Polls: Division of Jerusalem and Israelis

January 15, 2011

jerusalem-neighborhoods-mapIn my previous post, I examined data drawn from a recent survey of Jerusalem Arabs polling their attitudes toward partition of the city. It was found that Arab residents of East Jerusalem are more in favor of acquiring Israeli citizenship and having their neighborhoods remain in sovereign Israeli territory than they are of becoming Palestinian citizens or having their neighborhoods transferred to Palestinian control. In this post, I will be examining Israeli attitudes toward division of the city.

Since the capture of Jordanian-occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and reunification of the city, Israelis have been staunchly opposed to division. Jerusalem is frequently and popularly referred to as the eternal, united, and indivisible capital of the Jewish people. This attitude is reflected in the municipality and state’s considerable investment in the Old City, particularly the Jewish quarter, its development of archaeological projects and parks in the most historical portions of the city, and its 40 years of neighborhood construction particularly in its expanded eastern “envelope.”

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Poll: Israeli Public Opinion on West Bank Withdrawal

December 28, 2010

inssFor today’s post, I am drawing information from reports written for the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), which incorporates the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. The INSS releases monthly reports on a number of issues including Israeli public opinion on national security issues, Israeli national security, and Middle East military affairs in general. Among the more interesting of the public opinion polling data they have released regards Israeli attitudes to territorial withdrawal in the West Bank.

Although reports on Israeli security attitudes were published by the INSS from the mid-1980s, data on Israeli support for withdrawal from specific areas of the West Bank began in 1994 and have continued through 2009. The four areas originally included in the reports were Gush Etzion, the Jordan Valley, Western Samaria, and East Jerusalem. In 2001, the language regarding East Jerusalem was changed to the “Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem.” In 2005, questions were included about the Temple Mount and Eastern Samaria, and, in 2009, a question was added about Hebron.

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At War with the “Peace Index”

November 22, 2010

peace-index

Okay, so the title is a bit of an exaggeration, but it captured your interest didn’t it? In an effort to collect a wide range of reliable longitudinal survey data of Israeli public opinion, I have been grabbing data from a number of fantastic sources around the web.

Among them are Israel Democracy Institute’s Israeli Democracy Index, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University’s impeccable public opinion survey reports, and Tel Aviv University’s War and Peace Index published by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research (TSC).  The former two institutes have put out a number of reports, many of which offer a range of longitudinal data in single reports. In short, I only have to read a document or two to get an understanding of the full range of their data.

By contrast, rather than offering any kind of composite report, the Peace Index lists its reports monthly from 1994-2009. While the site lists which questions are a permanent part of the index, they do not tell you which reports include responses to these questions. So let’s do the math. For a span of 16 years at 12 months a year, that equals 192 individual reports.

In order to compile data, I have had to go through each document, primarily in Hebrew, select out the questions in which I am interested, and individually record each and every data point. If you’ve ever wondered why professors hire research assistants, here is your answer. 5 hours in, I have only made my way through four years of data. If I stay on track, it should only take me another 15 hours to get through the rest.

I hope the data is ultimately worth the effort. Smile with tongue out

update (11/10/2011): Almost a year later, having poured over the data and produced numerous analyses that you can now find all over this blog, I can say with absolute certainty that yes, it was worth the effort.