Poll: Most Israeli Jews back segregated West Bank buses
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Poll: Most Israeli Jews back segregated West Bank buses

Survey on society’s attitudes on peace also shows majority of Israeli Arabs would avoid settlement product boycott

Palestinians and Israelis work at the SodaStream factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial park in the West Bank, February 2, 2014. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Palestinians and Israelis work at the SodaStream factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial park in the West Bank, February 2, 2014. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

More than half of Jewish Israelis support having separate Jewish and Palestinian buses in the West Bank, a new poll found.

The latest monthly Peace Index poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution surveyed 600 people and focused on attitudes toward Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the diplomatic arena and the Cabinet appointments in the newly formed governing coalition.

Among the Jewish Israelis, 52 percent backed separating Jewish and Palestinian passengers on West Bank buses, while 42% opposed such a practice. A segregated bus program was implemented in May but was ended within a day following domestic and international criticism.

The poll found that 69% of Jewish Israelis characterized Israel’s international standing as “not good,” while 71% agreed with this statement: “The countries of the world make demands for moral behavior on Israel that they do not make on other countries that are in situations of conflict.”

That perception contrasts with the views of Israeli Arabs, 51% of whom feel Israel’s foreign relations are “moderately good.” Arabs were also divided on whether or not Israel faces a double standard in its “moral behavior,” though half of all Arab respondents refused to answer the question or were unsure how to answer.

The poll also found that a majority of Israeli Arabs would not take part in a domestic boycott of settlement products were one to be organized, with 59% saying they thought or were sure that they would continue to buy said products if a “consumer boycott within Israel” were organized against products of Israeli settlements. Israeli Jews (79%) were more confident they would keep buying.

When asked if they would buy a house in a “Jewish settlement” if they could get it at a low price, the majority of both Jews and Arabs answered they were sure they would not (55.6% and 66.8% respectively), although 14% of Jews and 18% of Arabs said they would consider it.

Palestinians board a bus to Ramallah from the central bus station in East Jerusalem (photo credit: Noam Moskowitz)
Palestinians board a bus to Ramallah from the central bus station in East Jerusalem (photo credit: Noam Moskowitz)

The survey had a margin of error of ±4.1% and was conducted June 1-4.

The Peace Index survey also addressed issues pertaining to the stalled peace process, with 62.5% of Jews and 71% of Arabs expressing support for pursuing talks. However, only 26% of Jews and 40% of Arabs were confident talks would lead to an agreement anytime soon.

Additionally, only 6.6% of Jews and 1.1% of Arabs thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed discussion on the borders of settlement blocs demonstrated seriousness toward the process.

The poll addressed Netanyahu’s decision to retain the foreign minister’s title for himself while delegating the office’s responsibilities among several ministers.

Sixty-two percent of Jews thought the prime minister’s divvying up of the ministry would not improve the country’s diplomatic situation.

Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely addresses the Knesset last year on International Women's Day (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely addresses the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Peace Index Project was initiated in 1994. It is a joint project of the Israeli Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University. Questions change month to month based on current events in Israel.

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