JPPI Israeli Society Index

Poll: A clash between the positions of the Israelis and the U.S. administration

Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) Monthly Israeli Society Index finds Israelis and the American government are on a collision course. Only 5% of Jewish Israelis agree with the American proposal: Palestinian Authority control in Gaza along with others. 44% of the Israeli public believes that Israel should open a second front against Hezbollah as soon as possible. 36% of Jews in Israel believe that Israeli control over the entire Gaza Strip should be established, and 26% support the reconstruction of the Gush Katif settlements.

Initial data from the newly released “Monthly Israeli Society Index” published by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) predicts a possible full-on clash between the majority of Israelis and the policy advanced by the U.S. administration.

The survey indicates that a significant percentage of Israeli Jews (44%) believe that Israel should open a second front against Hezbollah as soon as possible. This contrasts with the government’s attempts to prevent a wider confrontation with Hezbollah (the Arab position is different:44% of Israeli Arabs prefer an internationally supported agreement to resolve the crisis in the north).

In the Gaza context, there is a noticeable gap compared to the American position; 36% of Israeli Jews believe that Israeli should take control of the entire territory, and 26% advocate reconstruction of the Gush Katif settlements.

Only 5% (!) of Jews in Israel agree with the American proposal – Palestinian Authority control in Gaza.

Following the survey results, Prof. Yedidia Stern, President of JPPI said, “The United States is a close friend of Israel, and without its support, Israel will find itself in a less favorable situation. However, as between friends, it is appropriate for the Americans to listen to the voices coming from Israel. The actions, both in the north and in Gaza, need to be conducted and promoted through agreement, as is customary between friends. American Jews can also play a significant role.”

Conducted in recent days by its Diane and Guilford Glazer Information and Consulting Center, the JPPI research reveals important but troubling data, which forecasts widening gaps in coordination and cooperation between the United States and Israel.

In recent weeks, the Americans have declared their opposition to a war against Hezbollah at this time and are trying to promote a solution in Gaza that will integrate an “upgraded” Palestinian Authority, thereby creating a political horizon for peace.

Most Jewish Israelis disagree significantly with the U.S. administration on both issues.

When with the question “What do you think Israel should do about the northern border?”  Jewish respondents (44%) answered that Israel should open a war against Hezbollah immediately. Among  coalition supporters, 64% support this option. Only 8% of Arab respondents believe Israel should go to war in the north. Israelis who do not support a war with Hezbollah now, seek to resolve the crisis through diplomatic means. 34% of Jewish respondents believe so, including 50% of opposition supporters, as well as a substantial number of Arab respondents (45%).

Considering the very small percentage who believe a solution can be postponed, it is possible that these Israelis agree that if a diplomatic solution is not found, Israel will have to solve the crisis through force. But this conclusion is not definitive. A small percentage of Jewish respondents, which was not much higher among Israeli Arabs (22%), chose the option of ending the war in Gaza and attacking Hezbollah “in a future opportunity.”

Again, regarding the future of Gaza Strip, Israelis are looking for different solutions from those advocated by the U.S. administration. Among Jewish opposition voters, only 9% want to give the PA a role in in Gaza “the day after,” and the majority of coalition voters (51%) want to rebuild Gush Katif settlements. Only 44% of Israeli Jews are willing to give Palestinians any form of control. While others, if they do not want full Israeli control, prefer the rule of a strong nationalist power.

Data collection for the JPPI survey was conducted by the TheMadad.com (about 700 Jewish respondents in an online survey), and the Afkar research company (about 200 Arab respondents, half of whom were surveyed online and half by telephone). The data was analyzed and weighted by Prof. Camil Fuchs to achieve a representive sample of Israel’s adult population, with analysis by JPPI’s Shmuel Rosner and Noah Slepkov.