Press Release

Poll: Israeli opinion on strikes, picking sides, best outcome in Syria

Israelis Overwhelmingly Back Strike on Syrian Convoy, Not Taking Sides in Syria Israelis Divided Over Best Outcome for Israel in Syria

Israelis Overwhelmingly Back Strike on Syrian Convoy, Not Taking Sides in Syria

Israelis Divided Over Best Outcome for Israel in Syria

Sunday, 9 June 2013, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem - With a civil war raging in Syria and the situation on Israel's border deteriorating, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University released the results of their latest monthly Peace Index poll on Israeli attitudes towards the turmoil in Syria and the greater Arab world.

  • Strike on Weapons Convoy: A large majority of Israeli Jews (77%) described Israel's recent strike on a Syrian weapons convoy headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon as a wise move, while 12% characterized the move as unwise. 40% of Arab Israelis classified the move as wise, and 20% said the move was unwise.
  • Israeli Involvement in Syria: An overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis (86%) believe that Israel should not aid either side in the Syrian civil war, while 6% said that Israel should aid the rebels and 1% said Israel should aid Assad. Israeli Arabs were more divided with 38% stating that Israel should not aid either side, 16% believing Israel should aid Assad, and 12% believing Israel should aid the rebels.
  • Israel's Interest in Syria:¬†When asked whether it would be in Israel's interest if the Assad regime survives and defeats the rebels or the Assad regime falls and the rebels seize power, 32% of Israeli Jews preferred the former, 24% preferred the latter, 17% said both options are bad or amount to the same thing. Among Arab Israelis, 32% said the survival of the Assad regime and defeat of the rebels, 14% said the fall of the Assad regime and the rebels seizing power, 10% said both options are bad or amount to the same thing.
  • Arab Uprisings & Israel: A majority of Jewish Israelis (52%) believe that the Arab countries are too busy with their domestic problems and will not turn against Israel, while 38% believe that Arab countries may attack Israel to divert attention from their domestic problems. A plurality of Arab Israelis (46%) agree that the Arab countries will not turn against Israel, while 26% believe Arab countries will.

Israelis were also surveyed on their attitudes towards local economic issues.

  • Private Port Competition: Two-thirds of Jewish Israelis (67%) identify with the government's claim that the creation of private ports will lower costs, while one-fifth (21%) identify with the union's claim that the goal is merely to weaken the unions. 32% of Arab Israelis identify with the government's claim, while 36% identify with the union's claim.
  • Bank Fairness to Customers: A majority of Israeli Jews (57%) believe that Israeli banks do not treat their customers fairly, while a minority (32%) believe that they do. Israeli Arabs are more closely divided with 44% believing that customers are treated fairly by their bank and 38% believing that they are not. When it comes to their specific branch, Jewish Israelis are equally divided between those who believe that their branch looks out for their financial interests (48%) and those who do not (48%); 2% responded that they do not have a bank branch. 49% of Arab Israelis trust their branch, 39% do not, and 10% stated that they do not have a bank branch.
  • State Supervision of Banks: 57% of Jewish Israelis feel that banks are too weakly regulated, 19% believe they are appropriately regulated, and 14% believe they are too tightly regulated. 35% of Arab Israelis believe that banks are appropriately regulated, 31% feel that they are too weakly regulated, and 24% feel that they are too tightly regulated.

This survey, conducted May 27 - 30, 2013, included 596 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

The full results of the Peace Index are available on IDI's 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
press@idi.org.il