A new survey conducted on Hebrew-speaking Israelis revealed that there is a solid majority for a regional peace deal, and that more than 70 percent said they would support the prime minister if he would form a new party and strive for such an accord.
However, more than two-thirds of the Israelis were skeptical that the Palestinians were interested in achieving peace, hinting that despite support for a peace deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry still had a daunting task ahead of him.
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As part of a survey commissioned by the Israeli Peace Initiative Group (Yisrael Yozemet), which sampled 500 Israelis out of an online pool of 100,000, respondents were asked about US-lead peace talks, answering both general questions and those pertaining to the frame-work deal currently being hatched out.
According to the survey, a majority of the respondents – some 72 percent – think that Israelis are interested in reaching an agreement that would bring an end of the conflict. Unfortunately, a similar percentage (77%) claimed the Palestinians were not.
According to the report, a statistically significant increase was registered among those answering positively to the question of whether they would in principle support a regional peace deal, with 63 percent answering either “sure” or that they “think so.”
When presented with the central aspects of Kerry’s peace position (in a tone that makes them sound positive for Israel), respondents, including those from the extreme rightwing of the political map, did not reject them flat out – signaling possible growing support for peace from the Israeli center and right.
More so, according to the survey some 70 percent of the respondents revealed that they would be willing to support the various components of the peace deal and do not, in principle, reject them.
Only political solutions to the two flash point issues of access to holy sites and the status of East Jerusalem failed to garner more than 50 percent support by Israeli participants.
A total 76 percent responded positively to the entirety of Kerry’s frame-work agreement, if it were achieved. Again, according to the report, this number represents a significant increase in comparison to past surveys.
When asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hinted that there would be moral, political and concrete support for Netanyahu should he choose to present the public with a peace agreement along the lines of the framework agreement. Some 73 percent said they would support Netanyahu and 56 percent said they would vote for him if he were to establish a new party.
In summarizing the survey in relation to the political identity of the participants, those identifying themselves as “extreme right” exhibited relatively low enthusiasm for a peace deal or its specific components, while the “soft right” expressed much higher positive support, just shy of that expressed by “centrist” voters.
This interesting trend, the report claimed, reveals that it is crucially important to promote peace related activities within the soft right