Survey Finds Israelis Pessimistic About Peace

YERUSHALAYIM -

Only a very small percentage of Israelis believe that negotiations with the Palestinians could lead to peace in the foreseeable future, according to a newly released poll.

Among Israeli Jews, only 5.7 percent strongly believe that negotiations could lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the coming years. Only 20.7 percent believe peace is possible in the foreseeable future, compared to 77.6 percent who rule out the possibility.

The data was gathered by Tel Aviv University in conjunction with the Israeli Democracy Institute’s Guttman Center.

Most Israeli Jews do not accept the European Union view that Israel’s control of Yehudah and Shomron constitutes an “occupation,” with 71.5 percent rejecting the characterization, as opposed to just 22.7 percent who agree with the term.

The reverse was true of Israeli Arabs, with 71.5 percent perceiving Israeli control as occupation, versus only 15.3 percent who did not accept the term.

Israelis were divided over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent declaration that “the Golan will remain part of the state of Israel forever.” Among Israeli Jews, 50.8 percent believed the affirmation was necessary, compared to 41.8 percent who disagreed. Surprisingly, 29.8 percent of Israeli Arabs agreed it was important for Netanyahu to make the declaration, versus 60.1 percent who felt it was unnecessary.

A majority of Israeli Jews, 52.4 percent said that maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel was their primary concern in establishing a final status for Yehudah and Shomron, though a significant minority felt Jewish sovereignty over all of Israel was more important (21.9 percent) or that the two were equally important (19.0 percent).