Saturday, November 07, 2015

What Do They Think About the Temple Mount?

From the Israel Democracy Institute's The Peace Index: October 2014

The findings of the survey show that, indeed, a certain majority of the Jewish public (56%) currently favors continuing the policy of prohibiting Jews from praying on the mount, but over one-third (38.5%) think the prohibition should be canceled even if this change leads to bloodshed. Similarly, while almost half (47%) support the ruling of most of the haredi and national-religious rabbis that Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is forbidden until the coming of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple, about one-fourth (26%) back the ruling of those rabbis who permit Jews to pray on the mount even now. A segmentation by the interviewees’ religiosity revealed that the traditional-religious, the religious, and the nonreligious traditional sectors showed the highest rates of support for changing the government policy that prohibits Jewish prayer on the mount (49%, 46.5%, and 44% respectively), while the secular and haredi sectors had the lowest rates in favor of a change (34% and 17% respectively).
In this context we also asked about the rabbinical ruling that forbids Jewish prayer on the mount. A huge majority of the haredim (96%) oppose changing this ruling, compared to 60% of the religious. It should be noted that among the secular a very high rate (more than one-third) did not answer this question. 
Less than one-third of Jewish Israelis (31%) believe there is currently a chance of reaching an agreement that would enable the members of both religions to pray at the site, while the majority thinks there is no chance of this whether because of the Muslim side (30%), the Jewish side (4%), or because of both sides together (29%). The assessment of the chances of reaching such an agreement is more optimistic when the matter is put in the framework of a comprehensive peace agreement. In such a situation, the rate of those who believe it would be possible to reach an agreement (45%) is only slightly lower than the rate who do not believe in such a possibility (49%), whether because of the Muslim side (26%), the Jewish side (2%), or because of both sides (21%). As these data show, the rate of those who ascribe the lack of a chance to reach an agreement to the Muslim side, both in the current situation and in one of a comprehensive agreement, is much higher among the Jewish interviewees than the rate who ascribe the low probability of an agreement to the Jewish side.

Among the Arab respondents there is also a majority (64%) that thinks there is currently no chance of reaching an agreement on prayer for the two sides on the mount. In the situation of a comprehensive peace agreement, a smaller majority (53%) thinks there is currently no chance of reaching an agreement. Interestingly, whereas under the current situation the rate of the Arab interviewees who pin the blame on the Jews for the inability to reach a settlement is higher than the rate of those who put the responsibility on the Muslims (because of the Jews—21%, because of the Muslims—9%), when it comes to the situation of a peace agreement, conversely, 24% place the responsibility on the Muslim side and only 10% on the Jewish side.

And from this October year:

Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount: Over half the Jewish respondents (58%) consider that in the current state of affairs, Jews should not be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. At the same time, Netanyahu’s policy on this issue does not get much support.

To the question “In your opinion, is Netanyahu’s policy toward the conflict with the Arab world over the question of prayer on the Temple Mount good or poor from Israel’s standpoint?,” 49% responded that it is very poor or moderately poor while slightly over one-third (35.5%) saw it as very good or moderately good. The Arab public shows broad agreement (83.5%) that, in the current situation, Jews should not pray on the mount. About two-thirds (65.5%) defined Netanyahu’s policy on the issue as very poor or moderately poor. 

In September, last month, it was

Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount: A majority of the Jewish public (57%) favors allowing Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, while 81% of the Arabs believe it should not be allowed.

Other previous results:

60% are not in favor of joint Israeli-Palestinian administration of the Temple Mount (April 2008)

a decisive majority of 64% are opposed to paying for a permanent peace settlement in terms of handing over sovereignty of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, and this includes the Temple Mount and the Old City (May 2001)

With regard to handing the Temple Mount over to Palestinian sovereignty, albeit in recognition of the historic rights of the Jewish people -- while the Western Wall and the Jewish (and Armenian) Quarter would remain under Israeli sovereignty -- opposition ran even higher: 66% were opposed (27% agreed and 7% had no opinion.) (December 2000)

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