Polls: Israelis want and don’t want peace
Two polls, conducted by the same pollster, but for two different organizations from opposite poles of the political map, show vastly different results.
Have a look:
A poll titled: “Views of the Israeli Public on Israeli Security and Resolution of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” by the Dahaf Institute was commissioned by the right-leaning Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Its main findings:
- 76% of Israelis (83% of Jews) believe that a withdrawal to the 1967 lines and a division of Jerusalem would not bring about an end of the conflict.
- 61% of the Jewish population believes that defensible borders are more important than peace for assuring Israel’s security (up from 49% in 2005).
- 78% of Jews indicated they would change their vote if the party they intended to support indicated that it was prepared to relinquish sovereignty in east Jerusalem. 59% of Jews said the same about the Jordan Valley.
In a nutshell: Israelis do not believe peace with the Palestinians is possible and are not willing to gamble their security, or half their capital, on the chance that it is.
Another poll conducted by the Dahaf Institute, this one titled: Positions of the Israeli Public Regarding a Possible Peace Agreement,” but commissioned by the left-leaning S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace found that “when Israelis are presented with a peace plan that fortifies security elements and has American backing, a significant majority (about two-thirds) of Israelis say they would support such an agreement if it was brought to a referendum.”
The methodologies of the two polls were almost identical, with the major difference being that the JCPA survey was conducted at the end of November while the Abraham Center poll was conducted in the first third of December [both polls were conducted after Operation Pillar of Defense].
While the questions of both polls were framed differently, the overall picture that each poll presents is almost diametrically opposed.
The left wing commissioned poll shows that a majority of Israelis would agree to a peace deal with security guarantees.
The right-wing commissioned poll shows that a majority of Israelis do not think a peace deal is possible and are not willing to make the concessions the Palestinians are demanding.
I’m sure that a deeper investigation into the polls would answer the questions as to their differences, but the point I’m trying to make is that the ordinary Israeli [like me], or anyone abroad for that matter, who is trying to get a handle on what the Israelis think about the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, and more importantly, what they are prepared to concede to attain that peace – is now totally and entirely confused.
So what we have are two polls, by the same pollster, asking the same population what it thinks about peace, and coming up with two different answers. What’s that joke about two Jews having three opinions? Maybe it’s a case of the Israelis knowing what they want, but the polls who are confused…