Poll: 30% Say Jewish Majority Needed for Peace Referendum

YERUSHALAYIM -

A prestigious public opinion research organization has found that a plurality of almost one-third of Jewish Israelis believe that a referendum on a peace agreement with the Palestinians should be decided by a Jewish majority, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

The Israel Democracy Institute’s annual Democracy Index, which questioned 1,000 Israelis on a range of issues, said that 30.6 percent think that final approval of a peace deal entailing withdrawal from and evacuations in Yehuda and Shomron should be determined by a Jewish majority.

Another 24.7% said that all citizens should participate equally in a referendum; 24.9% said the Knesset should decide; 9.1% said that it should be left up to rabbis and religious leaders; 3.8% said that no one has the authority to make such a decision, and 6.9% expressed no opinion.

Not surprisingly, Arabs responded quite differently: 45.2% of Arab respondents said all citizens should make the decision in a referendum; 11% said it requires a Jewish majority.

But even if few think the matter should be decided by the Knesset, the image of politicians nevertheless seems to have improved. The percentage of Israelis who believe Knesset members are working hard and doing a good job rose from 33.9% in last year’s poll to 45.8% this year.

At the same time, apathy got a vote of confidence, as the percentage agreeing with the statement that it does not matter which party people vote for because it will not change the situation rose from 51.1% to 58.1%.

Among Israeli Jews, the IDF, the president and the Supreme Court were rated the most trusted institutions. Civil rights organizations, such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and B’Tselem did not do so well in the trust ratings: among Israeli Jews, 52% said they damage the state, while 36% disagreed.

Asked how they view Israel’s overall situation, 43% said so-so, 37% rate it as good and 18% rate it as bad. Among Israeli Arabs, 39% rate it as bad, 31% as so-so and 28% as good. Eighty-three percent of Jewish Israelis were proud to be Israeli and 67% felt like a part of the state and its problems, while 40% of Arab Israelis felt such pride and 28% felt a sense of belonging to the state.