Palestinians and Israelis Seek a More Active Role of the US in Moderating the Conflict - Foundation Office Palestinian Territories
These are the results of the most recent poll conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, between November 26 and December 7, 2008. This joint survey was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
Following the election of Obama for president, a majority of the Palestinians and half of the Israelis want the US to play a more active role in moderating the conflict. Half of the Israelis and half of the Palestinians think that a more active American involvement will be successful, whereas the other half splits between expecting it to have no impact or to fail. Nevertheless both sides expect no change in the US role in the conflict. While the Israelis expect no change in US military economic and political support of Israel, the Palestinians expect that US support of Israel will strengthen.
Our poll also examined both publics’ attitudes toward the Arab League (Saudi) plan, given the recent public diplomacy campaign by the PLO negotiation team which published the full plan in Israeli newspapers in order to increase Israelis’ awareness of the plan. Only 25% of the Israelis reported having seen the ad. Following this public diplomacy initiative the level of support for the plan remained stable: 36% of the Israelis support and 61% oppose the plan now, while in September 38% supported and 59% opposed the plan. Among Palestinians 66% support the Arab League plan and 30% oppose it.
With regard to the cease fire with Hamas, support is slightly down compared to three months ago: 51% of the Israelis support its continuation and 44% oppose it; among Palestinians, 74% support and 23% oppose the continuation of the cease fire agreement.
The joint poll examined Israelis’ and Palestinians’ expectations and assessments of the US policy toward the conflict, following the election of President Obama. The poll also examined various negotiation tracks including the Israeli-Palestinian track, the Israeli-Syrian track and the Saudi (Arab League) plan currently on the public agenda; threat perceptions, support of violence, and domestic political affairs.
The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between December 4 and December 7, 2008. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 600 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew Arabic or Russian between November 26 and December 2, 2008. The margin of error is 4.5%. The poll was planned and supervised by Dr. Yaacov Shamir, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).