Majority of Israeli Jews say talks will fail: Poll

AFP , Wednesday 7 Aug 2013

Israel's Arab population were more optimistic about the chances of peace

Israel's Jewish population is overwhelmingly of the opinion that negotiations with the Palestinians will fail to achieve peace, according to a poll published Wednesday.

Some 80 percent of Israeli Jews said the chances of success of US-brokered talks, which resumed on July 29 after a three-year hiatus, were "low," against only 18 percent who said they were "high".

The survey, conducted by Tel Aviv University, interviewed 602 Israelis between July 28 and 30 and has an error margin of 4.5 percent.

Most of those interviewed -- 64 percent -- believed Palestinian leaders were not genuine in wanting to resume talks, but 63 percent believed the Israeli government did want peace.

They were mostly unwilling, however, for the government to concede on issues deemed crucial to achieving an agreement.

Almost 63 percent opposed a return to the 1967 lines that existed before Israel occupied the West Bank -- a key Palestinian demand -- and 58 percent opposed the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territory, even if the largest settlements were allowed to remain.

The previous round of talks in September 2010 collapsed when Israeli refused to stop its settlement building.

Some 77 percent on those interviewed also opposed the right of return for Palestinian refugees exiled after the Jewish state's creation in 1948 and the 1967 Six Day War.

And half the Jewish respondents opposed the partition of Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as capital of their future state.

Israel's Arab population were more optimistic about the chances of peace.

Some 47 percent of Israeli Arabs thought talks were likely to achieve a peace agreement, against 41 percent who said the chances were low.

A vast majority -- 85 percent -- believed the Palestinians genuinely wanted talks to succeed.

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