In December 2013, the EU has offered Israel and the Palestinians an unprecedented package of political, economic and security support in the context of a final status agreement. This package includes the upgrading of ties with the EU to a Special Privileged Partnership – the highest possible level for a non-member state.
On 9-10 March 2014, a public opinion poll regarding the EU offer was initiated by Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. The poll was conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute, among 500 men and women, as a representative sample of the Israeli adult population (Jewish and Arab sectors).
The main findings of the poll are:
84% of the Israeli public has never heard of the package offered by the EU to Israel in December 2013.
After being read the text of the offer, 19% declared that it increases their support for the peace process; 59% stated that it does not alter their position regarding the peace process; 8% claimed that it decreases their support for the peace process. 14% did not have an opinion.
Percentages of increased support for the peace process were highest among secular and educated respondents, aged 30-49, with voting preferences to the center-left.
Of interest is that a relatively-high 31% of Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid’s party) supporters stated that the EU offer increases their support for the peace process.
Among national-religious and ultra-Orthodox respondents, there were more who stated that the EU offer decreases their support for the peace process, than the other way around (but for most of them – it did not lead to any change of position).
Respondents were also asked what would have happened if the EU incentive package would have included an offer to Israel to become a full EU member once IsraeliPalestinian peace is reached.
In such a case, 27% declared that it increases their support for the peace process; 53% stated that it does not alter their position regarding the peace process; 6% claimed that it decreases their support for the peace process. 14% did not have an opinion.
The upgrading of the offer’s content had a striking impact on those respondents intending to vote for Likud-Beytenu. The original EU offer increased the support for peace of 12% of these respondents. The upgraded offer lifted this number to 29%.