30.12.2013 by Molad
30.12.2013 Research

Peace Process, Settlements, National Priorities: Molad Survey 2013 Part II

Molad's latest public opinion poll reveals that the Israeli public supports peace agreement that includes the division of Jerusalem and a limited return of Palestinian refugees. They see the settlers a special interest group, and oppose the benefits they receive and support the 2005 Gaza disengagement even today

In October 2013, Molad took a public opinion poll that included detailed questions about the peace process, partition, and the public's attitude towards settlements. It is one of the most comprehensive and in-depth surveys conducted in Israel on these issues.

The poll was conducted in Hebrew, Russian and Arabic through telephone interviews, combined with a limited number of web questionnaires as control cases. The survey sample was very large, including 1,200 Israelis, 1,000 of which are a representative sampling of Israel's population, and an additional 200 for an oversampling of Yesh Atid voters. The final results were re-weighted to create a fair overall sampling.

An English version will be available soon. For the full Hebrew text, click here.

Key Findings:

  • The Israeli public supports a peace agreement based on the expected parameters, including the evacuation of some 100,000 settlers who live outside the settlement blocs, a limited right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the division of Jerusalem. This agreement would win a majority of the public's support were a national referendum to be held. A clear majority of Yesh Atid voters support such an agreement, and a surprising majority among Likud-Beiteinu voters would be willing to evacuate settlements.
  • Despite years of effort to "settle the hearts" and establish themselves in the heart of the Israeli consensus, the settlers are still perceived as a sector with distinctly different interests from those of the broader Israeli public. Most Israelis consider the settlers' security, economic, and political interests to be different from their own.
  • Many Israeli citizens, who show an intense interest in the distribution of national resources and the condition of the middle class, see the settlers as "tycoons across the Green Line," who benefit from A) excessive influence over the political system, and B) budget excesses compared to the rest of Israel's citizens. In fact, of all of the political parties in Israel, the voters of the Jewish Home Party were the only ones to respond that they believe Israel's national priorities are consistent with the settlers' national priorities. The alienation of the Israeli public from the settlement enterprise is reflected in the fact that a large majority of of Israeli citizens have not visited the settlements in the last three years, and many of them indicate that they have never crossed the Green Line.
  • A clear majority in of the Israeli public opposes the lavish economic benefits settlers receive in fields like housing, education, and the division of economic resources. All six of the benefits presented in the poll appeared extravagant to the public. It can therefore be expected that the public will support political forces that would seek to alter this distribution of resources in the name of equality.
  • Contrary to popular opinion in the political system and in the media, the Israeli public does not believe that the 2005 Gaza Disengagement was a failed, harmful, and traumatic process. Just the opposite: A solid majority of Israelis support the decision for a unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip.


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