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The Peace Index:
Date Published: 13/02/2013
Survey dates: 03/02/2013 - 04/02/2013

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The January Index

General satisfaction with the overall election results. A majority of the Jewish public (57%) is satisfied with the latest election results (the rate of those “very satisfied” is 6.2%). A segmentation of satisfaction with the election results by the party for which the respondent voted (regarding parties that passed the electoral threshold) shows that the highest rate of satisfaction is found among voters for Yesh Atid (74%) and Habayit Hayehudi (72%)—that is, the two new parties that got more votes than most predictions anticipated. After these parties, in descending order of satisfaction, were: Hatnuah and Likud Beiteinu (61% each), Meretz (48%), Labor (46%), United Torah Judaism (44%), Shas (36%), and Kadima (0%). A different picture emerges for the Arab voters, with the majority of respondents (54%) saying they were not satisfied with the election outcomes.

At peace with their own vote. In response to the question “Now that the election results are known, would you vote for the same party that you voted for?,” 83% of the Jewish public responded that they were sure or they think that there vote would be the same (the rate for the Arab public was 75%). A segmentation of the responses of the Jewish public by the parties that the respondents voted for shows that the lowest rate of those who would vote for the same party is found among Hatnuah voters—only 64%.

We also asked: “In the recent election, was there a party that you liked most, but did not vote for because you thought it would not pass the electoral threshold and your vote would have been wasted?” An overwhelming majority (84%) of the Jewish respondents said there was no such party; however, a non-negligible percentage of voters remains who could possibly have enabled their party to pass the electoral threshold had they voted for the party they really preferred. The picture in the Arab public regarding this matter is very similar, with 80% responding that there was no party that they preferred but that did not get their vote due to concern that it would not pass the electoral threshold.

Ideology trumps leaders. Despite the analysis voiced by media commentators, a considerable majority of the Jewish public says their decision on which party to vote for was influenced more by the party’s ideology (54%) than by the person standing at the party's helm (24%). Meretz voters had the highest rate of those saying they based their vote on ideology (90.5%) while Likud Beiteinu voters had the lowest rate (29.5%). The distribution among the Arab respondents was very similar: 53% said they had voted more on the basis of ideas, and 17% on the basis of leaders.

Domestic issues are paramount. A look at the responses of Jewish respondents with regard to the issues that colored their voting decisions reveals that domestic issues are currently more important to voters: religion, society, and the economy (51%) trumped foreign and defense issues (22.8%). Here too the picture in the Arab public is similar; 46% voted mainly based on domestic issues, while 29% voted mainly based on foreign and defense concerns.

A segmentation of the responses of the Jewish public by voting reveals that Likud Beiteinu voters (54%) and Hatnuah voters (43%) ascribe the greatest importance to foreign and defense issues, and Yesh Atid voters (80%) and Labor voters (65%) attach the greatest weight to domestic matters.

The performance of the outgoing government: Sixty-five percent of the Jewish respondents assessed the outgoing government's performance on the issue of reducing the social gaps as “very poor” or “moderately poor.” An almost identical negative grade was given to the government's efforts to promote equal sharing of the burden of military service between Haredim and the secular population (64%). A better grade was given for “maintaining economic stability,” with 37% of respondents rating the outgoing government’s performance as poor, 26% as medium, and 35% as good. As for the political-security sphere, the government received more positive grades for its performance on promoting Israeli security (20% poor, 34% medium, and 42% good), but the assessments were more negative regarding promoting peace with the Palestinians (54% poor, 23% medium, and 19% good).

In the eyes of the Arab respondents, the outgoing government failed in four areas: 51% of respondents see it as failing in the area of promoting peace, 58% in the sphere of maintaining economic stability, 62% on the issue of reducing socio-economic gaps, and 57% on the issue of promoting equal sharing of the burden of military service. As for promoting security, here too the highest rate (38%) gave the outgoing government a negative grade; still, one cannot ignore the fact that among Arab respondents, like among Jews, this grade is lower than the other negative grades we noted.

When segmented by party voting, the Jewish respondents' assessments of the government’s performance on the five issues studied can be summed up as follows: On the issue of reducing social gaps, the rate of negative assessments exceeds that of positive assessments among voters for all parties, including Likud Beiteinu. On promoting equal sharing of the military burden between Haredim and the secular, negative assessments exceed positive assessments among voters of all parties (including the Haredi party United Torah Judaism) with the exception of Shas. Likewise, on the issue of promoting peace, the government did not receive good grades from a majority of any party’s voters; here, though, there are considerable gaps between voters for the right-wing and Haredi parties and voters for the left and the center. Voters for Likud Beiteinu, Habayit Hayehudi, Otzma LeYisrael, Shas, and United Torah Judaism showed a more or less even distribution between those rating the government’s performance on this issue as poor, medium, or good, while the decisive majority of voters for Meretz, Labor, Hatnuah, Yesh Atid, and Kadima gave the government a bad grade.

A more mixed picture emerges on the question of the government's performance on promoting Israel’s security, with voters for the right-wing and religious parties tending to view the government's performance positively and voters for the center, including Labor, tending to assess it as medium. In fact, Meretz is the only Zionist party in which a majority of voters (55%) rate the government’s performance negatively on this issue as well. Finally, on the issue of economic stability, there are indeed considerable disparities according to party voting. These disparities, however, do not show a systematic correlation with the distribution between right, center, and left or between secular, religious, and Haredi. These findings, like the findings on the issue of reducing socio-economic gaps, may indicate that the common categorization of right-left and religious-secular is not overly relevant when it comes to economic and social policy.

The Basic Guidelines of the next government. A clear majority of 67% of all Jewish respondents (79% of all Arab respondents) think it is necessary to include renewing talks with the Palestinians in the government's Basic Guidelines. A segmentation by voting (Jewish public) finds that Meretz voters (76%) and Labor voters (54%) attribute the greatest importance to including the renewal of the talks in the Basic Guidelines. A considerably lower proportion of the Jewish public (41%) considers it necessary for the next government to include in its goals the sharing of the burden of army service, regarding both the Haredim and the Arab citizens. Thirty-one percent sees this as a necessary goal regarding the Haredim only and 2% see it as necessary regarding the Arabs only, while 23% see the issue as inessential regarding both Haredim and Arabs.

Here it is interesting to note that when given the choice between the two, 44% of the Jews said it was more important to them that the Haredim join the workforce while only 31% said it was more important to them that the Haredim serve in the army.

Among Arab respondents, the highest rate (40%) said it was not essential to include equal sharing of the burden of military service in the basic goals of the government, regarding army service of either Haredim or Arabs.

Graph of the Month:
Percentage of voters satisfied with the results of the recent elections
(by party voting)

Graph of the Month: Percentage of voters satisfied with the results of the recent elections (by party voting)

The Negotiations Index for January, 2013

The Peace Index project includes ongoing monitoring of the Israeli public's attitudes towards peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The monthly Negotiation Index is comprised of two questions, one focusing on public support for peace negotiations and the other on the degree to which the public believes that such talks will actually lead to peace. The aggregated replies to these two questions are calculated, combined, and standardized on a scale of 0-100, in which 0 represents total lack of support for negotiations and lack of belief in their potential to bear fruit, and 100 represents total support for the process and belief in its potential. Each month, the Negotiations Index presents two distinct findings, one for the general Israeli population and the other for Jewish Israelis.

Negotiation Index: 51.1(Jewish Sample: 48.3)

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone on February 3-4, 2013, by the Dahaf Institute. The survey included 606 respondents, who constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%; statistical processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.

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