June 7, 2010 Israeli Poll on aftermath of Ship Boarding: Top Line Results

Strong Israeli Support for Netanyahu, Ship Boarding and Gaza Blockade; Strong Israeli Dissatisfaction With American Reaction and President Obama

PRINCETON, N.J., June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Pechter Middle East Polls (PMEP) releases data from a nationally representative telephone survey of 500 Israeli Jews conducted in Hebrew June 7, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 4%.

The poll was undertaken in the aftermath of the May 31, 2010 Israeli ship boarding in international waters off Gaza that left nine activists dead and several Israeli commandos injured.

Eighty five percent (85%) of the respondents indicated that Israel either did not use enough force (39%) or used the right amount of force (46%) regarding the recent ship boarding incident. Only eight percent (8%) felt the Israelis used too much force. Sixty one percent …

Cairo and counting

By David Pollock

We are now approaching the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, which offered Arabs and Muslims around the world a new “engagement” with the United States. A year later, how do Arab publics see the results of that effort–and how much do their views about it really matter?

One thing is very clear: compared to former President George W. Bush, Obama’s personal popularity among most Arabs started out much higher and so far has generally stayed that way. The latest available survey data on this are from Pechter Middle East Polls, a young firm based in Princeton, New Jersey that partners with the most credible established local pollsters in each country. The results do vary considerably across …

Iraqi Shiites oppose Iran, poll finds

PRINCETON, N.J., May 5 (UPI) — Only 18 percent of Iraqi Shiites surveyed have a favorable view of the Iranian role in Iraqi political affairs, a survey of 3,000 Iraqis indicated.

A poll conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls in Princeton, N.J., found that 43 percent of the Iraqi Shiites interviewed in April held a negative view of Iranian ties to their political leaders. Only 18 percent of the Shiites interviewed held a favorable view, the poll found.

Shiite Islam is the official religion of Iran while Iraq’s Muslim population is about 60 percent Shiite, Sunnis, who comprise about 35 percent of the population, ran the country while Saddam Hussein was in power.

The survey, conducted for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the findings run …

Iran Gets Negative Reviews in Iraq, Even from Shiites

By David Pollock and Ahmed Ali

Two months after nationwide elections, Iraq’s government formation process is still on hold. The final voting results have yet to be announced as disputes over recounts and candidate disqualifications linger. Nor is it clear how a governing majority will be formed, and power shared, among the four major party alliances, each of which garnered somewhere between 16 percent and 28 percent of the vote: the Kurdish bloc and its affiliates; the largely Sunni or secular Iraqiyah party led by a former prime minister of Shiite origin, Ayad Allawi; incumbent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s largely Shiite State of Law Alliance (SLA); and SLA’s rival Shiite/Sadrist list, the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), a coalition that includes the Islamic …

Iraq Select Poll Results

March 2010 Iraq Select Poll Results ©Pechter Polls, Princeton, NJ  USA

[pdf http://pechterpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Iraq-March-2010-Web.pdf 600 800]

Saudi Arabia by the numbers

By David Pollock

To achieve an accurate measurement of Saudi public opinion, pollsters must pull some tricks out of their sleeves to overcome the roadblocks thrown up by one of the Middle East’s most conservative societies.

The very concept of public opinion in highly secretive Saudi Arabia is almost an oxymoron. Hard data are difficult to come by, and even rarer is information about controversial and strategically critical current issues: views about military action against Iran, corruption and the state of civil liberties within the kingdom, religious extremism and al Qaeda, and donations to other mujahideen. Yet I was able to obtain exactly this kind of data by working with the new Princeton, N.J.-based firm Pechter Middle East Polls and an established regional survey team.

The …

Saudi Public Opinion: A Rare Look

By David Pollock

What issues are of concern to ordinary Saudis? How does the average citizen view the state of the domestic economy? What are the prevailing public attitudes toward religious extremism? As in most countries, long-term stability in Saudi Arabia is ultimately dependent — to one degree or another — on popular acceptance of the current system. Even in the short term, the Saudi government, while far from democratic, is no doubt sensitive to social crosscurrents and diverse reactions to its initiatives. As a result, understanding Saudi public opinion is an important part of gauging the country’s likely future direction. Opinion polls, however, are almost unknown in the kingdom, and anecdotal or indirect measures of these very delicate subjects are notoriously unreliable.

To help remedy …

Saudi Public Backs Iran Sanctions but Split on Military Action

By David Pollock

A highly unusual and credible private poll of Saudi citizens taken in late November 2009 by a reputable regional firm shows solid popular support for tough measures against Iran, even though domestic economic issues loom larger in the public’s perception. Conducted in partnership with Pechter Middle East Polls, a new, Princeton-based research organization, the survey involved face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of 1,000 Saudi citizens in the major metropolitan areas of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam/al-Khobar. A comparable poll was conducted in Egypt during the same period, with a representative national sample of 1,000.

Majority of Saudis Support New Sanctions

A solid majority (57 percent) of urban Saudis approved of “stronger sanctions against Iran” if it “does not accept new limits on its …

Polling Saudis and Egyptians: Iran, Jihad, and the Economy

By David Pollock

New data from credible private polls of the Egyptian and the urban Saudi public show strikingly high levels of support — especially among Saudis — for tough action against Iran’s nuclear program. At the same time, these findings demonstrate clearly that economic concerns, rather than foreign policy or domestic political issues, dominate the popular agenda in both countries.


In late November, a number of organizations conducted public opinion polls in various Arab countries to gauge year-end popular sentiment on topical issues, both foreign and domestic. The findings analyzed here derive from several of these sources. The most detailed were drawn from unique data sets produced by a reputable commercial firm and obtained by Pechter Middle East Polls; they were based on personal …

New ‘Arab Street’ Polls: United States Gaining Ground, Iran Losing

By David Pollock

Several new polls suggest that the United States is gaining ground in the Arab street, and that President Barack Obama’s latest overtures, specifically his June 4 speech in Cairo, were well received by some important Arab constituencies. Although a great deal of skepticism remains, students of Arab public opinion would regard these numbers as surprisingly encouraging. In contrast, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad’s popularity has slipped dramatically in the Arab world, with many saying that the outcome of Iran’s recent presidential election will hurt the region. Approximately half of the Arabs questioned even agree that “if Iran does not accept new restrictions and more international oversight of its nuclear program, the Arabs should support stronger sanctions against Iran around the end of this year.”