A majority of Israeli Jews support segregated buses for Palestinians and Jewish people in the West Bank, according to a poll published Wednesday. The segregation policy was briefly instituted in May before being stopped one day later, amid a severe international backlash.
A Peace Index poll conducted in May by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, found that 52 percent of Jewish Israelis supported segregating Jewish and Palestinian passengers on West Bank buses, while 42 percent said they were opposed to the practice. Seventy percent of Arab respondents opposed the measure.
The poll also quizzed respondents on other issues relating to Jewish settlement of the occupied territories and Israeli international diplomacy.
When asked about a hypothetical boycott on goods produced in occupied lands, 79 percent of Jewish Israelis and 59 percent of Arab Israelis said they were not in favor of such a measure. Most Jewish Israelis also said they would not move to the occupied territories even if they were offered good housing at a low price.
Meanwhile, a majority of Jewish respondents (69 percent) said Israel's relations with the international community were not good. However, 58 percent of Arab respondents said Israel’s relations with the world were very good or moderately good, which the report speculates could stem from a widely held belief among Palestinians that Israel enjoys the support of the international community.
A significant majority (71 percent) of Jewish respondents also agreed with the statement: “The countries of the world make demands for moral behavior on Israel that they do not make on other countries that are in situations of conflict,” reflecting a widespread belief that Israel’s foreign policies are more harshly judged than those of other countries.
The Peace Index Project was founded in 1994, and conducts monthly polls based on current events in Israel.