Press Release

The Israeli Voice Index – August 2020

As Israelis approach the Jewish new year, they are skeptical about the country's collective mood but personally optimistic about the future. The Israeli public is also pleased about the expected treaty with the UAE and skeptical about the longevity of the government.

Flash 90

The Israeli Voice Index for August 2020 published today (Tuesday) found that as the Jewish New Year approaches, over 66% of Israelis describe the national mood in pessimistic terms. On a personal level, however, more than half of those interviewed (52%) say that they are optimistic about the upcoming year. Large majorities of Israeli are also optimistic about the possible benefits they believe will result from the expected agreement with the UAE.

When asked about the political situation, 68% of Israelis think there is a high or very high chance that the compromise between Likud and Blue and White set to expire in four months will lead to new elections. Among Jewish Israelis who participated in protests against the government and Prime Minister Netanyahu 59% of Israelis think that the upcoming year will be worse than the last. Read the full survey.

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

Main Findings

As the New Year Approaches

The National Mood - two-thirds of the interviewees describe the public mood in pessimistic terms and about a fourth describe it as optimistic. In the past, the rate of those assessing the national mood as positive as the new year approached was considerably higher. On this issue we did not find a significant disparity between Jews and Arabs.

With the beginning of the new year, how would you define the “national mood” at present? (%, entire sample)

Personal Mood - the personal mood is much more positive than the view of the public mood: more than half of the interviewees (52%) say that they are optimistic about the upcoming year and a lower rate (44%) said they were pessimistic with the new year approaching. Unlike the previous question, on this one a disparity emerged between Jews and Arabs: whereas among the Jews optimists are a majority (54%), among the Arabs the rate of pessimists is higher than the rate of optimists (49% vs. 38%).

For the country - only a minority (27%) considers that from the standpoint of the country, the coming year, 5781 (2020-2021), will be better than the one that is ending, while the highest rate (40%) expects that the new year will be less good than the previous one.

How, in your opinion, in general, will the new year be from the standpoint of the country (%, entire sample)

Elections Imminent? The Israeli public thinks that the current government’s days are numbered – and that the chances it will expire at the end of the four month compromise between the Likud and Blue and White are – 68% high or very high, 18% low or very low and 14% don’t know.

Social Protest – Overall about a tenth of the interviewees said they had participated in recent months in one or more of the protest activities against the government’s policy and/or Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Among Jewish Israelis who participated– 46.5% self-identified as left-wing, 27.5% as center and 26% as right-wing.

Participated in recent months in one or more of the protest activities against the government’s policy and/or Prime Minister Netanyahu, by political camp (%, Jews)

Young and Old - The current wave of protest is of either mainly young or older people, while the intermediate ages are less present - 35% are between ages 18-34, 21% between ages 35-54 and 44% are 55 and older.

Clashes with the police – Israelis are divided as to who is responsible for the clashes between the demonstrators and the police. About a third hold the demonstrators more responsible, a similar rate (31%) think the police are responsible, and about a fourth said both sides were equally responsible. Among Jewish Israelis the highest rate pin the responsibility for the clashes during the demonstrations more on the demonstrators; among Arab Israelis, on the police.

Agreement with the UAE – the majority of Israelis think the newly signed agreement with the UAE will benefit Israel in different spheres – 79% in economic, 76% in political-diplomatic, 76% in tourism. 53% think the warming of ties will yield a security-military benefit.

Talks with the Palestinians – as for the question whether the agreement with the UAE will contribute to or detract from promoting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, among Israeli Jews 55% think it will contribute, 22% think it will detract and 23% don’t know. Among Arab Israelis respectively answered 33%, 37% and 30%.

The Israeli Voice Index for August 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 August 31 to September 2, 2020, 605 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 145 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