Jerusalem. Majority oppose cooperative rule
Photo: Ronen Yules
17% fear outbreak of PA rebellion
Photo: Gil Yohanan
75% oppose ceding from Golan
Photo: Nir Steinberg
Majority: Iran biggest security threat
Photo: Reuters

75% of population: War within next 5 years

Poll taken among Israeli Jews, Arabs shows desire for peace, but not willingness to pay; fear of Iranian nuclear threat, support of Palestinian state. Majority also believe Israel failed in closing socio-economic gaps

As Israel stands on the brink of its seventh decade of independence, security issues continue to worry the majority of its citizens. Seventy-five percent of the Jewish population in the country assume that Israel will find itself at war with at least one Arab state within the next five years, 66% do not believe there is a chance for peace with Syria, and 70% do not believe an agreement with the Palestinians will be reached.


The data were collected as part of the Index of War and Peace, an ongoing project first launched in 1994. It is based on a telephone survey of 600 Israelis.


The index found that Israeli readiness to "pay" for peace is at an all time low – 75% said no to ceding the Golan Heights, while only 19% supported the move. However a majority of 57% said they support negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, while 34% objected.


Seventy percent supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, but when it came time for concessions the answers were rigid – 55% did not approve of the transferring of Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, 60% would not be willing to allow a cooperative Israeli-Palestinian rule over the Temple Mount and other holy sites, and 83% opposed handing over the Old City to the Palestinians.


According to 38% of the population, the most serious security threat Israel faces today is the Iranian nuclear program, while 20% said the largest threat was that the IDF is not sufficiently prepared for a war, should it break out. Seventeen percent feared the outbreak of a violent Palestinian rebellion, and only 12% saw the escalation of the Palestinians' struggle as the most threatening.


When asked to rate the successes and failures of the country during its 60 years of independence, 78% thought Israel was very successful in the military field, and 65% saw the country as economically successful. However, the majority said Israel had failed in its attempt to reduce socio-economic gaps and to bestow a feeling of equality upon the Arab population.


Similarities and differences

The Arab population was also surveyed, and most of the answers came surprisingly close to those given by the Jewish populace. The majority also gave a failing grade to the country's attempts at giving the Arab population a sense of equality and belonging. Sixty-one percent said they believe Israel will be at war within the next five years, and 52% thought the negotiations with the PA would lead to positive results. The majority of the Arab population also saw the Iranian nuclear threat as the largest faced by Israel today.


Ratings of Israel's successes and failures also presented similar answers, with the majority expressing belief in the country's military success; however the economic situation was not looked upon as highly.


The Arabs surveyed also answered negatively when asked about the peace process – 60% said Israel had failed in its progress towards peace, but 62% believed Israel is close to signing a peace treaty with at least one Arab country.


When asked about Israel's future, the Jewish population was optimistic - 38.5% said they believe in the improvement of the security and economic situation over the next decade, while only 15% saw it worsening. In contrast, the majority of Arabs said they believed the situation would only get worse.


However, when asked about the most important goals to be achieved by Israel over the next decade, 46% of Arabs put peace at the top of the list, in contrast to only 19% of the Jewish population.


פרסום ראשון: 05.05.08, 18:08
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