Washington, Feb. 21 – Only 8 percent of Jordanians, a country which has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1994, say that Israel has a permanent right exist as a Jewish state. By contrast, nearly nine-in-ten (86 percent) believe that “over time Palestinians must work to get back all of the land for a Palestinian state.”
Additionally, a majority (52 percent) believe that Jordan should cancel its peace treaty with Israel. This opinion spreads across all demographics but one, a majority (52 percent) of 18-24 year olds favor keeping the peace treaty intact.
Both Benjamin Netanyahu (96 percent negative) and Shimon Peres (96 percent) have negative images among Jordanians. But, interestingly, so do Barack Obama (82 percent), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (73 percent), Hassan Nasrallah (69 percent), Mahmoud Abbas (62 percent), and Ismali Haniyeh (57 percent).
Notably, Jordanians have become much more negative toward Mahmoud Abbas today (35 positive – 62 negative) than they were in April 2010 (66 positive – 31 negative). Ahmadinejad’s image has also taken a negative slide since 2010, going from a high of 40 positive – 56 negative, to today’s much lower 25 positive – 73 negative.
Thinking about the United States, 80 percent of respondents give a negative score, but 40 percent believe Arab governments SHOULD have good relations with the U.S. However, this opinion is down from June 2009 (immediately following Obama’s Cairo speech) when 53 percent believed this to be true.
In a sign of some concern for the leadership, the top priority respondents named for the government to attempt is “reducing corruption and bribery in government.”
Said TIP’s Director for Arabic Media Shimrit Meir, “Although these polls show that hatred for Israel is deeply entrenched in Jordan and Lebanon, The Israel Project is working to push back hatred and violence. Given the poll numbers, we know we have our work cut out for us. We can only go up.”
The Israel Project’s two Arabic language Facebook pages, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel provide factual stories about Israeli culture and democracy. TIP also added to its Facebook page an application with job postings, scholarship and study opportunities and a “how-to” career section in Arabic. TIP’s Arabic social media presence has garnered 368,851 ‘likes’ and almost 46.9 million post views.
The survey was conducted November 19 – December 11, 2011 by Pechter Middle East Polls among 1,000 Lebanese adults. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.