Jul 31 2014

A public opinion survey conducted by the Department of Sociology at the University of Haifa reveals what Israelis think about operation “Protective Edge”

Published by admin at 1:42 pm under Home Page, Press Releases


The conditions of 85% of the Jewish-Israeli population to end Operation Protective Edge — cessation of rocket fire and the destruction or sealing off of all tunnels from Gaza into Israel

The conditions of 85% of the Jewish-Israeli population to end Operation Protective Edge — cessation of rocket fire and the destruction or sealing off of all tunnels from Gaza into Israel. This is according to a public opinion survey conducted recently by Dr. Yuval Feinstein, a researcher of nationalism and public opinion from the Department of Sociology at the University of Haifa. The survey also found that 91% of the Jewish-Israeli population support or somewhat support ground operations in Gaza, 74% think that the military action in Gaza achieves their objectives, and only 4.2% think that Operation Protective Edge was a mistake.

The present survey was conducted on Wednesday to Friday (July 23 to 25) amongst 1007 interviewees who constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel, aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted as part of a study by Dr. Feinstein on nationalism and political positions in relation to situations of war and peace, and it was conducted by Midgam Research& Consulting and by iPanel.

As mentioned, support for the operation among the Jewish public in Israel is almost absolute. 77% greatly support the aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, 17% support it and 4.5% somewhat support it, while only 1.5% of the Jewish public does not support the bombardment.

Regarding support for the ground operation, 49% are greatly supportive, 28% are supportive and 14% are somewhat supportive, compared with only 9% who do not support the ground operations.

82% do not agree that the decision to start Operation Protective Edge was a mistake and another 11% somewhat disagree, while only 4% think that it was a mistake (and another 3% somewhat think that it was a mistake).

23% of the Jewish public agrees to a very large extent that the operation is achieving its objectives and another 51% agree to a great extent. 22.5% of the Jewish public somewhat agree with this and only 3% feel that the operation is not achieving its objectives.

As mentioned, 86% and 85% of the Jewish population consider the cessation of rocket fire into Israel and the destruction and sealing off of all the tunnels as conditions for ending the operation (respectively) and 51% of the Jewish public considers the overthrowing of the Hamas regime as a condition for ending the operation (but only 17% think that Israel should occupy Gaza). Only 7% of the Jewish public considers a high number of IDF casualties as a condition for ending the operation in Gaza and 3% see the extensive harm to unarmed Palestinians as a reason to stop the fighting.

In light of these findings, it is not surprising that 80% expressed great pride in the IDF and another 15% expressed pride, while less than 2% said they were not proud of the IDF. The figures were very similar in regard to pride in Israel and love for Israel.

How should those who disagree with the operation be treated? The findings indicate that 57% agreed or strongly agreed that at wartime all demonstrations of civilians against the military should be prohibited and some 17% somewhat agree with that, so all in all, nearly three-quarters of the Jewish public feels that demonstrations against military activity should be prohibited. Just under half of the public (49%) agreed or strongly agreed that these protesters should be considered traitors.

In total, 65% of the Jewish population is satisfied or very satisfied with the way in which Prime Minister Netanyahu is handling the operation and an additional 26% are somewhat satisfied with his performance, such that less than 10% are dissatisfied.

34% of the Jewish population agrees or greatly agrees that Arab Israelis are not loyal citizens and a similar percentage even agrees or greatly agrees that they constitute a security threat. Only 12% and 15% completely consider them loyal citizens and do not consider them to be a security threat.

Despite these findings, the preferred solution for a future peace agreement with the Palestinians is still a two-state solution: 42% of the Jewish public thinks that is what a future peace agreement should be; the next solution in terms of support is the forced transfer of Palestinians to Jordanian territory, which received 20% of the public’s support. Solutions involving the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza, or only of the West Bank, with and without granting full rights (to Palestinians) receive less than 10% support.

According to Dr. Feinstein, there are almost no differences between men and women regarding the major variables. One difference is that fewer women expressed absolute support (“greatly agree”) for military action. Similarly, young people (18-25) have a lower tendency to express absolute support for ground operations. According to the researcher, this may be because most of the burden of combat and danger falls on this group.

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