A new survey released Tuesday has revealed some unprecedented statistics regarding the opinions of Israeli Jews regarding the peace talks. The wide consensus among 92% of respondents, from across the political spectrum, is that the talks won't bring peace.
The poll, known as the "peace index," was conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute's Guttman Center and Tel Aviv University's Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. It was carried out among 600 respondents last Sunday and Monday, right before Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas torpedoed negotiations last Tuesday by requesting to join 15 UN agencies against the conditions of the talks.
When asked if the peace talks will bring peace, an overwhelming 92% answered in the negative. 95% of those identifying themselves as belonging to the political right answered the talks were pointless, along with 88.5% of "centrists," and a shocking 87% of self-identifying leftists, reports Walla!.
Arab respondents similarly held low hopes for the talks, with 62% saying they would not bring peace. Last June, a 58% majority of Arab citizens of Israel expressed support for an intifada (violent uprising) against Israel if the talks did not advance, and 82% called the founding of modern Israel a "nakba" (catastrophe).
Peace talks 'not urgent'
Another insightful finding of the survey was that only a slim majority of 52% among Israeli Jews felt it was urgent to reach a peace agreement with the PA. 45.5% of respondents said reaching an agreement was not urgent.
In terms of urgency, there was a much higher variation along the lines of political orientation; 37% of self-defined right-wingers felt an agreement was urgent, as opposed to 68% of centrists, and a whopping 87% of leftists.
Other questions addressed the issue of international involvement in the talks. Regarding Europe's involvement to push forward the talks, 76% felt that Europe was not acting towards Israel fairly. Reports in January revealed US Secretary of State John Kerry was behind European boycotts to pressure Israel into agreements.
While roughly 90% felt that Europe was important to Israel, 42% responded that Europe's offer last December of an unprecedented aid package to spur an agreement would not influence their position regarding a peace treaty.
Lapid last in the list of public satisfaction
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's criticism last month of "soft" and "weak" American foreign policy towards Iran's nuclear program was also questioned; 65% felt that Ya'alon was correct in his assessment, even while 72% felt it wasn't smart of Ya'alon to voice his criticism publicly.
Nevertheless, Ya'alon led the index of satisfaction from among governmental ministers, topping the charts at a score of 6.29 in scores ranging on a 1-10 scale.