Press Release

Are we experiencing a third Intifada?

Latest Peace Index: 54% of Jewish public says current wave of terror is "limited uprising"

Other finding: image of present Knesset members is, in the vernacular, "lousy"

Fear of being harmed in this current wave of violence is increasing among Jewish Israelis. The last Peace Index, released earlier this week by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found a 10 percent increase (67% this month, up from 57%) in the number of members of the Jewish Israeli public who fear they personally, or one of the people who are important to them, will be harmed by the current terror.

In contrast, in the Arab public, the rate of those who fear for their own and their loved ones' safety declined from 78% last month to 68% this month.

These statistics were among the findings of the index, which this month focused on three issues: the ongoing wave of Palestinian terror, the public image of members of Knesset and the worldwide status of Islamic State.

Ongoing Wave of Terror

  • Third Intifada? More than half of Jewish respondents (54%) agree with security officials' assessment that the current wave of terror is a "limited uprising," and not a full-fledged Intifada. Of those, 15.2% strongly agree, 38.5% moderately agree. Some 42.9% disagree. Among Arab Israelis, 46% believe this is a limited uprising, while 40% believe it is not.
  • Spontaneous conflict? The majority of the Jewish public (61%) believes the current wave of terror emerged with the planning and guidance of the Palestinian leadership. Members of leftist parties are more likely to believe the violence arose spontaneously from the Palestinian population (Meretz, 41%; Zionist Union 37%). Some 59% of Arab Israelis view the current situation as a popular uprising.
  • Can peace end the terror? There is broad agreement by the Jewish public (71%) that even signing an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement would not bring an end to Palestinian terror against Jews (41.8% said they were "sure" it wouldn’t, while 29.3% said they "think" it wouldn’t.) Arab Israelis expressed a diametrically opposed view; 72% believe a peace agreement would end terror.

Public Image of Members of Knesset (MKs)
The public image of members of the Knesset is, in the vernacular, "lousy." Less than 1% of the Jewish Israeli public (.9%) believes all of the members of Knesset exhibit behavior that can serve as an example to the public.

Other findings:

  • Decline in quality of Knesset? A majority (77%) of Jewish respondents agree that recent years have seen deterioration in the personal quality of the Knesset. This agreement exists across the political parties. Arab Israelis feel generally similar; 62.5% agree that recent years have seen deterioration in the quality of the MKs.
  • Do MKs work hard? Only 28.6% of respondents agree that overall the majority of MKs work hard and do their jobs well. In the Arab public, too, the scale tips to the negative; 44.5% do not agree that most MKs work hard or fulfill their roles.

Status of Islamic State (Daesh)
Jewish Israelis have little confidence in the Western and Arab forces fighting Islamic State. According to the index, less than half (45%) thinks the chances of destroying Daesh as high.

Other findings:

  • Do the majority of Muslims support Islamic State? The majority of the Jewish public (59%) believes most Muslims do not support Islamic State. Similarly, the majority (58%) of Jewish Israelis believe Arab Israelis do not support the radical party. Some 10% of Jewish Israelis say they are "sure" Arab Israelis do support Islamic State.
  • Would destroying Islamic State eradicate radical Islam? The clear majority of Jewish Israelis believe that even if Islamic State was defeated, radical Islam would not be weakened.

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone from November 30 to December 1, 2015, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the Israeli adult population aged 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.

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