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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Peace Index –November 2012: Israeli Jews 78%:20.4% talks with PA will not bring peace but favor talking 58.1%:34.7%

The Peace Index – November 2012
(N=598)
28.11-02.12.2012

1. What is your position on holding peace negotiations between Israel and
the Palestinian Authority?
Jews
1. Strongly in favor 27.1
2. Somewhat in favor 31.0
3. Somewhat opposed 11.2
4. Strongly opposed 23.5
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 7.2

2. Do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority will lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians
in the coming years?
Jews
1. Strongly believe 6.1
2. Somewhat believe 14.3
3. Somewhat don’t believe 27.3
4. Don’t believe at all 50.7
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 1.5

3. From your point of view, did the government have clear goals or not
have clear goals when it decided to launch Operation Pillar of Defense in
Gaza?
Jews
1. It had very clear goals 24.4
2. It had moderately clear goals 36.9
3. The goals were not so clear 24.4
4. The goals were not clear at all 10.9
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 3.3

4. Did the government explain the goals of Operation Pillar of Defense
sufficiently or not sufficiently?
Jews
1. It explained them sufficiently 43.8
2. It did not explain them sufficiently 52.4
3. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 3.9

5. In light of the results of the operation, in your assessment was
launching Operation Pillar of Defense justified or not justified?
Jews
1. It was very justified 55.6
2. It was moderately justified 28.8
3. It was not so justified 5.7
4. I was not justified at all 6.7
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 3.2

6. To what extent do you support or not support the decision to stop
Operation Pillar of Defense at the stage at which it was ended?
Jews
1. Strongly support 29.2
2. Moderately support 23.6
3. Don’t support much 17.1
4. Don’t support at all 27.3
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 2.7

7. In your opinion, were the goals that the government set for Operation
Pillar of Defense achieved or not achieved?
Jews
1. The goals were fully achieved 8.7
2. The goals were mostly achieved 29.0
3. Only some of the goals were achieved 35.6
4. The goals were not achieved at all 15.2
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 11.4

8. How do you assess the performance of each of the following in the
context of Operation Pillar of Defense?

8.1 The IDF
Jews
1. Performed very well 74.4
2. Performed moderately well 20.0
3. Didn’t perform so well 1.7
4. Performed poorly 0.7
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 3.2

8.2 The national political echelon
Jews
1. Performed very well 22.6
2. Performed moderately well 39.6
3. Didn’t perform so well 20.3
4. Performed poorly 8.5
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 9.2

8.3 The municipal and local authorities in the south and center of Israel
Jews
1. Performed very well 55.4
2. Performed moderately well 31.2
3. Didn’t perform so well 2.1
4. Performed poorly 1.0
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 10.2

9. In your opinion, how well did the population in the south cope with
the situation during Operation Pillar of Defense?
Jews
1. It coped with it very well 67.0
2. It coped with it moderately well 23.7
3. It didn’t cope with it so well 2.8
4. It didn’t cope with it well at all 1.7
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 4.8

10. In your opinion, what has happened to Israel’s deterrence in the wake
of Operation Pillar of Defense?
Jews
1. Israel’s deterrence has not changed 39.1
2. Israel’s deterrence has increased 37.8
3. Israel’s deterrence has weakened 16.3
4. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 6.8

11. In your assessment, how long will the ceasefire last?
Jews
1. A few days 2.1
2. A few weeks 11.2
3. A few months 32.9
4. Half a year to a year 25.4
5. More than a year 17.8
6. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 10.6

12. How do you assess the influence of Egypt’s President Morsi in the
context of the negotiations between Israel and Hamas on a ceasefire?
Jews
1. He was a very positive influence 13.9
2. He was a somewhat positive influence 51.7
3. He was a somewhat negative influence 12.1
4. He was a very negative influence 6.6
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 15.8

13. Were you favorably or unfavorably surprised by the positions
President Obama took toward Israel in the context of Operation Pillar of
Defense?
Jews
1. I was very favorably surprised 18.8
2. I was moderately favorably surprised 41.2
3. I was moderately negatively surprised 5.9
4. I was very negatively surprised 2.8
5. I wasn’t surprised; I knew Obama would be pro-Israel 18.4
6. I wasn’t surprised; I knew Obama would be anti-Israel 1.5
7. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 11.5

14. Which of the following issues will influence you most when you decide
which party to vote for in the upcoming elections?
Jews
1. The party’s positions on the security issue 14.7
2. The party’s positions on the socioeconomic issue 20.4
3. Both to the same extent 52.9
4. Neither of them 7.4
5. Don’t know / Refuse to answer 4.6

The Peace Index: November 2012
Survey dates: 28/11/2012 - 02/12/2012
The November Index
http://www.peaceindex.org/indexMonthEng.aspx?num=247&monthname=November

The goals of Operation Pillar of Defense – A majority (61%) of the Jewish
public thinks the government had clear goals when it decided to launch the
operation (only 49% of the Arab public shares this view). In retrospect,
though, the prevailing assessment (51%) is that the government did not
achieve its goals at all (15%) or achieved only some of them (36%). The Arab
public takes an almost identical view. It should be noted that even among
the members of the Jewish public who defined themselves as politically
right-wing, the rate of those who think the operation did not achieve its
goals (50%) is higher than the number who think it did, although the rate
among respondents defining themselves as left-wing is higher (60%). Among
Jewish respondents, the rate who think the government did not sufficiently
explain the operation’s goals to the public (52%) is higher, than the rate
who hold the opposite view that it did explain the goals adequately (44%),
although not dramatically so. The rates for the Arab public were similar
with regard to this question.

The success of the operation – Some two weeks after Pillar of Defense came
to an end, it appears there is broad agreement (84%) in the Jewish public
that the operation was justified. Even among those who define themselves as
left-wing, the majority (74%) thinks the operation was justified, although
that rate is somewhat lower than the rate among those who define themselves
as right-wing (89%) or centrist (85.5%). The dissatisfaction about the
government’s achievement of its goals is apparently connected to the public’s
divided opinions regarding the point at which the operation was brought to a
halt: whereas a small majority (53%) believes the decision to end the
operation at that point was correct, a considerable minority (44%) thinks
the decision was mistaken. A cross-check of the two questions—achievement of
the operation’s goals and the point at which the operation was stopped—shows
that while the majority (53%) of those who think the operation was stopped
at the right time think that the goals of the operation were achieved, a
large majority (69%) of those who opposed ending the operation at the point
at which it was stopped believes that the goals were not achieved. A clear
distinction between right and left emerges from an analysis of support for
the ending of the operation: whereas among respondents who identify
themselves as being on the political right only a minority—although
considerable (47%)—supports the timing of the decision to end the operation,
a majority (57%) of respondents on the left supports the timing of this
decision. As for the Arab public, opinions are evenly split between those
who think the operation was justified and those who think it was not. A
large majority (75%), however, supports the decision to end the operation
when it was ended.

The functioning of different actors involved in the operation – The
disagreement among large parts of the Jewish public about the desirability
of stopping the operation at the point at which it was ended and about the
adequacy of the government’s explanation of its goals to the public could
explain why the functioning of the national political leaders during Pillar
of Defense got lower grades than the functioning of other actors involved.
Indeed, a majority of Jewish respondents (62%, compared to 47% of the Arab
public) thinks the functioning of the national political leaders was good or
very good. This assessment, however, was low compared to the assessment of
the functioning of the IDF (94% in the Jewish public and 50% in the Arab
public), of the local leadership in the south and the center of the country
(87% in the Jewish public and 51% in the Arab), and of the population of the
south (91% in the Jewish public and 55% in the Arab public). Regarding the
functioning of the political echelon, we found gaps—though not huge—between
those defining themselves as right-wing and left-wing. In both camps,
however, the overall grade was on the positive side: on the right, 63%
characterized the political echelon’s functioning as good or very good,
while on the left, 56% saw it as such.

Operation Pillar of Defense and Israel’s deterrence – The Jewish public
appears divided in its views on this matter: 39% think Israel’s deterrence
has not changed, 38% say it has increased, and 16% believe it has weakened.
However, we should add to this the fact that a majority of the public
expects the ceasefire to last for only a short period of time (only a small
minority—18%—thinks that it will last a year or longer, while 25% think it
will last for six months to a year, and the rest think that Hamas will start
firing again within a few months, weeks, or days). Hence the prevailing
response, which sees Israel’s deterrence as unchanged, should be seen in
light of the fact that the deterrence was not considered strong in the first
place. On this question we found large gaps between the political right and
left: a clear majority of respondents who identify themselves as left (59%)
thinks that Israel’s deterrence was not changed by the operation (compared
to only 26% who think it increased), while on the right, a higher rate (34%)
thinks that Israel’s deterrence was strengthened and 32% believe it has
remained unchanged. In both camps, only a small minority thinks Israeli
deterrence was weakened by the operation. A different picture emerges in the
Arab public: the highest rate (33%) think deterrence was weakened, 29% think
that it increased, and 24% think that it has remained as it was.

The involvement of foreign players in the operation and its cessation – In
light of the role played by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and U.S.
President Barack Obama during the operation and in reaching the ceasefire,
we explored how the public assesses the performance of these two leaders,
who generally are not viewed favorably by the Israeli Jewish public. The
findings show that in this specific case, the opinions regarding both of
these leaders are extremely positive. About two-thirds of the Jewish
respondents saw Morsi’s role as positive; in the Arab public, this rate
reached as high as three-quarters. Likewise, 60% of the Jewish public was
favorably surprised by the position toward Israel that Obama took during the
operation. Only 48% of the Arab public was favorably surprised by his
treatment of Israel, perhaps because the view that Obama supports Israel is
more common in the Arab public in the first place.

With elections on the way: security or socioeconomic? We were interested in
whether Operation Pillar of Defense and its results tipped the voters’
scales in favor of the security agenda at the expense of the socioeconomic
agenda. It turns out this did not happen, and the tie score between these
two aspects of the public agenda that has been found regularly since
mid-2011 (compared to the clear dominance of security issues that was found
in the past) remains as it was. In response to the question: “Which of the
following issues will influence you most when you decide in the near future
which party to vote for in the elections?” 20% responded that the
socioeconomic issue will hold sway, 15% responded that the security issue
will guide them in their vote, and a clear majority of 53% said that the two
issues would be equally important to them. The picture in the Arab public is
obscured by the fact that over one-quarter of the Arab respondents did not
give a definite answer to this question. However, similar to previous Peace
Index findings, the rate of Arab respondents who indicate that the security
issue is more important to them (30%) is higher than the rate of those who
respond that economic issues will determine which party they will vote for
(24%).

The Negotiations Index for November, 2012
The Peace Index project includes ongoing monitoring of the Israeli public's
attitudes towards peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian
Authority. The monthly
Negotiation Index is comprised of two questions, one focusing on public
support for peace negotiations and the other on the degree to which the
public believes that such talks will actually lead to peace. The aggregated
replies to these two questions are calculated, combined, and standardized on
a scale of 0-100, in which 0 represents total lack of support for
negotiations and lack of belief in their potential to bear fruit, and 100
represents total support for the process and belief in its potential. Each
month, the Negotiations Index presents two distinct findings, one for the
general Israeli population and the other for Jewish Israelis.

Negotiations Index: General sample: 43.6; Jewish sample: 40.2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict
Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. This
month's survey was conducted by telephone from November 28 to December 2,
2012 by the Midgam Institute. The survey included 598 respondents, who
constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel.
The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%; statistical
processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.

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