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Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Peace Index Poll: Israeli Arabs 46.5%:34.0% Allow Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount

4. At present the Israeli government is not allowing Jews to pray on the
Temple Mount so as to prevent frictions with the Muslim world. In your
opinion, should the government change or not change this policy and allow
prayer by Jews at the site, even if the change leads to bloodshed?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
I’m sure the government should change the policy even if the change leads to
bloodshed 16.3/17.2/16.5
I think the policy should be changed 22.2/29.3/23.4
I think the policy should not be changed 24.7/5.9/21.6
I’m sure the policy should not be changed 31.2/28.1/30.7
Don’t know/Decline to answer 5.5/19.5/7.9

The Peace Index – October 2014
(N=603)
3-5/11/2014

1. What is your position on conducting peace negotiations between Israel and
the Palestinian Authority?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Strongly in favor 29.5/68.3/36.0
Moderately in favor 30.4/14.7/27.8
Moderately opposed 11.6/4.2/10.4
Strongly opposed 22.9/6.3/20.2
Don’t know/Decline to answer 5.5/6.4/5.6

2. Do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority will lead in the coming years to peace between Israel
and the Palestinians?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Strongly believe 8.5/13.3/9.3
Moderately believe 21.0/32.3/22.9
Moderately do not believe 21.9/13.6/20.5
Do not believe at all 47.1/36.6/45.3
Don’t know/Decline to answer 1.6/4.2/2.0

3. Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon decided to bar the Palestinians
from riding the buses that residents of the settlements ride. Are you for or
against this decision?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Strongly in favor 34.0/14.1/30.7
Moderately in favor 21.7/15.1/20.6
Moderately against 14.4/10.3/13.7
Strongly against 20.1/51.3/25.3
Don’t know/Decline to answer 9.7/9.1 9.6

4. At present the Israeli government is not allowing Jews to pray on the
Temple Mount so as to prevent frictions with the Muslim world. In your
opinion, should the government change or not change this policy and allow
prayer by Jews at the site, even if the change leads to bloodshed?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
I’m sure the government should change the policy even if the change leads to
bloodshed 16.3/17.2/16.5
I think the policy should be changed 22.2/29.3/23.4
I think the policy should not be changed 24.7/5.9/21.6
I’m sure the policy should not be changed 31.2/28.1/30.7
Don’t know/Decline to answer 5.5/19.5/7.9


5. The ruling of most of the Haredi and national-religious rabbis is that
prayer by Jews on the Temple Mount is forbidden before the coming of the
Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple. A few other rabbis think it is
already permissible today to pray on the Mount. According to which ruling,
in your opinion, should believing Jews act?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
According to the ruling of most of the rabbis that for now Jews should not
pray on the Temple Mount 46.7/60.9/49.0
According to the minority ruling that Jews can pray at present on the Temple
Mount 25.6/9.6/23.0
Don’t know/Decline to answer 27.7/29.5/28.0

6. In your opinion, at present is there or is there not a chance of reaching
a settlement that will be acceptable to both sides in which both Muslims and
Jews will be able to pray on the Temple Mount?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
There is at present a chance to reach a settlement 31.3/28.8/30.9
There is no chance because of the Muslim side 30.0/8.9/26.5
There is no chance because of the Jewish side 4.1/20.8/6.9
There is no chance because of both sides 29.1/33.9/29.9
Don’t know/Decline to answer 5.5/7.5/5.9

7. And in the framework of a comprehensive peace agreement, in your opinion
is there or is there not a chance of reaching a settlement that would be
acceptable to both sides in which both Muslims and Jews would be able to
pray on the Temple Mount?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
There is a chance to reach a settlement 45.0/33.9/43.1
There is no chance because of the Muslim side 26.2/24.0/25.9
There is no chance because of the Jewish side 1.7/9.9/3.0
There is no chance because of both sides 21.4/18.7/21.0
Don’t know/Decline to answer 5.7/13.5/7.0


8. Recently there have been severe terror attacks by Palestinians against
Israelis. Do you think this is the beginning of another widespread,
organized intifada or just acts of terror on local initiative?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
I think this is the beginning of a widespread, organized intifada
31.8/23.4/30.4
I think these are acts of terror on local initiative 57.8/31.7/53.5
Don’t know/Decline to answer 10.4/44.9/16.1

9. Some claim that the right way to prevent such acts of terror is to renew
the peace talks. Others think the right way to prevent them is to cease the
political contacts for peace. Which way, in your opinion, is more right?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Renewing the peace talks 52.5/81.2/57.2
Ceasing the political contacts for peace 33.1/5.7/28.5
Continuing in the same way (do not read) 4.6/6.4/4.9
Don’t know/Refuse 9.8/6.7/9.3

10. How would you define at present the relations between the Israeli
government and the U.S. administration headed by President Obama?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Very poor 21.7/16.4/20.8
Moderately poor 47.0/15.9/41.8
Moderately good 26.1/17.0/24.6
Very good 1.7/33.2/7.0
Don't know/Decline to answer 3.6/17.4/5.9



11. And what about the relations between the Israeli people and the American
people?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Very poor 3.0/0/2.5
Moderately poor 8.3/7.7/8.2
Moderately good 62.8/37.8/58.7
Very good 19.1/31.4/21.1
Don’t know/ Decline to answer 6.8/23.0/9.5

12. Who, in your opinion, is more responsible for the ongoing crisis in
relations between the Israeli government headed by Netanyahu and the U.S.
administration headed by President Obama?

Jews/Arabs/General Public
The Israeli side 29.7/34.0/30.4
The American side 46.6/9.6/40.4
Both sides to the same extent (do not read) 17.8/33.0/20.3
Don’t know/ Decline to answer 6.0/23.5/8.9

13. In Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon’s most recent visit to the
United States last week, most of the senior officials in the U.S.
administration refused to meet with him because of the critical statements
he had made in the past about U.S. secretary of state John Kerry. What is
your position on this measure by the Americans?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Very justified 9.6/12.3/10.1
Moderately justified 22.8/27.6/23.6
Not so justified 22.4/17.5/21.6
Not justified at all 38.2/11.4/33.8
Don’t know/ Decline to answer 6.9/31.2/10.9

14. In your opinion, what was the main reason that Netanyahu recently gave
an order to renew construction in the territories: a real belief that
renewing the construction will serve Israel’s national interests, or the
desire to strengthen his status with the right wing and the settlers?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
A real belief that renewing construction will serve the Israeli national
interests 21.8/13.9/20.5
The desire to strengthen his status with the right wing and the settlers
64.0/51.9/62.0
Both to the same extent (do not read) 7.9/18.8/9.7
Don’t know/ Decline to answer 6.3/15.4/7.8

15. In your opinion, what are the chances that if the crisis in relations
continues, U.S.-Israeli relations will deteriorate to the point that the
United States is no longer the very close ally of Israel?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
Very high chances 6.9/7.7/7.0
Moderately high chances 16.6/6.5/14.9
Moderately low chances 38.9/33.2/37.9
Very low chances 33.4/38.9/34.3
Don't know/Decline to answer 4.2/13.7/5.8


16. Some claim that if there is a rift and the United States no longer
vetoes anti-Israeli Security Council resolutions, greatly reduces its
economic support for Israel, and stops providing Israel with the most
advanced military equipment, Israel’s national security will suffer a heavy
blow. Others claim that a reduction in U.S. support for Israel in these
areas would lead Israel to rely on itself and strengthen its independence.
With which position do you agree more?

Jews/Arabs/General Public
With the position that a reduction in U.S. support would deal a heavy blow
to Israel’s national security 46.8/51.5/47.6
With the position that a reduction in U.S. support would strengthen Israel’s
independence 39.7/26.4/37.5
Don't know/Decline to answer 13.4/22.1/14.9

17. Recently the Swedish government officially recognized the Palestinian
state. Would recognition of a Palestinian state by additional countries in
the world, even though there is no peace agreement between the sides, harm
or not harm Israel’s national interests?
Jews/Arabs/General Public
I’m sure it would harm them 27.2/22.8/26.5
I think it would harm them 34.2/31.4/33.7
I think it wouldn’t harm them 20.9/24.0/21.4
I’m sure it wouldn’t harm them 14.2/7.9/13.1
Don't know/Decline to answer 3.6/13.9/5.3

The Peace Index: October 2014
Date Published: 11/11/2014
Survey dates: 03/11/2014 - 05/11/2014
http://www.peaceindex.org/indexMonthEng.aspx?num=285#.VGI3IGccSM9

This month’s index deals with the urgent issue of the Temple Mount, Israeli
policy in the territories, U.S.-Israeli relations, and Sweden’s recognition
of a Palestinian state.

Attitudes toward Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount: In recent years the
issue of the Temple Mount and Jewish prayer on it has become central to the
thoughts and activities of growing circles of the Israeli Jewish public.
Recently there has also been an increase in the phenomenon of Jews,
including cabinet ministers and Knesset members, who try—despite the legal
and Halachic prohibitions—to pray on the mount. This is encouraged by a
number of rabbis who have issued rulings that permit prayer on the mount and
urge those who accept their authority to go there and pray. The ultimate
goal of these adjudicators and their followers is to bring about a change in
the government’s policy, which prohibits Jewish prayer at the site mainly so
as to prevent conflict with the Muslim world. The findings of the survey
show that, indeed, a certain majority of the Jewish public (56%) currently
favors continuing the policy of prohibiting Jews from praying on the mount,
but over one-third (38.5%) think the prohibition should be canceled even if
this change leads to bloodshed. Similarly, while almost half (47%) support
the ruling of most of the haredi and national-religious rabbis that Jewish
prayer on the Temple Mount is forbidden until the coming of the Messiah and
the rebuilding of the Temple, about one-fourth (26%) back the ruling of
those rabbis who permit Jews to pray on the mount even now. A segmentation
by the interviewees’ religiosity revealed that the traditional-religious,
the religious, and the nonreligious traditional sectors showed the highest
rates of support for changing the government policy that prohibits Jewish
prayer on the mount (49%, 46.5%, and 44% respectively), while the secular
and haredi sectors had the lowest rates in favor of a change (34% and 17%
respectively).

In this context we also asked about the rabbinical ruling that forbids
Jewish prayer on the mount. A huge majority of the haredim (96%) oppose
changing this ruling, compared to 60% of the religious. It should be noted
that among the secular a very high rate (more than one-third) did not answer
this question.

Assessing the chances for a Jewish-Muslim agreement on prayer on the Temple
Mount: Less than one-third of Jewish Israelis (31%) believe there is
currently a chance of reaching an agreement that would enable the members of
both religions to pray at the site, while the majority thinks there is no
chance of this whether because of the Muslim side (30%), the Jewish side
(4%), or because of both sides together (29%). The assessment of the chances
of reaching such an agreement is more optimistic when the matter is put in
the framework of a comprehensive peace agreement. In such a situation, the
rate of those who believe it would be possible to reach an agreement (45%)
is only slightly lower than the rate who do not believe in such a
possibility (49%), whether because of the Muslim side (26%), the Jewish side
(2%), or because of both sides (21%). As these data show, the rate of those
who ascribe the lack of a chance to reach an agreement to the Muslim side,
both in the current situation and in one of a comprehensive agreement, is
much higher among the Jewish interviewees than the rate who ascribe the low
probability of an agreement to the Jewish side.

Among the Arab respondents there is also a majority (64%) that thinks there
is currently no chance of reaching an agreement on prayer for the two sides
on the mount. In the situation of a comprehensive peace agreement, a smaller
majority (53%) thinks there is currently no chance of reaching an agreement.
Interestingly, whereas under the current situation the rate of the Arab
interviewees who pin the blame on the Jews for the inability to reach a
settlement is higher than the rate of those who put the responsibility on
the Muslims (because of the Jews—21%, because of the Muslims—9%), when it
comes to the situation of a peace agreement, conversely, 24% place the
responsibility on the Muslim side and only 10% on the Jewish side.

The motive for renewing the building in the territories: To the question of
what was the main reason Netanyahu decided to renew the building in the
territories, about two-thirds of the Jewish respondents (64%) said he did it
to shore up his status on the right and among the settlers. Only a small
minority (22%) think the decision stemmed from a real belief that renewing
the construction will serve Israel’s national interests. A segmentation of
the responses to this question by voting in the 2013 Knesset elections shows
that Likud voters are almost evenly split between those who think he made
the decision out of a real belief (42%) and those who see it as aimed at
augmenting his status on the right (38%). Among voters for all the other
parties, from right to left, there is clearly more support for the view that
Netanyahu decided to renew construction in the territories so as to boost
his standing in the right-wing camp and not out of a real belief that this
doing so serves Israel’s national interests. The same is true for the
distribution of views among the Arab interviewees.

Yaalon’s decision to prevent Palestinians from riding buses that settlers
use: Among the Jewish respondents a clear majority (56%) supports the
decision by Defense Minister Yaalon to prohibit Palestinians from riding
these buses. On this issue a large gap was found between respondents
according to their self-placement on the political-security spectrum.
Whereas on the right a large majority (70%) favors Yaalon’s decision, in the
center about one-half back it (51%) while on the left only a small minority
(11%) agrees with it. Among the Arab respondents a clear majority opposes
the decision.

The terror attacks: In the debate being waged on how to define the recent
spate of terror attacks, a large majority of the Jewish public (58%) sees
them as individual acts carried out by local initiative. About one-third
(32%), however, hold the contrary opinion that these acts mark the start of
an organized intifada. As for the right way to prevent such terror attacks,
over half (52.5%) think the peace talks should be renewed while about
one-third favor suspending all political contacts on peace. Five percent
support a continuation of the current situation. Almost half of the Arab
interviewees did not answer this question. Among those who did, the rate of
those who think these are local initiatives was a bit higher than the
percentage of those who saw them as the inception of a third intifada. A
huge majority (81%) of the Arab interviewees think the way to deal with the
recent terror incidents is to renew the political negotiations on peace.

U.S.-Israeli relations: Over the past month there were several indications
of a deterioration in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. We asked two questions
on this issue, one on the governmental level and the second on the level of
the general public. The findings show that a decisive majority (69%) of the
Jewish public assesses the relations between the Israeli government and the
U.S. administration under President Obama as very poor or moderately poor,
while only 28% define these relations as very good or moderately good.
However, when it comes to the relations between the Israeli people and the
American people, the perception is the opposite: 82% define the relations
between the two peoples as very good or moderately good and only a small
minority (11%) sees these relations as very poor or moderately poor. This
evaluation apparently explains why the Jewish public is not overly worried
about the ongoing crisis between the Israeli government and the U.S.
administration, since the prevailing view (72%) is that this crisis will not
deteriorate to the point that the United States is no longer a close ally of
Israel. As for responsibility for the crisis in relations between the two
states, the Jewish public thinks the blame falls more on the American side
(47%) than on the Israeli side (30%). Eighteen percent assign the blame
equally to the two sides.

A cross-checking between political-security placement and attribution of
blame for the crisis in relations reveals that on the right, only 21% blame
the Israeli side, the majority (68%) blames the American side, and 8% blame
both sides, while on the center 35% blame Israel, 27% blame the U.S., and
31% blame both sides, and on the left a very high majority (67%) blame
Israel, only 11% blame the U.S., and 16% blame both sides.

We asked about what a rift in the relations would mean if it were to occur.
In the Jewish public, the highest rate according to our findings (47%)
thinks a reduction in U.S. support would severely damage Israel’s national
security. Some 40%, however, believe that a reduction in U.S. support would
in fact cause Israel to rely itself and strengthen its independence.

Among the Arab interviewees, the majority (50%) defines the relations
between the Israeli government and the Obama administration as very good or
moderately good, and a higher rate (69%) likewise characterizes the
relations between the American people and the Israeli people. A large
majority (72%) sees low chances of a deterioration in the crisis of
relations to the point that the United States ceases to be a close ally of
Israel. As for responsibility for the crisis in relations, the most common
answer (34%) is that Israel is more responsible, 10% think the Americans are
more responsible, while 33% assign equal responsibility for the situation to
the two sides.

The Swedish government’s recognition of the Palestinian state: It appears
that the large majority of the Jewish public is disturbed by the
implications of the Swedish government having recognized the Palestinian
state even in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Sixty-one percent think that if other countries follow in Sweden’s tracks,
Israel’s national interests will be harmed. An analysis of the findings
according to the interviewees’ political-security placement shows that in
all three camps—right, center, and left—a majority thinks Israel’s interests
would be harmed, though on the left the majority is a bit smaller (53%) than
on the right (62%) and in the center (64%).

Peace Index—46.7 (Jewish sample—41.1)
===================================

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict
Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Surveys of the
Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone
on November 3-5, 2014, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included
603 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the
adult population aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in Hebrew,
Arabic, and Russian. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is
±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical processing was done by Ms.
Yasmin Alkalay.

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