Asked in the January 7 poll about Israel withdrawing to 1967 borders to achieve peace with the Palestinians, 66 percent of Israelis oppose withdrawal, while 26 percent support a return to 1967 borders. Consistent with this view, 68 percent of Israelis feel that Jerusalem should remain the united capital of Israel while only 29 percent favor it being divided and becoming the capital of both a Jewish State and a future Palestinian State. Eighteen to 24-year-old Israelis showed above average support – 78 percent in favor of Jerusalem remaining the undivided capital of Israel. The strongest support for an undivided Jerusalem was expressed by ultra-orthodox and religious Israelis.
There is strong consensus by the Israelis polled that the future of Jerusalem is an internal political issue and that Diaspora Jews should not have a role in decision-making about Jerusalem’s status. Fifty-six percent versus 40 percent of those polled believe Jews outside of Israel should not have a say in the future of Jerusalem.
The survey provides insight into the attitudes and interests of the people of Israel, just months after the Annapolis peace meetings and days before President George W. Bush arrives in Israel. B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider points out, “The findings clearly demonstrate that Israelis are focused on the peace process as 2008 gets underway. They are looking at what they consider to be key issues. And while these views could change once an agreement is presented to the public, these results show Israelis right now are not comfortable in light of current security issues.”
Respondents were also asked about financial aid the Palestinian Authority receives from donor nations. Eighty percent feel that there is insufficient oversight by those donating the money, and that most of the funds are being used to mount terror attacks against Israel. Only seven percent feel there is sufficient oversight by the donor nations and that most of the funds are
going for humanitarian and democratic purposes.
An overwhelming majority, 68 percent, believe that the Israeli government must hold a referendum or new elections before finalizing a peace agreement with territorial concessions in the West Bank and Jerusalem. That compares to 26 percent who believe the government already has a mandate to finalize such a peace deal.
The study, commissioned by the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, was conducted by KEEVOON Research, Strategy & Communications. The 500 people who responded to the survey in Hebrew constituted a representative sample of the Jewish population in Israel. The survey has a 4.5 percent margin of error.