TEL AVIV – An overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis – 71.5% – do not believe that Israel’s control of the West Bank is an “occupation,” while 40% of them think Hillary Clinton will make a better president for Israel than Donald Trump, according to a new poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute.
The same percentage of Israeli Arabs – 71.5% – said that Israel was occupying the West Bank.
According to the IDI’s poll, which was conducted in conjunction with Tel Aviv University, Jewish Israelis’ hopes for the prospects of peace with the Palestinian Authority are bleak.
Among Israeli Jews, only 5.7% strongly believe that negotiations will lead to peace between Israel and the PA in coming years. Only 20.7% believe peace is possible in the foreseeable future, compared to 77.6% who do not.
On the U.S. presidential race, a majority of respondents – 62% – said that Trump will be “committed to safeguarding Israel’s security,” while they were split – 48% to 45% – on the same question regarding Clinton.
Nevertheless, more respondents felt that Clinton would be the preferable option for Israel.
600 respondents were polled on “Israeli-Palestinian relations, the effectiveness of the government and its leaders almost one year since the current cabinet was formed on May 14, 2015, and on the Israeli public’s preferences regarding the next US president,” IDI said in a statement Monday.
48% of Jewish Israelis said recognition of the country as Jewish by Palestinians was more important than peace, while 27.5% said peace came first. 16.1% felt they were equally important.
52.4% of Israeli Jews said maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel was their chief concern in establishing a final status for the West Bank, while 21.9% felt Jewish sovereignty over all of Israel was more important and another 19% felt the two were equally important – even though the last response was not offered by the pollsters.
In response to the question, “To what extent do you fear that you or one of the people important to you will be harmed in the current wave of terror attacks?” 64% of Jewish respondents said they greatly or moderately fear it.
Only 31% of respondents gave the current government a positive review.
“On a scale from 0 (poor) to 10 (excellent), the Jewish public gives the government a 5.1. The Arab public gives a 4.6,” IDI said.