Study: Israelis Trust Trump To Look Out for Them, But Doubt He Can Make Peace
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Study: Israelis Trust Trump To Look Out for Them, But Doubt He Can Make Peace

President Donald Trump at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. (Israel Bardugo)
President Donald Trump at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. (Israel Bardugo)

A new study published today shows that Israelis lack confidence in President Trump’s ability to create peace, although they do believe he has the country’s best interests in mind.

The Peace Index, a project of the Guttman Center for Public Opinion at the Israel Democracy Institute and Policy Research and Tel Aviv University’s Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution monitors public sentiment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and current political and diplomatic events.

This month’s findings covered issues including Israeli views of Trump, attitudes towards the drafting of ultra-Orthodox citizens of Israel, and the conflict on the Gaza border.

The study found that 74% of Israelis think that Trump’s as-yet-unknown peace plan will be unsuccessful, though 77% of the Israeli public believe that Trump supports Israel’s best interests. 83% of Israeli Jews think that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) should shoot directly at terror kite assailants, who are launching kites laden with explosives or fire from Gaza into areas of Israel and causing damage to properties and fields across the border. 57% think that the IDF is doing a good job in dealing with Palestinian attacks on the Gaza border.

From the Peace Index: Do you agree or disagree with the claim that the IDF should directly target those who are launching the incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza? (Percentage who are sure it should or think it should- Arabs; Jews by political camp.)

Of Palestinian citizens of Israel, however, 87% think that the IDF should not shoot directly at those launching ‘terror kites,’ and 79% believe that both the IDF and the Israeli government are failing to deal with the situation.

In terms of the IDF itself, 63% of the Israeli public (70% of Jews, and 27% of Arab citizens) support drafting the ultra-Orthodox to the IDF, and under 25% supports allowing Haredim to defer their draft for five years to obtain additional years of yeshiva study. While 39.5% of Israeli Jews think that mandatory draft should be abolished and the IDF should transition to a professional army. Support for the professionalization of the IDF is much higher among the ultra-Orthodox.

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