Friday, February 8, 2013

Changes Seen in Peace Accords, But Not Collapse

Israeli and Egyptian publics see change likely in the Camp David Peace Accords, but not collapse.  Two recent respected polls in the respective countries describe publics with some similarities. A Gallup 2012 survey shows that a plurality of Egyptians believe the peace treaty is a “good thing” (48%) (42% “bad”). Israelis, when asked in a University of Maryland survey, only 17 percent say the treaty will be terminated and 77 percent believe it will be continued, although many believe it will be changed.

In general, a narrow majority of Israelis see the Arab Spring as making things worse for them (51%), but 48 percent aren’t surprised by Egyptian President Morsi’s policies. Only 17 percent thought they were worse than expected and 23 percent better.

Iran President Ahmadinejad’s shaky welcome in Egypt reflects local public opinion. In the survey, U.S. leadership was approved by only 18 percent of the Egyptian public, but China leadership only received a 15 percent positive rating and Iran 21 percent. A substantial majority of Egyptians (62%) support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation, again demonstrating the lack of alignment of the Egyptian public with Iran’s support for the Syrian regime.

Israelis are much more ambivalent about the result in Syria. Forty-two percent believe the victory of the Syrian opposition will make things worse and only 30 percent believe it will be better.

Also, President Obama had a 60 percent positive rating from the Israeli public.

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