TEL AVIV (Apr. 3)
The Israel Defense Force beat God by a 57-17 percent margin when respondents to a survey were asked to comment on the Biblical quotation “The Guardian Angel of Israel slumbers not, nor sleeps.”
Only 13 percent thought the State of Israel was the guardian angel and 10 percent suggested it was the people of Israel. The United States came out poorly. Only 2 percent saw its role as Israel’s guardian, a tie with those who said it was a case of every man for himself.
The survey, which found Israelis optimistic about peace and confident in the country’s security situation, was part of a research project on national security and public opinion conducted by Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.
A total of 1,172 Jewish adults was polled. Kibbutz members were not included. No less than 96 percent of the respondents were confident that Israel will continue to exist and 86 percent saw no danger of another Holocaust. While most thought Israel’s security situation today is not quite as good as it was prior to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, they were sure it would improve.
ISRAEL CAN STAVE OFF ATTACKS
Three-quarters of the respondents thought that Israel could successfully repel a combined attack by all of its Arab neighbors; 94 percent were sure Israel would win a war against Syria alone; and 92 percent thought Israel would win the war against terrorism. A substantial 69 percent was convinced that Israel could sustain weakened support from the U.S.
Only 47 percent believed IDF decisions were always objective and 53 percent believed nonmilitary and even political considerations were sometimes involved in military decisions. Only a third of the respondents agreed that decisions by the political leadership on security matters were always based on the merits of the case.
On politically controversial matters, 47 percent favored the status quo in the administered territories; 23 percent favored annexation; and 30 percent would agree to exchange territory for peace.
The respondents were split 50-50 over whether Israel should negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization if it renounces terrorism and recognizes the Jewish State.