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Survey says: Israelis lack faith in peace process

On a monthly basis, the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University conduct surveys to monitor trends in Israeli public opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Their most recent Peace Index found large gaps between the support for the concept of negotiations and belief in the effectiveness of those negotiations. While a majority of Israelis (Arab and Jewish) either “strongly” or “somewhat” favor holding peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, 42% of both Jewish and Arab Israelis “don’t believe at all” that negotiations will lead to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

This begs the question as to why people support a process which they don’t believe will produce end results.

And some 67% of Jewish Israelis agree with the assertion that no matter which parties prevail in the upcoming elections on January 22, the peace process with the Palestinians will remain stalemated, and there is no chance of progress in the foreseeable future.

The confusion continues when gauging the political mood ahead of elections. Fifty-five percent of Jews surveyed define themselves as right-wing when it comes to security matters, but 60% also say they support a peace agreement and 57.5% of all the Jewish respondents would agree to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state if there were appropriate security arrangements.

So what do assertions of support for peace really mean? Are they empty words? A way of assuaging a guilty conscience? Or, as the survey’s analysis proposes, genuine support from Israeli Jews for the two-state solution – but only on Israel’s terms.

Or do you have a different take?

More analysis on the upcoming election in this week’s IJN editorial, “Israel’s election” and “Israel’s election: A reader’s guide

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