54% of Israelis support Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's proposal to aid the creation of a port and airport in Gaza if Hamas agrees to stop digging tunnels and firing rockets, according to the latest Peace Index, published Thursday by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University. Meanwhile, 43% of respondents are opposed to the defense minister's idea.
Regarding Lieberman's recent comments about the situation in Gaza, 67% of Jewish Israelis believe, in accordance with the defense minister, that should another war break out, Israel is capable of destroying Hamas. However, 30% of the Jewish Israeli public thinks that if Israel topples Hamas, the Gaza Strip will descend into chaos, and 20% predict that the removal of Hamas will lead to the rise of such radical Islamist groups as ISIS or al-Qaeda to power. In addition, 22% believe that Israel would thus have to reenter and take over the running of Gaza, while a mere 15% of respondents think that Fatah will come to power if Hamas is toppled.
Breaking the Israeli-Palestinian Stalemate
A small majority of the Israeli public, 53%, thinks that the ongoing stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process could well continue into the distant future (41% maintain the opposite assertion). In addition, 46% support the complete annexation of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), while 42% are opposed.
Freedom of Expression and the Israel Broadcasting Authority
Most Israelis, 59%, believe that the push to shut down the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation and reform the Israel Broadcasting Authority is politically motivated, while only 9% think that the desire to save money is behind the crisis. Meanwhile, 61% of respondents oppose government involvement in content development for and appointments to the public broadcasting industry, even though this sector is government funded. 33% take the opposite point of view.
Finally, over two-thirds, 68.5%, of Israelis think that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's motivation in implementing changes to the country's communications sector is based on a desire to strengthen his political control over the media. In contrast, a mere 21% of Index respondents maintain that the prime minister is acting out of a wish to make public broadcasting in Israel more balanced and improve the quality of its content. Even on the political Right, 53% believe that Netanyahu is seeking to consolidate political power by way of making changes to Israel's public broadcasting industry.
This month's survey was conducted by Professor Tamar Hermann of the Israel Democracy Institute and Professor Ephraim Yaar of Tel Aviv University via the Midgam Research Institute, between October 31 and November 1, 2016. The survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over.
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Contact Amir Koren, Israel Democracy Institute spokesperson: