First thing's first (illustration)
Photo: Reuters
Faith. Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters

Poll: Government's top priority should be recession

War and Peace Index finds majority of Israeli public wants new cabinet to tackle financial crisis first, Iranian threat second, peace process third

Prioritizing: Israel's economic situation takes top priority on the public agenda, outweighing the Iranian threat and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the War and Peace Index revealed Wednesday.


The War and Peace Index is conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research. Published monthly since 1994, it is run by Prof. Ephraim Yaar and Prof. Tamar Hermann and is compiled of a monthly telephone survey of 600 Israeli citizens representing the various sectors in Israeli society.


According to the Index, 62% of Israelis would like to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government deal with the financial crisis first; 39% would like to see it deal with the nuclear threat posed by Iran first and 27% would prefer it made the peace process its top priority.


Social issues seem to have taken a back seat, as 31% of the public would like to see socioeconomic gaps top the cabinet's agenda, 19% would like to it tackle corruption and 16% would prefer it focused on changing the system of government.


Some 53% of the Jewish public polled said they believed Netanyahu would indeed pursue the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but only 33% of the Arab public said the same. The majority of both sectors - 56% of Jews and 78% of Arabs - seem to support the two-state solution.


The Index also found that 75% of the Israeli public does not seem concerned about the possibility of a binational state forming, should the two-state solution fail.


Fifty-nine percent of the Arabs polled by the Steinmetz Center and 54% of the Jews said the believed that the government would be able to maintain Israel's good relations with the US administration, despite its rightist composition.


As for recent publication of testimonials by Israel Defense Forces soldiers, implicating the forces in conduct unbecoming during the Israeli offensive in Gaza in January, 64% of the Jewish public dismissed the allegations.


However, should they found to be true, 74% said no charges should be brought against the soldiers and 58% said commanding officers should be exempt from responsibility.


In contrasting results, 61% of the Arab sector public found the allegations to be truthful and stated it supported legal proceedings against IDF troops, especially commanding officers.


פרסום ראשון: 04.08.09, 13:56
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