Peace in the Middle East

Apr 18, 2011

Q. What, in your view, is the single biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Unwillingness of Israelis/ Palestinians to compromise 33% 38% 31% 37%
The Israeli (housing) settlements in areas which Palestinians claim for an independent Palestine 6% 6% 7% 14%
Israel’s oppression of Palestinians 8% 8% 8% 15%
Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis 5% 3% 7% 5%
Infighting between the various Palestinian organisations (e.g. Hamas and Fatah) 6% 5% 7% 4%
Inaction by the United Nations 3% 4% 3% 2%
Opposition to Israel from other Middle Eastern countries 8% 7% 9%
Don’t know 31% 29% 28% 23%

One third (33%) of respondents think that the unwillingness of Israelis and Palestinians to compromise is the single biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East and a further one third (31%) do not know. The remaining 36% selected a range of reasons including Israel’s oppression of Palestinians (8%) and opposition to Israel from other Middle Eastern countries (8%).

There were few substantial differences across voter groups.

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Israel-Palestine Conflict

Apr 18, 2011

Q. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Total Neither/ Don’t know Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Australia should support the Israelis rather than Palestinians 14% 23% 62% 6% 8% 33% 12% 11% 29%
Being critical of Israel makes a person anti- Semitic 10% 46% 45% 4% 6% 23% 24% 22% 22%
The Palestine- Israel conflict fuels anti- Semitism in Australia 27% 24% 49% 5% 22% 24% 17% 7% 25%
The Palestine- Israel conflict fuels anti-Muslim feelings in Australia 31% 21% 48% 7% 24% 24% 16% 5% 24%

The most common answers to these statements on the Israel/Palestine conflict were ”neither agree nor disagree” and “don’t know”. These results indicate both a low level of awareness/interest and an inclination not to take a position one way or the other. The finding that only 14% agree that Australia should support the Israelis rather than Palestinians underlines this reluctance to take sides on this issue.

Views on most statements were split – except for 46% disagreement that “Being critical of Israel makes a person anti-Semitic”.

Respondents were slightly more likely to think the Israel/Palestine conflict fuels anti-Muslim feeling that anti-Semitism.

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