Press Release

Israelis: Palestinians Must Recognize Israel as State of Jewish People

Latest Peace Index poll finds Israelis divided between Trump, Clinton

Public sees Israeli government's performance to be medium or low

It is more important to Jewish Israelis that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people than it is that a peace agreement be reached, according to the latest Peace Index, published today by the Israel Democracy Institute's Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research and Tel-Aviv University's Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution.

On the question, "Which of the following two things is more important to you: That a peace agreement be reached with the Palestinians or that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people?" 48 percent of the Jews regarded the latter part of the question as more important. Only 27% preferred the former. Sixteen percent answered that the two goals are equally important.

The survey, which polled 600 Arab and Jewish Israelis over the age of 18 between May 2 and 3, focused this month on Israeli-Palestinian relations, the effectiveness of the government and its leaders almost one year since the current cabinet was formed on May 14, 2015, and on the Israeli public's preferences regarding the next U.S. President.

When respondents were asked whether it was more important to them that there will be a Jewish majority in the State of Israel or that Israel will have sovereignty over the entire historical land of Israel, 52% said it is more important to have a Jewish majority, with only 22% opting for sovereignty.

When asked whether they see Israel's control of territories in Judea and Samaria as "occupation," 71.5% of Jewish respondents said they are "sure" or "think" it isn't occupation. Exactly 71.5% of Arab Israelis think the opposite.

U.S. Elections
Jewish Israelis are divided over who will be a better U.S. president and who will be better for Israel: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump or Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

  • 62% of Jewish respondents believed if Trump is elected he will "be committed to safeguarding Israel's security."
  • 48% of Jewish Israelis trust that Clinton will "block any attempt to attack or isolate Israel." Some 45% disagree.
  • 40% think it will be better for Israel if Clinton is elected, while 31% prefer Trump.

The Government's Performance: Security, Economy, Foreign Relations
After a full year of the current government's tenure, the public's assessments of its performance turn out to be medium or lower. One a scale from 0 (poor) to 10 (excellent), the Jewish public gives the government a 5.1. The Arab public gives a 4.6.

  • 49% of the Jewish public regards the government's security performance as good; 49% as not good. 
    • 71% of the Jewish public assesses the performance of Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot as "moderately" or "very" good.
    • 57.5% assesses the performance of Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh as "moderately" or "very" good.
  • Only 36% of the Jewish public thinks the government is doing a good job managing Israel's economic affairs.
  • Only 31% assesses its performance on foreign relations as good.

Among politicians, in descending order come Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (48% of the Jewish public viewed his performance as good); Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (40%); and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (15%). Among Herzog's own party, Zionist Union, only 29% gave him a positive grade on this question.

The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.

To view this and previous Peace Indexes online, visit