Poll: Israelis More Skeptical About Peace With Palestinians

YERUSHALAYIM -

An overwhelming majority of Israelis are skeptical about the prospects of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, according to a new poll.

Some 83 percent of Jewish respondents in a Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs poll said they believed a withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the division of the capital would not end the conflict.

Moreover, at a time when Israeli President Shimon Peres has been vocally endorsing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a partner for peace, 77% of the respondents think that neither Fatah nor Hamas are equipped to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

The poll was the third in a series conducted since 2005 by Dr. Mina Tzemach for the Center, and was based on 500 telephone interviews conducted at the end of November.

According to the study, 71% opposed giving up all of the east Yerushalayim neighborhoods outside the Old City, and 79% felt it was important for the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state — but only 27% believed this would happen.

Most Israelis also say that the Palestinians will have to renounce the “right of return,” an issue on which they have so far shown little flexibility.

When asked, “What is preferable — defensible borders or a peace agreement?” 61% of the respondents opted for defensible borders.

This represents a significant shift from the 2005 poll, where only 49% chose defensible borders.

Yerushalayim remained a priority issue; 78% said they would vote for another party if the one they intended to vote for expressed willingness to return land in the capital.

On Iran, 75% of the Jewish respondents thought that sanctions would not stop Iran’s nuclear weapons drive.

And in a key question relating to a possible unilateral attack on Iran by Israel, 60% said Israel could not rely on the U.S., while 53% said they supported an attack against Iran.