Poll: 70% of Israeli Jews Support Death Penalty for Terrorists
The Peace Index, which every month asks 600 Israelis – 500 Jews and 100 Arabs – about the events of the previous month, in July inquired about giving the death penalty to terrorists. For some reason, this question was posed to Jewish respondents only: “Since the recent terror attack in Halamish there have been calls for imposing and implementing the death penalty for terrorists. Do you support or oppose the execution of Palestinians found guilty of murdering Israeli civilians for nationalist reasons?”
Of the 500 Jewish respondents, 44% strongly supported, and 25.8% moderately supported the death penalty. 12.4% moderately opposed, and only 12.9% strongly oppose. 4.9% declined to answer.
The question was then rephrased: “And what about those who have murdered Israeli soldiers for nationalist reasons—do you support or oppose the execution of those found guilty?”
Strongly support: 41.7%; Moderately support: 24.1%; Moderately oppose: 13.9%; Strongly oppose: 14.1%; and
Don’t know/Decline to answer: 6.1%.
On Prime Minister Netanyahu’s handling of the Temple Mount crisis: The survey findings show that 64% of the Jewish public sees the event as a failure of the Prime Minister. In the Arab public, the rate of those who give Netanyahu a failing grade reached 74%.
Assessing the support for the terror attack on the Temple Mount among the Israeli Arab population: because the terror attack on the Temple Mount was perpetrated by three Arab citizens of Israel, the survey looked into what, in the Jewish public’s assessment, is the extent of support for this act in the Israeli Arab population as a whole.
The opinions on this matter are not homogeneous: while the most common response (38%) is indeed that almost no one or only a minority supports the attack, at the same time 26% think that about half of the Israeli Arabs support the attack and 31% believe that most or almost all of them support it. That is, a majority of the Jewish public (about 57%) thinks that about half or more of the Israeli Arab population identifies with the terror attack on the Temple Mount.
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 on the internet in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian on July 25-27, 2017, by the Midgam Research Institute.