Large gaps in trust between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab-Israelis
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Large gaps in trust between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab-Israelis

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There are large gaps in trust between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab-Israelis across Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to a recent survey by Tel Aviv University (TAU).
“Unsurprisingly, the Jewish public expressed very high levels of distrust towards the Palestinians in Gaza (85%) and on the West Bank (84%),” TAU said in its report. “But still, these are a bit lower than the level of total distrust of Hamas (97%).
Among respondents in the Jewish public, there is also distrust of Arabs who are citizens of Israel, except among left-wingers, as three-quarters of them expressed trust in Arab citizens of Israel.”In comparison, mistrust of Palestinians and Arab-Israelis by the Jewish public is at “higher levels” than that of the Arab public’s perception of the Jewish public, which is reported to be at more “moderate” levels.
While the majority of respondents relayed their willingness to close said gap, by strengthening equality and cooperation between the sides, Jewish respondents feel a need to strengthen “Jewish control” over the region following the most recent escalation and civil unrest that plagued the country in May — Although that notion had low support from the left-wing Israeli supporters.
Arab-Israeli respondents showed clear support (75%) for increasing equality among the Jewish and Arab groups.”In contrast, the Arab public expressed more ambivalence regarding their level of trust for all three of the groups mentioned, but among those who expressed opinions, a majority (61%) expressed distrust of Jewish citizens of Israel,” TAU explained.
Zoning in on relations between the two opposing groups, a larger majority of the Jewish public are for further coordination with Arab-Israeli citizens and Palestinians alike — except those who stand in right-wing camps, who held split opinions on such a step.
Arab-Israeli respondents additionally expressed their support (71%) for further cooperation between the groups and an opposition to separating the groups, although stood divided on policies that would increase Israeli control across the region.”Most of the left and center (95% and 83% respectively) support increased equality for the two groups, while half of the moderate right-wing support such moves,” TAU said. “Among the right-wing, only 28% expressed support.

“Similar data appear for the four ideological Jewish groups, regarding the level of opposition to an increase in separation between Arabs and Jews (85%, 65%, 55%, and 27% respectively).” With regard to the widespread civil unrest that plagued the country during the most recent IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, half of the Israeli public was under the belief that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to deal with the violence properly, nor did they believe the violence was justified but instead instigated by Palestinians and Arab-Israelis holding positions of influence across the region, while the Arab public believed Netanyahu fueled the strife.Right-wing (81%) and moderate right-wing (74%) Israeli supporters both shared the belief that Netanyahu did not want to exacerbate the recent civil unrest that stormed through the mixed-cities across the country, while left-wing supporters (82%) and centrists (69%) thought the exact opposite — displaying the mirror image of both camps with regard to the former prime minister.

Similarly, although displaying further gaps in opinions, right-wing camps believed Netanyahu did well to quell the violence while left-wing Israelis in greater majorities believed that he aggravated the situation.The general Arab public tended to hold similar views with the left-wing camps across Israel, that instead of stamping out the violence, Netanyahu incited it to further the operation in Gaza. Both Arab and Jewish sectors did, however, agree that the violence was unjustified and only furthered the divide between the two sides.When asked about the IDF’s Operation Guardian of the Wall, around half of the Jewish public believes Israel “achieved more significant gains than Hamas in the recent fighting.

” This is despite the feeling that the world perceives the operation as being of a  “disproportionate nature.” A larger majority supports further military operations to bring the total collapse of Hamas in the Gaza Strip or long-term solution to the ongoing conflict. “Most of the Arab public support a long-term solution (57%), but a third did not express their opinion,” TAU said.

The most common answer given, however, across the Arab sector was that they “did not know” who gained the upper hand in the fighting, and with regard to international opinion surrounding how the conflict played out, they are evenly divided on how the world views Israel in the aftermath of the violence believing that many countries still support the Jewish State regardless.In the context of future negotiations and peace arrangements with the Palestinians, there has been some opposition to “maintaining the present situation in comparison to previous surveys,” with many reconsidering their positions on the decades-long conflict, meaning that while a larger portion of the public prefer a one-state solution, the majority still supports a two-state — as well as additional considerations regarding annexation and a binational coexistence.”Among the respondents, most on the left (55%) and on the right (53%) responded that it had not led to reconsideration, while among the moderate right and the center, most answered positively,” said TAU in its report.

“People on the right who responded that they were reconsidering their opinions were divided between those who said that they were weighing whether to support a military solution (33%) and those who stated that they were thinking about supporting an agreed upon political solution (16%).

“Centrists responded more commonly to a political solution (37%), and in contrast, about a third of the Arab public did not respond, while about a quarter said they would consider “supporting an agreed upon political solution.””Despite the growing dissatisfaction with the existing situation, there is no sign of change, when compared to the previous index, in answers to the question of which solution has the highest probability of being achieved, as in the last index, continuing the present situation is the most frequent reply in the sample (46%),” TAU explained.Noting the new unity government headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, which is without a leader currently on trial for public corruption (i.e. Netanyahu), two-thirds of the respondents to the survey are categorically for a law that would prevent those accused of a criminal act from serving as prime minister.

“The data received indicates stability, when contrasted to the previous index, in support of a law to prevent those accused of criminal activity from serving as prime minister (66% in contrast to 65%), including broad support among right-wing voters (69%),” TAU noted. “Netanyahu’s proposal for direct elections for prime minister also gains wide support among the right-wing (87%) and from the moderate right (71%), compared to opposition from the centrists (63%) and from the left-wing (82%).”

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