Israel is moderately dependent (28%) or only marginally or not dependent at all (7%).
  • America Distancing Itself from Israel: 63% of Jewish Israelis disagree with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's assertion that Israel's excessive demands are the cause of the US distancing itself, while 27% agree.  In contrast, 53% of Arab Israelis believe that Israel's excessive demands are the main reason for America distancing itself, and 38% believe they is not.
  • Seeking New Allies: 49% of Israeli Jews think Israel needs to find other allies and reduce its dependence on the US in the international arena, and 45% thinks Israel does not need to do so.  52% of Israeli Arabs do not think Israel needs to seek out new allies while 39% think Israel should do so.
  • Finding New Allies: If Israel seeks new allies, only 27% of Israelis (26% of Jewish Israelis and 31% of Arab Israelis) believe Israel will find any, while 69% (70% of Jewish Israelis and 63% of Arab Israelis) believe Israel will not find any.

Israelis were asked about the relative desire for peace among the governments and peoples.

  • Israeli Government's Desire for Peace: 65% of Israelis (66% of Jewish Israelis and 61% of Arab Israelis) believe that the Israeli government truly wants to reach a permanent peace settlement with the Palestinians based on mutual compromises; 29% (28% of Jewish Israelis and 35% of Arab Israelis) believe the Israeli government does not desire such a settlement.
  • Palestinian Authority's Desire for Peace: 73% of Jewish respondents do not believe the PA wants to reach a permanent peace settlement with Israel based on mutual compromises, while 23% believe it does.  In contrast, 77% of Arab respondents think the PA does want to reach a settlement, and 19% believe it does not.
  • Peace is More Important to...: 53% of Israeli Jews believe that a permanent peace settlement is more important to Israel, while 24% believe it is equally important to both sides, 17% believe it is more important to the Palestinians, and 3% believe it is not important to either side.  42% of Israeli Arabs believe a permanent peace settlement is more important to the Palestinians, 34% believe it is equally important to both sides, 17% believe it is more important to Israel, and 4% believe it is not important to either side.

Following the election of a new Labor Party Chair, Israelis were asked about the party's possible entry into the coalition.

  • Likelihood of Labor Joining Netanyahu Government: Following the election of Isaac "Buji" Herzog as chairman of the Labor Party, 41% of Israeli believe Labor will remain outside of the coalition for the foreseeable future while 33% believe Labor will join.
  • Desirability of Labor Joining Netanyahu Government: 45% of Jewish Israelis would like for the Labor Party to join the Netanyahu government, while 34% think they should not.  Among Jewish Israeli who describe themselves as left-wingers, 46% think the Labor party should not join while 41% think it should.  46% of Arab Israelis think they should not join, and 41% think it should.

This survey, conducted November 26 - 27, 2013, included 601 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel.  The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

The full results of the Peace Index are available.

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