The latest Peace Index explores the public's positions on the ramifications of the Six-Day War, which will commemorate its 50th anniversary next year. The war took place between June 5 and June 10, 1967.
If Israel held a referendum on the issue of leaving the territories today, the majority (52 percent) of Jewish Israelis would vote against a withdrawal; 36% would vote in favor.
And what if a draft peace agreement was on the table before this vote? Just short of a majority (46%) of Jewish Israelis would still vote against withdrawal from the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. A similar 43% would vote for withdrawal from the territories.
Some 69% of Arab Israelis would vote in favor of withdrawal today and nearly three-fourths (74%) would vote in favor of withdrawal if a draft peace agreement is reached that is acceptable to the Israeli government.
The above statistics were published today, part of the monthly Peace Index survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University. The survey, which was conducted between June 28 and 29, 2016, explored the public's positions on the ramifications of the Six-Day War, which will commemorate its 50th anniversary next year. The war took place between June 5 and June 10, 1967.
Forty-four percent of Jewish Israelis say the developments in the territories since 1967 have improved Israeli's security situation. Fifty-seven percent, however, believe the situation in the territories has worsened Israel's diplomatic situation.
How factually aware are Israelis of the situation in the territories?
We asked the following, "In your opinion, is the following sentence true or not true: The Green Line is the Israeli border that was set in the Armistice Agreements that were signed at the end of the War of Independence between Israel and the Arab armies in 1949."
• 15% of the Jewish public are "sure" it's true
• 33% of the Jewish public "think" it's true
• 20% "think" it's not true
• 13% are "sure" it's not true
That is only a very small percentage of the Jewish public that knows for certain what the Green Line is. In contrast, 63% of Arab Israelis know what the Green Line is; 42% were sure.
We also asked how many Jews and how many Palestinians live in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria (not counting the neighborhoods of expanded Jerusalem).
• Only 30% of Jewish Israelis answered correctly that 250,000 to 500,000 Jews live in the West Bank
• Only 10% of Jewish Israelis answered correctly that 2 million to 3 million Palestinians live in the West Bank
"The Jewish public's assessments of the current situation in the territories, and what will happen in the future, are based to a large extent on a lack of knowledge of the facts," says IDI's Prof. Tamar Hermann, who oversees the monthly Peace Index.
Looking Ahead: What is the likely and desirable situation in the territories in the future?
The prevailing view among the Jewish public (37.5%) is that the situation will continue as is. Some 20% of Jewish Israelis hold the view that the international community will force Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders. Twenty percent thinks Israel will annex the territories without giving the Palestinians equal rights to those of the Israelis, and 9% anticipate that Israel will annex the territories and grant equal rights to the Palestinians. Forty-five percent of Arab Israelis believe the situation will remain as is.
Desirable? The majority of the Jewish public (55%) prefers continued Israeli rule over the Palestinians, whether by sustaining the existing situation (23%) or annexation without giving equal rights to the Palestinians (32%). Respondents were given four choices: The situation will remain as it is; the international community will force Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders; Israel will annex the West Bank/Judea and Samaria and equal rights will be given to the Palestinians and the Israelis; or Israel will annex the West Bank/Judea and Samaria but the Palestinians will not be given rights equal to those of the Israelis.
The most common preference in the Arab public is that the international community should force Israel to withdraw (34%).
The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.
View full survey: www.peaceindex.org/english