A new survey exposes rarely seen aspects of public opinion inside Saudi Arabia. The Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya conducted an academic survey in Saudi Arabia throughout the end of May and into June.
The random phone poll included ten questions with 506 respondents and a response rate of 22 percent. The poll was carried out in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. It was conducted in Arabic, controlled for gender, cell phone/land line numbers and urban/rural areas. Eli Mograbi assisted with the survey’s implementation. The poll and its results achieved extensive media coverage in leading media organizations around the world and in Israel, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, ABC News, Channel 2 News and others.
Among the key findings:
Only 18.4% of Saudis consider Israel as the biggest threat to Saudi Arabia
85.5% support the Saudi-Arab Peace Initiative
53% of those polled believe Iran is the biggest threat to Saudi Arabia; ISIS polled second at 22.1%
52.6% believe Saudi Arabia needs to acquire a nuclear weapon if Iran does.
23.7% believe Saudi Arabia should fight Iran alongside Israel.
70.9% believe Iran is a threat to Saudi sovereignty.
Professor Alex Mintz, Director of the Institute for Strategy and Policy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya, who designed and oversaw the poll, said “The poll shows a clear shift in Saudi public opinion. Israel is not considered a major threat to Saudi Arabia anymore, and the majority of those surveyed are willing to see us live in peace under the Saudi-Arab Peace Initiative. We certainly didn’t expect 24% to say they would fight Iran with Israel. This is a strong indication of the shared interests of these two countries, and how tides are turning in the region.”