The Peace Index poll for December, 2017, discovered that a clear majority of the Jewish public (61%) agrees with the view that “Jerusalem is already divided into two cities: the eastern city and the western city.” Among the Arab interviewees, this rate is slightly higher at about two-thirds.
Nevertheless, almost three out of every four Israeli Jews (72%) think that even with a stable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem should remain united as the capital of Israel. This includes those who would accept to keep Islamic holy places under Arab control.
Very few see a likelihood of alternatives that would reduce Israel’s control of the city: 12% think that with peace, the western part should remain the capital of Israel and the eastern part should be the capital of Palestine; 7% say Jerusalem should be an international city; and 5.5% believe the city should remain united and be the joint capital of Israel and Palestine. That’s 24.5% of Israeli Jews.
In the Arab public the highest rate, 44%, wants the city to be divided with the eastern part serving as the capital of Palestine and the western part as the capital of Israel. The second largest rate, 22%, wants it to remain united and be the capital of both countries, Israel and Palestine.
As to the question, “What, in your opinion, will in fact happen if a peace agreement is signed between Israel and the Palestinians?” half (50%) of the Jewish public answered that the city would remain united as the capital of Israel, about a quarter expect it to be divided and to be the capital of both states, and small percentages chose a common capital or an international city as likely alternatives.
A high rate of Arab interviewees did not give an answer to this question – about one-third, which made it impossible to read this sample’s distribution of responses.
The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. This month’s survey was conducted by telephone and Internet on December 26-27, 2017, and included 600 respondents – 500 Jews and 100 Arabs ages 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical analyses were done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.