Public Attitudes Toward the Peace Process

(1991-1999)


Should a treaty between Israel and the Palestinians be signed even if it requires that Palestine becomes an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital? (McLaughlin & Associates, Sept. 21, 1999)

Yes 22%
No 60%
DK/Refused 18%

Overall, do you believe that the Arab world sincerely accepts Israel's right to exist, or do you believe that the Arab world seeks the eventual destruction of Israel? (McLaughlin & Associates, Sept. 21, 1999)

Accepts Israel 19%
Seeks Destruction 60%
DK/Refused 21%

In the United States Congress, legislation has been passed to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of Israel's claim that Jerusalem is its capital. President Clinton opposes the legislation saying that the status of the city should be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. Who do you agree with more, the U.S. Congress or President Clinton? (McLaughlin & Associates, Sept. 21, 1999)

U.S. Congress 57%
President Clinton 30%
DK/Refused 14%

President Clinton has proposed to give the Palestinian arabs $900 million over the next five years. Should the United States insist that Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestinian Authority, first fulfill his obligations in the Oslo accords by outlawing and disarming terrorist groups and extraditing terrorists to Israel for prosecution, before additional U.S. aid is given to him? (McLaughlin & Associates, Sept. 21, 1999)

Yes 78%
No 10%
DK/Refused 12%

Do you believe the United States should demand that the Palestinian Authority remove all anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements from Palestinian school books before receiving any part of president Clinton's proposed $900 million U.S. aid? (McLaughlin & Associates, Sept. 21, 1999)

Yes 76%
No 13%
DK/Refused 11%

If a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict were found, do you think this resolution would lead to lasting peace between Israel and the Arab countries, or would there continue to be Arab-Israeli conflict over other issues? (Marttila & Kiley, 2/91)

Lasting peace 17%
Still be conflict 79%
Not sure 4%

In general, who do you think is currently the biggest obstacle to finding a peace settlement in the Arab-Israeli dispute?

  Date Arab Nations Israel Both Neither
NBC/WSJ 7/91 35% 37% 11% 2%
NBC/WSJ 9/91 33% 34% 16% 1%
NBC/WSJ 10/91 35% 37% 14% 1%
NBC/WSJ 12/91 29% 41% 15% 2%
NBC/WSJ 1/92 31% 31% 22% 2%

Should the U.S. stop aid to Israel if it does not participate in a Mideast peace conference? [not exact wording]

    Yes No
USA Today 8/25/91 55% 27%

Do you think the United States should continue to give top priority to maintaining Israel's strength and security even if Israel rejects U.S. proposals for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict? (Time/CNN 5/8/91)

Yes 30%
No 58%
Not sure 12%

Do you think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is mostly keeping or mostly breaking the agreements previously made in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians? (Harris)

1997

1998

April

August

May

%

%

%

Keeping

35

42

32

Breaking

48

40

44

Don’t know/Refused

17

17

24

Do you think Chairman Yassir Arafat of the Palestinian Authority is mostly keeping or mostly breaking the agreements previously made in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians? (Harris)

1997

1998

April

August

May

%

%

%

Keeping

33

30

25

Breaking

50

55

52

Don’t know/Refused

18

15

24

How would you rate the job (READ ITEMS) is doing in trying to work for a reasonable solution to the future relations between Israel and the Palestinians? (Harris)

Positive*

%

Negative**

%

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

May 1998

34

61

August 1997

29

61

Chairman Yassir Arafat of the

May 1998

22

66

Palestinian Authority

August 1997

20

76

How would you rate the job President Clinton is doing in handling relations between Israel and the Palestinians – excellent, pretty good, only fair or poor? (Harris)

Positive*

Negative**

President Clinton

39%

43%

Israel should withdraw all its forces from Arab territory before the other issues can be settled.

Date Poll Agree Disagree Not Sure
July '67 Harris 62% 17% 21%

Israel should give back the territory it gained from the war of 1967.

Date Poll Agree Disagree Not Sure
July '70 Harris 24 43 33
Jan. '75 Harris 25 49 26
Jan. '76 Harris 25 49 26
July '80 Harris 23 55 22

As a result of the 1967 War, Israel now controls land that was formerly controlled by Arab nations. What do you think Israel should do — give back part of this land, give back all of this land, or keep all of this land?

Date Poll Keep All Give Back Part Give Back All N.O.
July '67 Gallup 24 49 15 12
June '77 Gallup 24 35 16 25
Oct. '77 Gallup 26 36 13 25
Dec. '77 Gallup 30 34 16 20

The Israelis ought to give up all the territory they have captured since 1967 if the Arab states agree to peace.

Date Poll Agree Disagree D.K.
Fall '74 Caddell 36 36 28
Summer '75 Caddell 36 34 30

As a way to bring peace to the Middle East, it has been proposed that Israel withdraw from occupied Arab lands if Arab nations in return recognize Israel's right to exist as a nation. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?

  Favor Oppose
Gallup 3/91 73% 17%

How likely do you think it is that both sides will agree to this proposal?

  Gallup 3/91
Very Likely 4
Somewhat likely 33
Not too likely 42
Not at all likely 1

If Israel did give up occupied Arab lands, how likely is it that the action would bring lasting peace to the Middle East?

  Gallup 3/91
Very Likely 11
Somewhat likely 46
Not too likely 27
Not at all likely 12

The Bush Administration supports a policy whereby Israel should give up territory it occupies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for peace with the Arabs. Are you in favor of or opposed to this concept of land for peace? (American Voters and Mideast Peace, Sept. 11, 1991)

Favor 50.2%
Opposed 26.7%
Don't know 19.2%
Other 3.7%
Refused 0.2%

Thinking specifically about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians living on the West Bank and Gaza Strip--are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians? (M&K, 2/91)

Israelis 47%
Palestinians 28%
Neither 6%
Both 7%
Not sure 12%

Would you be more inclined or less inclined to vote for a presidential candidate who supports a policy of "land for peace," or will it make no difference? (American Voters and Mideast Peace, Sept. 11, 1991)

More inclined 28.9%
Less inclined 9.7%
No difference 54.6%
Don't know 6.6%
Refused 0.3%