The October 2011 Peace Index Poll, conducted by the Evens Program for Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute, has found that Israelis, by more than a 2 to 1 margin, support a new offensive against Hamas in Gaza (65% to 31%) and do not believe that renewed negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) will lead to peace (66% to 31%). This was despite the fact that a majority supported renewed talks with the PA (70%) and would favor a restrained response in Gaza on the assumption that such an approach helped to preserve the fragile Israeli relationship with Egypt (54%) (The Peace Index: October 2011: Jews 65%: 31.4% support wide-scale military operation in Gaza, Independent Media Review Analysis, November 8, 2011).
The findings of Israeli support for a renewed offensive against Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza reflect earlier polls, including an April 2011 New Wave poll, which found that 60% of Israelis believe the government should initiate another operation against Hamas, whereas only 30% believed it should not.
Similarly, Israeli disbelief that renewed negotiations with the PA will bring peace reflect earlier findings, including that of the October 2010 Peace Index Poll, which found that Israelis, by 65% to 34% believe that negotiations between Israel and the PA will not lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians in coming years; that 72% of Israelis believe that The Palestinians have not accepted the existence of the State of Israel and would destroy it if they could; that 67% of Israelis believe Palestinians will not accept Israel even if a peace agreement were to be signed; and that only 27% of Israelis believe that the PA will fulfill its obligations under any peace agreement that might be signed, whereas 68% of Israelis believe they will not.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, This new poll demonstrates clearly that Israelis would like to see sterner action taken against the rocket and other assaults upon Israel that are launched from Hamas-run Gaza. They will back a more restrained policy towards Gaza only if it can be shown that doing so enables the security relationship with Egypt – which can assist Israel reducing threats from Gaza – to be preserved.
This poll also shows clearly that most Israelis remain firmly of the view that peace talks with the PA will not produce peace. This is consistent with numerous other polls showing that Israelis do not regard Abbas PA as genuine peace partner or Palestinian society as desiring a genuine peace with Israel.