The War and Peace Index is written by Prof. Tamar Hermann and Prof. Ephraim Yaar, and funded by the Evans Program for Conflict Resolution Research of Tel Aviv University and The Israel Democracy Institute. The telephone interviews were conducted by the B. I. Cohen Institute of Tel Aviv University on March 15-17, 2010, and included 505 interviewees who represent the adult population of Israel (including the territories and the kibbutzim). The sampling error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.
“If the settlements were the last obstacle to reaching a full peace agreement with the Palestinians and the agreement of all the Arab states to an end of their conflict with Israel, would you then support an evacuation of all of the settlements?”
It turns out the public is almost evenly split on this matter: 42% responded positively and 47.5% negatively. A segmentation of the positions on this question by voting for the Knesset in 2009 reveals extreme gaps between the voters for the different parties. Only among Meretz, Labor, and Kadima voters is there a majority that accepts a full evacuation Sharp gaps also emerged when segmenting the answers by respondents’ degree of support or opposition to negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Among those favoring negotiations the gap is relatively small: 48% are prepared for a full evacuation in return for a full peace and the end of the conflict, while 40% are against it. However, among those who oppose negotiations only 21% favor a full evacuation compared to 75% who oppose it.
Presenting the same question with regard to evacuation of a substantial portion of the settlements (and not all of them) in return for a peace agreement and the end of the conflict, a considerable majority of supporters, 58%, emerged versus 29% for opponents. These findings are consistent with the erosion in the settlements’ status that has occurred among the Jewish public over time. To the question “When you think today about the establishment of the settlements in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, in your opinion was it right or not right for Israeli governments to enable their construction?” — 47% answered that it was right and 40% said it was not. When the same question was presented a decade ago (June 2001), 63% answered that it was right to build the settlements and 28% that it was not. In this period, then, there was a decline of 16% for those who think it was right to build the settlements.