Press Release

Applying Sovereignty - It's Complicated

The Israeli Voice Index for June 2020 published today (Monday) found that Israeli public opinion is divided over possible what steps the government should take for applying Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank and what such a plan should look like. The Index also found that there is a decline in how Israelis estimate the government is handling the coronavirus crisis along with a sharp increase in the number of Israelis who fear their economic future. In addition, the Index indicated that a majority of Israelis believe that when it comes to Israel’s interests, Donald Trump is the better candidate in the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.

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The Israeli Voice Index is a monthly survey conducted by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute. For the full index.

Main Findings

Uncertainty regarding Israeli Sovereignty in the West Bank - With plans for applying sovereignty in parts of the West Bank still unclear, Israelis are divided on what steps their government should take – 29% of Israelis say they do not know if the government should move forward with annexation, 25% oppose any application of sovereignty, 24% support applying sovereignty to all of Judea and Samaria, 14% support applying sovereignty only to the large settlement blocs and 8% support applying sovereignty only to the Jordon Valley. 

Among those who support applying sovereignty, only about half retain this opinion if it includes Israel agreeing to a future Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank.

In any event, the majority of Israelis (55%) sees only a low chance that a move to apply sovereignty will be made in the coming year.

The public’s positions on the different options for applying sovereignty (%, entire public)

Government grades on handling the corona virus crisis – On a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent), the Israeli public gives the government the mediocre grade of 5.4 for its handling of the coronavirus crisis (down from 6.5 three weeks ago on June 9th). Arab Israelis gave a higher grade on average (5.85) than Jewish Israelis (5.31). In addition, there are considerable gaps in perception of the government's competence based on which political parties respondents voted for and their self-identification on the Religious-Secular Right-Left wing spectrum.

Fear for Economic Future – the survey revealed a sharp increase in the public’s concern for their economic future. Although the rise was sharper among Jewish Israelis (60% up from 50% in May), 64% of Arab Israelis fear their economic future. The groups among Jewish Israelis, that showed the largest increase in fear (from June 9th) were: secular from 50% to 64%, young people (up to age 24: from 48% to 60.5%; age 25-34: from 58% to 67%), and among those with higher-than-average income (from 31% to 48%).

Fearing for their economic future (%, entire sample)

U.S. Elections – 56% of Israelis think that from the standpoint of Israel’s interests, Donald Trump is the preferable presidential candidate while 16% would prefer Joe Biden. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they do not know which candidate they prefer. Segmentation by political affiliation finds greater support for Donald Trump among right-wing and center voters.

  Trump (%) Biden (%) Don’t know (%)
Left 25 56 19
Center 46 20 34
Right 75 5 20

The Israeli Voice Index for June 2020 was prepared by 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 June 28 to 30, 2020, 609 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 149 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 Midgam Institute. For the full data file see Data Israel.