Press Release

A Democratic or Republican Candidate?

Peace Index: Israelis weigh in on which candidate is better for the Jewish State

Peace Index: Israelis weigh in on which candidate is better for the Jewish State; Survey examines perceptions of Jerusalem as a divided city.

Between the two Democratic candidates, Israelis are pushing for Hillary Clinton. According to the most recent Peace Index, released today by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel-Aviv University, the highest rate in the Jewish public (40.5%) sees Clinton as preferable from Israel's standpoint. Only 16.5% prefer the (Jewish) Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Some 6% of Jewish Israelis think the two are equally preferable and 10% think neither is good for Israel.

In addition to focusing on the U.S. presidential campaign and its implications for Israel, this month, the Peace Index focused on questions about Jerusalem and on issues involving the ongoing wave of terror.

When it comes to Republican candidate Donald Trump, the majority of Jewish Israelis (61%) assess his positions on Israel as very or moderately friendly. Some 14 percent of say his positions are not at all or not so friendly.

A Democratic or Republican President? A higher percentage of the Jewish public (34%) think a Republican president will be better for Israel, compared to 28% who think so regarding a Democratic president. When Arab Israeli were asked from which party a president will be more pro-Israel, the opposite was reported; the highest rate (47%) thought a Democratic president would be more pro-Israel, 30% said there was no difference, and 23% said a Republican candidate would be more pro-Israel.

Surveyors this month repeated a question asked in 1999: Do you agree or disagree with the opinion that Jerusalem is actually already divided into two cities – East and West. A clear majority of Jewish Israelis (61%) thinks Jerusalem is divided into a western and eastern city. In 1999, the rate of those who thought the city was not divided was higher than the rate of those who thought the opposite (49% versus 44%).

The highest percentage of those who find the city divided come from Zionist Union (88.5%) and Meretz (85%). Likud voters were split on the question (49% for each view). Some 47% of Arab Israelis think it is divided.

Discrimination against residents of East Jerusalem and terror: A majority of the Jewish public (57%) says there is no connection between discrimination in the areas of health, education and other services against Arab Israelis and these residents' recent involvement in attacks against Israeli Jews. A majority of Israeli Arabs (52%) disagree. They report that there is a connection between discrimination against them and terror.

The survey also looked at questions regarding the current security situation. When Jewish Israelis were asked whether they agreed with an assertion made in late February by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh that, "the Palestinian sanctify death while we sanctify life," and overwhelming majority (77%) strongly or moderately agreed with his assertions.

Similarly, a sweeping consensus (90%) of the Jewish public thinks the IDF is currently operating in a very or moderately moral fashion in counteracting the terror wave. And 50% of the Jewish public disagrees with the recommendation by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot that restraint should be applied in acting militarily against the current terror wave.

See the full questionnaire and Index summary:

This month’s survey was conducted by telephone from February 28 to March 1, 2016. The survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over. The maximum sampling error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.