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  • Israelis and Palestinians are pessimistic about peace, poll finds

    Palestinians fear Israelis more than Israelis fear Palestinians, opinion survey finds. Both societies reject the one-state solution, but Israelis also oppose the Arab Peace Initiative. A poll released Tuesday reveals pessimism and mistrust among Israelis and Palestinians. Members of both societies seriously doubt the chances of meaningful negotiations taking place. According to a survey of both societies, conducted by the Harry Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a clear majority in Palestinian society – 57 percent – believe that Israel’s long-term desire is to expand its borders from the Mediterranean…

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  • The Palestinian Nakba: Are Israelis starting to get it?

    Israelis are more willing to discuss and accept their country's role in the Palestinian Nakba - until the historical events are portrayed as the story of the founding of a rival nation, and acknowledging those facts means legitimizing the other side's fundamental beliefs. In 2008, a fascinating, little-known study asked 500 Israeli Jews about Israel's behavior throughout the history of the conflict.  The study was conducted by Rafi Nets-Zehngut, at the Teachers College of Columbia University and Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University's School of Education. Bar-Tal is an internationally regarded expert in political psychology. Some of the findings were…

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  • Numbers for the president: Israeli attitudes toward Obama

    An examination of Israeli public opinion toward U.S. President Obama and the two-state solution. The picture isn't as bleak as the mainstream media might lead you to believe. As President Obama continues his meetings in the region today, making the rounds to Ramallah and then back to Jerusalem, it is useful to keep in mind some trends regarding public opinion. Here are two specific themes that are relevant for this trip - attitudes towards the two-state solution to which he and his main interlocutors are so committed, and attitudes towards him. Regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Joint Israeli Palestinian Polls…

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  • Polls show Israelis rational about policy, misguided on elections

    It’s easy to disagree with Israelis about many things. But two new polls show that on key current issues, the public is at least thinking rationally and seeing clearly: *On Gaza, the majority know that Israel is no better off after the war in Gaza, and that the ceasefire won’t hold. *On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the majority supports negotiations, supports the basic outlines of the Arab peace initiative and knows that the Palestinians cannot simply be beaten. *The majority acknowledges discrimination against Arabs in Israel, and a strong majority believes democracy is either more important than Jewishness of the state,…

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  • Poll: Israeli Jews oppose a unilateral strike on Iran

    Most Israelis do not back the Prime Minister and Defense Minister's call for a pre-emptive strike on Iran, but most won't do much to oppose it either. Here are some numbers and thoughts on why.  Just one-quarter of the Jewish public (27 percent) in Israel supports a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran, according to a new Peace Index survey from August 7-8, focused mainly on Iran. Fully 61 percent of the 516 Jewish respondents are against such a strike, with over one-quarter strongly opposed - even a majority on the right is opposed (51 percent). If Prime Minister Netanyahu and…

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  • J Street, undaunted by reality: Interview with Jeremy Ben-Ami

    "It's much easier to sit at home and lob criticism through blogs and tweets, and post that this isn't changing the world overnight. But political change happens one step at a time...If you're sitting on the sidelines critiquing the runners, I have no respect for you. Get in the race, show you can run it faster, show you can get to the finish line, prove you have better ideas." -J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami Flush from the success of its third annual conference, J Street stands at tough crossroads. Its first two years of heady success as the receptacle…

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  • Polls: Israelis fear unilateral strike more than Iranian bomb

    A new survey confirms that a clear majority of Israelis are opposed to a unilateral Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Only 31 percent of all Israelis, Arabs and Jews, favor this option. Twice as many – 63 percent – are opposed. Over one-quarter are strongly opposed, which is more than twice those who are strongly in favor (12 percent). The survey is part of the Peace Index series, conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, among a representative sample of 600 adults. Telephone interviewing took place on the 28-29 of February, prior to Prime Minister Netanyahu's…

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  • Poll: Israeli public supports boycott law

    The anti-boycott law is already considered the most controversial to come out of the current Knesset, but it seems that this controversy exists mostly in the media, and outside Israel. A recent poll, done for the Knesset channel and posted on the rightwing Srugim site,  52 percent of the Israeli public supports the law, and only 31 oppose it – not very different from the majority the law received in the Knesset. In that sense, the Israeli Parliament members represent their voters perfectly. Srugim didn't provide the data for the poll or the original questions asked, so we should take…

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  • Egyptians polled during uprising: Many still scared to speak up

    No one knows what this evening will bring for Egypt. But a new Pechter Poll, funded by the Washington Institute for Near East policy, offers a remarkable insight from the days of revolution. Beware: It's a small sample of just 343 respondents, reached by land line and cellphone, from 5-8 February, during the third week of the uprising, in  both Cairo and Alexandria. I have a hard time believing that the poll is "enough to be representative" as the authors claim. The sample size is of course not as important as the correct demographic and geographic distribution. Maybe that's why…

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  • End of year poll updates: Israel and Palestine

    Here’s a summary of some of the top quality polling being done by Israelis and Palestinians, about Israelis and Palestinians. From masses of data, I’ve selected highlights addressing two main themes: the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and the state of democracy in both societies. All the data comes from sources I trust. I use names or abbreviations of the surveys, and full information about each is at the end of this post, with links where possible - there's plenty more on most topics that might interest readers of this post. Since I’m drawing from different surveys, the questions are not identical…

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