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70 Percent of Israeli Women Favor Direct Talks with PLO

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More than 70 percent of Israeli women favor direct talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization, compared with 50 percent of men, according to Professor Naomi Chazan of the Hebrew University.

The data come from three separate surveys, Chazan said in an address to women employees of the Foreign Ministry.

A recent opinion poll showed that 54 percent of the overall population favors talks with the PLO, something Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir repeatedly has vowed will never occur.

Chazan, who heads the university’s African studies department, said that until two or three years ago, there had been a common misconception that women’s attitudes toward war and peace were similar to those of men. But research shows that there are major differences, she said.

Chazan, and Professor Galia Golan, a Hebrew University Sovietologist, have been examining women’s attitudes for the past 18 months. They found changes since the Lebanon war, when women were more hawkish than men.

They said religious women now seem to be more hawkish than religious men, secular woman more dovish than secular men and better-educated women more dovish than others.

With respect to nuclear warfare, they found that 47.7 percent of men would be willing to use nuclear weapons to defend Israel’s existence, compared with only about 25 percent of women.

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