Press Release

Israelis Don't Think Framework Likely; Israeli Jews Back Defense Minister Criticism of US Policy

87% of Israelis Think Chances Are Low for Framework Agreement in Coming Months

Majority of Israeli Jews Back Defense Minister's Criticism of US Foreign Policy But Say It Should Not Have Been Made Public

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University have released the monthly Peace Index poll, which this month covers Israeli public opinion on the peace process, the Defense Minister's criticism of American foreign policy, European involvement in the peace process, and a potential Turkish-Israeli reconciliation.

The Peace Process: Support for, Chances of Success, and Urgency

  • Support for Negotiations: 65% of Israelis (62% of Israeli Jews and 80% of Israeli Arabs) favor peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  31% of Israelis (35% of Israeli Jews and 15% of Israeli Arabs) oppose such negotiations.
  • Chances of Success of US-Brokered Negotiations: 87% of Israelis (92% of Jewish Israelis and 62% of Arab Israelis) think chances are low that in the coming months the Palestinians and Israel, with the mediation and help of the US administration, will succeed in reaching a framework for a peace agreement.  (Jewish Israelis who see chances of success as low include 95% of the self-identified right, 89% of the center, and 87% of the left.)  12% of Israelis (7% of Jewish Israelis and 35% of Arab Israelis) think chances for such an agreement are high.
  • Urgency to Reach an Agreement: 52% of Israelis think that it is urgent at present to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, while 45% do not believe it is urgent.  Among the Jewish public who think reaching an agreement is urgent are 37% of the right, 68% of the center, and 87% of the left.

Israeli Defense Minister's Criticism of American Foreign Policy

  • Accuracy of Criticism: 65% of the Jewish public agrees with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon's criticism that US foreign policy shows weakness, while 27% disagree.  44% of the Arab public disagrees with Yaalon's criticism, and 32% agree that the US is displaying weakness.
  • Voicing Criticism Publicly: 72% of Israeli Jews agree with the claim that though Yaalon was right in his criticism he should not have voiced it publicly, while 25% do not agree with the claim.  48% of Israeli Arabs disagree with the claim, while 32% agree.
  • Damage to US-Israel Cooperation: 49% of Israeli Jews believe that criticism such as Yaalon's – of American foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere – cannot significantly damage the political cooperation between the US and Israel, while 47% believe that such criticism can damage cooperation.  43% of Israeli Arabs believe that such criticism of the US can significantly damage US-Israel cooperation, while 38% believe that it cannot.
  • Rating Ministerial Performance: When rating the performance of several ministers on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent), the Jewish public gave an average grade of 6.55 to Defense Minister Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon, 5.45 to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, 5.38 to Health Minister Yael German, and 4.27 to Finance Minister Yair Lapid.  The Arab public gave an average grade of 5.80 to German, 4.94 to Yaalon, 3.33 to Lapid, and 3.05 to Liberman.

European Involvement in the Peace Process

  • European Fairness to Israel: 76% of Jewish Israelis and 47% of Arab Israelis believe that Europe is not treating Israel fairly in the context of the search for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while 20% of Jewish Israelis and 42% of Arab Israelis believe that Europe is treating Israel fairly.
  • Assistance for Peace: 42% of Israeli Jews state that the December European offer of "unprecedented" economic, political, and security assistance to promote a peace agreement would not affect their readiness to support a peace agreement; 37% state that the offer could influence their readiness to support a peace agreement depending on the terms of the offer, and 10% state the offer will influence their readiness to support an agreement.  28% of Israeli Arabs state that the European offer will influence their readiness to support an agreement, 25% state that the offer could influence their support depending on its terms, and 14% stated that the offer will not affect their readiness to support an agreement.  7% of Israeli Jews and 16% of Israeli Arabs believe that Europe is not important to Israel and they are not interested in any offer related to the peace process.

Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation

  • Importance of Reconciliation: Reportedly, a reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Israel will soon be signed which will stipulate compensation to the families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara and a renewal of diplomatic relations.  74% of Israelis think it is important, in light of the situation in the Middle East, that Israel improve its relations with Turkey, while 23% see an improvement in relations as not important.
  • Responsibility for Crisis in Turkish-Israeli Relations: 81% of Jewish Israelis believe Turkey is more responsible for the crisis in relations between the two states, while 9% believe both sides are equally responsible and 6% believe that Israel is more responsible.  Among Arab Israelis, 54% think Israel is more responsible for the crisis, 17% think both sides are equally at fault, and 11% think Turkey is more responsible.

This survey, conducted on March 30 - 31, 2014, included 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel.  The measurement error for a sample of this size is ±4.1%.

The full results of the Peace Index will be available shortly on the Peace Index website.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Peace Index Co-Director Prof. Tamar Hermann, contact:
Yehoshua Oz
Director of International Communications