Israelis say Trump trip a success, but chances for peace slim

Israelis give high marks for President Trump's recent trip to Israel - yet remain pessimistic on peace and fear Trump will pressure Israel.

David Rosenberg ,

President Donald Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport
President Donald Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport

An overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews saw President Donald Trump’s first state visit to Israel as a success, a new poll shows, but few believe the president’s plans to reboot negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will bear fruit.

According to the latest Peace Index survey, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute in conjunction with Tel Aviv University and Midgam Research, nearly two-thirds of Israeli Jews (64.7%) say the president’s Israel visit was a success, compared to just 21.5% who said it was not.

Arab Israelis were less enthusiastic about the trip, with just 34.6% calling it a success, compared to 51.9% who said it was not successful.

Despite the positive view most Israelis have of the trip, there appears to be little optimism that the president’s oft-declared desire to reach a peace deal will come to fruition.

Just 27.6% of Israeli Jews said a peace deal was likely in the foreseeable future, while 69.3% said it was not.

Even fewer – 12.0% - said President Trump was likely to broker such a deal in the next year or two, compared to 82.0% who said such a deal was not likely to be reached in that time frame. Just one tenth of one percent of Israeli Jews said Trump was very likely to succeed in reaching such a deal, while 35.3% said there was no chance whatsoever of it happening in the next two years.

More Israeli Jews (37.3%) believe President Trump would reboot negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, though more than half (59.1%) said he would be unable to do so. Arab Israelis were even more skeptical, with just 15% saying the president would succeed in renewing negotiations, compared to 79.9% who said he would not.

While Israelis were enthusiastic about Trump’s visit and skeptical about the prospects for peace, they expressed concern the White House would pressure Israel into accepting the formula for a final status agreement put forth by the Saudi government, according to which Israel would retreat to the pre-1967 boundaries – with minor adjustments – in exchange for recognition from the Arab world.

More than half (52.1%) of Israeli Jews said Trump would likely pressure Israel to accept this formula, compared to just 29.7% who were confident he would not.

A slim majority (51.3%) of Israelis believe Israel’s security is an important concern of the president, compared to 42.0% who believe it is not a major concern for President Trump.