Press Release

Most Israelis Trust Government Health Officials on Corona

IDI Coronavirus Survey finds that nearly half the population is pessimistic about Israel’s economic prospects

Flash 90

A special survey by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute examined public opinion about government policies relating to the coronavirus outbreak and the economic fallout from this pandemic. The survey finds that most Israelis think that the government has not overstated the dangers emanating from the outbreak.

Survey Highlights

More trust in professionals – less in the media – Interviews with scientists and medical professionals are seen as the most reliable source of information by the Israeli public opinion, with 76% of Israelis trusting the information transmitted through them. The proportion of credibility attributed to the Ministry of Health's messages is also relatively high (73%). A lower proportion of the public, though still a majority (64%), defines the Prime Minister's messages as credible. However, only about half (51.5%) of Israelis view the reports on television and news sites on the internet as reliable sources of information.

At the bottom of the list are social networks, with the credibility rate for such postings at only 17%.

In your opinion how reliable is information on the coronavirus pandemic from each of the following sources (%, general public, very reliable, somewhat reliable)

Exaggerated or accurate? 37.5% of Israelis believe the government overstated the dangers from the coronavirus epidemic, compared to 58% who disagree. Here too, there is less trust in the media, with 47% thinking that news outlets exaggerate in their reports, compared with 47.5% who think they are reporting accurately.

Examining the sample by earning capacity provides an interesting picture. About a third of those earning below average believe that the government has exaggerated, compared to over 40% among those whose income is average or above average.

The government exaggerated reports of the coronavirus epidemic, by income (%, general public, strongly agree, somewhat agree)

What does the future hold? Israelis are divided about Israel's economic future in the coming year, 50% are pessimistic compared to 47% who remain optimistic.

Segmenting the Jewish sample by location on the ultra-secular continuum indicates that the most religious groups are optimistic (religious - 70%; ultra-Orthodox - 59%; traditional religious - 56%). In contrast, the majority of non-religious groups are pessimistic (secular - 59%; traditional non-religious - 56.5%).

Optimistic regarding Israel’s economic prospects in the upcoming year, by income (%, general public)

The survey Israel in the Time of Coronavirus 6 is a project of the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. In the survey, which was conducted on the internet and by telephone (supplements of groups that are not sufficiently represented on the network) from April 22 to April 23, 2020, 610 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 152 in Arabic, constituting a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and older. The maximum sampling error for the entire sample was 3.7%± at a confidence level of 95%. The fieldwork was done by the Rafi Smith Institute under the direction of Rafi Smith. For the full data file see: Data Israel.