The Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University released their collaborative peace index poll Tuesday, which covers how Israelis view the current Israel-Hamas conflict.
Israeli public opinion shows that over 90% of Israel’s Jews support Operation Protective Edge, while only 3-4% think excessive force has been used, and upwards of 50% believe more firepower is needed to win the war.
Around 80% believe that Israel should forgo declaring unilateral ceasefires. The Israeli government has declared seven unilateral ceasefires as of Tuesday. All of the short-term truces that were agreed to by Hamas have been violated by the militant jihadist group.
A very small minority believed that this new round of battle would end in long-term peace for Israel. Most minds were set on the likelihood that there would be more future battles with Hamas.
Another poll released Monday showed comparable results. The poll showcased that less than 10% of Israeli Jews supported a ceasefire with Hamas, while 86.5% supported the notion that Israel can’t accept a ceasefire because “Hamas continues firing missiles on Israel, not all the tunnels have been found, and Hamas has not surrendered.”
Only 2.2% of those surveyed in the Monday poll said that a cease-fire would be considered a “big success.” Strategist Roni Rimon, who sponsored the poll, said of its results:
All the compliments Netanyahu has received for running the operation, his restraint, thinking things through, and obtaining international support will be lost and will be replaced with criticism. But this is the test of a leader. If he believes that the greater good of Israel requires a cease-fire because of relations with the United States and the international community, he will put ratings aside and do what he thinks is right. We shall wait and see.
Press Release from the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI):
Justness and Proportionality
· Justness of Operation Protective Edge: Over the course of the surveys, Israeli Jewish public opinion has been consistently almost unanimous in its definition of Operation Protective Edge as justified – an average of 95% (96%, 92%, and 97% over the course of the three surveys).
· Use of Firepower: Only 3 – 4% of Israeli Jews believed that the IDF has used excessive firepower in Gaza (3.1%, 3.8%, and 3.7%). The balance believed that the IDF used an appropriate level of firepower (48%, 37%, and 60%) or insufficient firepower (45%, 57%, and 33%).
Performance Throughout Operation Protective Edge
· Government: On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being very poor and 10 being very good), Israeli Jews rated the performance of the government on average as 8.0, 6.3, and 8.0 over the course of the three surveys. In the same manner, the Home Front Command was given an average grade of 9.1, 8.6, and 9.1. Lastly, local governments were rated on average with a grade of 8.6, 8.0, and 8.2.
· Jewish Public: Israeli Jews rated the behavior of the Israeli Jewish public on average with a grade of 8.9, 8.2, and 8.7 over the course of the three surveys.
· Arab Public: Israeli Jews rated the behavior of the Israeli Arab public on average with a grade of 4.0, 3.4, and 3.4 over the course of the three surveys.
Ceasefire Under What Conditions
· Unilateral Ceasefire: Over the course of the three surveys, Israeli Jews were opposed to a unilateral Israeli ceasefire for up to 48 hours and to continue the operation if rocket fire does not stop (79%, 79%, and 82%).
· Ceasefire with Later Discussions on Quiet: Israeli Jews disagreed with the proposal to an immediate ceasefire in order to discuss the conditions for maintaining the quiet (63%, 64%, and 69%).
· Ceasefire After Agreement for Sustaining Quiet:Israeli Jews supported agreeing to a ceasefire only after an agreement on the conditions for sustaining quiet is reached (64%, 60%, and 56%).
Outcome of Operation Protective Edge
· When asked what will be the outcome of Operation Protective Edge, a majority of Israeli Jews believed that there will be a further round of battle with Hamas (77%, 65%, and 50%). A minority believe that a long-term quiet, like the quiet achieved on the northern border after 2006, will be achieved (8%, 16%, and 30%).