Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dahaf/Saban Poll: 40% of Israelis Feel Israel Won over Hamas with 'Pillar of Defense'

Only about one-third of Israelis think Israel has  benefited from the recent operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, according to an extensive survey conducted by Dahaf Institute for Saban Center for Policy. 40 percent of respondents said that they felt Israel “won the combat in the Gaza Strip.” 45 percent said neither Israel nor Hamas carried the more than week-long conflict, and 11 percent said Hamas came off victorious.

More Poll data: 

• Only 27% of Israelis believe that fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza will end for good through a major military campaign or through reoccupation of Gaza, while 29% say it will end only through a final status agreement with the Palestinians. 40% say fighting will simply not end.
• 45% of Israelis feel that neither Israel nor Hamas won the Gaza war, while 40% say Israel won and 11% say Hamas won.
• 38% of Israelis say that Israel strategic situation remained the same as it was before the Gaza escalation, while 36% say it improved and 21% say it worsened.

U.S.-Israeli Relations

Overall there are some warming trends in Israeli views in relation to the United States. Views of Obama are now quite positive, especially among Jewish Israelis with 62 percent expressing favorable views—up 8 points from the previous year. Asked which world leader they most admire, Obama is the most frequently cited by Israeli Jews-- up dramatically from the previous year. More Israelis see American public support for Israeli security interests as having increased than see it as having decreased over the least few years, and more are optimistic than are pessimistic about US-Israel relations in Obama’s second term.
• Among Jewish Israelis, President Obama is the most frequently mentioned as “most admired world leader” than any other leader—slightly ahead of Germany’s Angela Merkel who has led in the past two years. Nationally, 60% of Israelis have a positive view of Obama.
• Over 60% of Israelis feel that Prime Minister Netanyahu favored Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the American Presidential elections. Yet, a similar number say that Netanyahu’s relationship with Obama will not affect the Israeli-American relationship.
• Slightly more Israeli Jews think that American public support for Israel generally has deceased than increased; yet more Israelis, both Arabs and Jews, feel that American support for “Israeli security needs” has increased than decreased.

The survey measured the opinions of 510 Israeli Jews and 90 Israeli Arabs, and has a 4-point margin of error. About one quarter of the interviews took place on November 21—the eve of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza—and the rest were conducted on November 24 and 25.