41.5% of Jewish Israelis think that the solution to maintain the status-quo with the Palestinians is acceptable– 34% think the same of a two-state solution
* After last month’s rise, the July survey found stability in the rate of optimists (about half of the entire public) about the future of Israel’s democratic governance and the future of its national security.
* The issues that currently most concern the Israeli public are the state of the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle is the functioning of the new government; after that come the security situation and the climate crisis.
* The public as a whole is still divided on the question of the new government’s ability to last at least a year. But while on the left and in the center a majority sees the chances of that as high, on the right only a minority takes that view.
* The report card for the prime minister and the other ministers is unimpressive to put it mildly. The highest rate gave a positive grade to Defense Minister Gantz; the lowest rate gave a positive grade to Health Minister Horowitz.
* The public takes different views of Finance Minister Liberman’s motive for cutting the daycare subsidy for children of yeshiva students who do not work on the one hand, and for taxing the use of disposable plastic tableware on the other. Regarding the subsidy cut, a majority among the Haredi, religious, and religious-traditional groups says the motive is to harass Haredi society. Regarding the tax, only the Haredim see it that way.
* A majority of the public thinks the Israeli authorities should intervene and prevent private companies from selling spyware and weaponry to nondemocratic regimes.
* The Israeli public is not enthused over any of the solutions to the conflict with the Palestinians currently on the table. The approach that wins the most support is to leave the current situation as it is; after that comes the two-state solution, while a minuscule rate is in favor of establishing one state with full equality for Jewish and Arab citizens.
The National Mood
After the sharp rise in optimism of the entire sample as the new government took office, particularly regarding the future of Israel’s democratic governance, we see this month a stabilization of the optimism both on that issue and on the issue of the future of national security.
Optimistic about the future of Israeli democracy and about the future of national security, April 2019─July 2021 (%, entire sample)
This month as well gaps were found between Jews and Arabs, though in the same direction: 51% of the Jews are optimistic about the future of democratic governance compared to 42% of the Arabs—a certain increase compared to the past, perhaps because of the Ra’am Party’s joining the government. As for the future of national security, 58% of the Jews are optimistic compared to 39% of the Arabs.
A segmentation by political camp (Jewish sample) shows that on the left and in the center, the majority is optimistic about the future of democracy, while on the right only a minority is optimistic. On the issue of the future of national security, the majority is optimistic in all three camps, though here too the rate of optimists on the right is lower.
|% of optimists about the future of Israel’s democratic governance||% of optimists about the future of Israel’s national security|
What Concerns Israelis?
The relative optimism in those two areas is also evident in the distribution of responses regarding the issues that concern the public at present. We asked: “At present, which of the following issues concern you the most?” The possibilities we offered were: the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, the functioning of the new government, the state of the economy, and the state of security. We found that the state of the economy, and close behind it the COVID-19 pandemic, are the two main issues that are worrying the Israeli public at present. Especially interesting is the finding that the security issue is near the bottom of the scale.
“At present, which of the following issues concern you the most?” (%, entire sample)
In the Jewish sample, the rates for those most concerned about the state of the economy and about the COVID-19 pandemic are identical (29%). Among the Arabs, however, the rate of those most concerned about the state of the economy is higher (38%), with those most concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic in second place (31%). Not surprisingly, a segmentation of the Jewish sample by income reveals that those with higher-than-average income are less concerned about the state of the economy than those with average income or lower. The gaps, however, are small and the order of the concerning issues stays the same (most concerned about the state of the economy, respectively: 27%, 32.5%, 31%).
A segmentation by political camp (Jewish sample) shows that, whereas on the left and in the center the issue that concerns the highest rate (39% in both cases) is the state of the economy, on the right the highest rate is most concerned by the issue of the new government’s functioning (31%).
The New Government
Like last month, in July as well the public is divided on the question of the new government’s chances to last at least a year.
Assessing the new government’s chances to last at least a year, June and July 2021 (%, entire sample)
A segmentation of the sample by political camp (Jews) turns up a majority of those who think the government is likely to last at least a year on the left and in the center (80% and 65% respectively), compared to a minority seeing it that way on the right (32%).
An analysis of the data by voting in the most recent Knesset elections reveals the following picture: Voters for the coalition parties (except for Ra’am and Yamina) expect in high rates that the new government will survive at least a year; while voters for the opposition parties believe it will not last out the year. The explanation for the relatively low rate of optimists about its survival among Ra’am and Yamina voters is apparently the fact that those parties’ joining a government with the composition that emerged is not to the taste of a considerable number of those voters. Indeed, we see that the question about the government’s chances yielded responses that have less to do with assessment and more to do with wishes.
Assessing the new government’s chances to survive at least a year by Knesset voting (%, entire sample)
Report Card for Ministers
About a month and a half after the government’s formation, we wanted to know what grade the public gives the prime minister and the five main cabinet ministers: Foreign Minister Lapid, Finance Minister Liberman, Defense Minister Gantz, Education Minister Shasha-Bitton, and Health Minister Horowitz. In general, the grades that these officials get are medium and lower. The highest grade goes to the defense minister, but he too received a positive grade from less than half the interviewees (47%). Together in second place are Prime Minister Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Lapid, with 38% giving each of them a grade of good or excellent. Less than a third of the interviewees gave a good or excellent grade to Finance Minister Liberman (32.5%), Education Minister Shasha-Bitton (30%), and Health Minister Horowitz (28%).
What grade would you give each of these officials? (%, entire sample)
A segmentation of the interviewees’ attitudes toward the different government officials by voting for the coalition parties or the opposition parties reveals large gaps between these two groups regarding the new government’s functioning. More than 60% of those who voted for the coalition parties gave Gantz, Bennett, and Lapid a grade of good to excellent for their performance, and Finance Liberman also gets a positive grade from the majority (53%). Prime Minister Bennett also does well among those who voted for his party – Yamina – in the latest elections, 58% of whom gave him a grade of good to excellent. However, only a minority of the voters for the different coalition parties gave a positive grade to Education Minister Shasha-Bitton and to Health Minister Horowitz, apparently reacting to their handling of the current COVID-19 outbreak in the health and education contexts. Voters for the opposition parties, on the other hand, give a failing grade to all the officials we asked about.
Assessing as good or excellent the performance of each of the following officials (%, entire sample, divided according to voting for coalition or opposition parties)
The Finance Minister’s Decisions on Subsidizing Daycare and Taxing Disposable Plastic Tableware
As noted, Finance Minister Liberman received a rather low rate of favorable grades, probably connected to negative reactions to steps he has initiated that negatively affect the Haredi public: cutting daycare subsidies for children of yeshiva students who do not work and imposing a high tax on disposable tableware, the use of which is especially high in the Haredi sector.
We asked, therefore: “Recently two proposals by Finance Minister Liberman were publicized. For each of them please indicate whether it was made mainly out of practical considerations or mainly because of his desire to strike out at Haredi society.” The public as a whole is divided on the question of the main motive for cutting the daycare subsidies (46% said it was practical while 43% said it involved a desire to strike out at the Haredi public). On the question of levying the tax on disposable tableware, however, the majority believes the finance minister’s chief consideration was practical (60%).
But when segmenting the answers by respondents’ self-placement on the Haredi-secular spectrum, it turns out that regarding the subsidy cut, the Haredi, religious, and religious traditional groups are convinced that Liberman’s main motive was to harm Haredi society – contrasting with the view of the nonreligious traditional and secular groups. However, when it comes to the high tax on disposable plastic tableware, only the Haredim views this measure as Liberman harassing Haredi society.
Recently two proposals by Finance Minister Liberman were publicized. Regarding each of them, the rate of those who think the decision mainly stemmed from his desire to strike out at Haredi society. (%, Jews, by self-placement on the Haredi-secular spectrum)
Selling Spyware and Weaponry to Nondemocratic Regimes
It was recently revealed in the media that the Pegasus spyware of the Israeli NSO Group served nondemocratic regimes. We asked: “It was recently reported that the Israeli firm NSO Group sold smartphone spyware called Pegasus that enabled nondemocratic regimes to monitor and even persecute human rights activists and political opponents. In your opinion, should or should not the Israeli authorities prevent a private company from selling such products?” And we also asked: “And what about the sale of Israeli-manufactured weaponry to nondemocratic regimes or rulers?”
In both cases we found a majority that thinks the authorities should prevent the sale of such software and weaponry to nondemocratic regimes, with weapons sales apparently perceived as a more severe problem requiring the authorities’ intervention.
To prevent or not to prevent the sale of spyware and weaponry to nondemocratic regimes (%, entire sample)
The Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The interviewees were presented with three solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the two-state solution (including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), the one-state solution with full equality for Israelis and Palestinians, and continuing the status quo. None of the three solutions won a majority of the Jewish public: 41.5% thought that continuing the status quo was acceptable, 34% thought the two-state solution was acceptable, and only 14% thought so of the one-state solution. In the Arab sample the two-state solution was the most acceptable, with more than two-thirds choosing it (69%). A majority of the Arab interviewees also thought that the one-state solution with equality for Jews and Palestinians (56%) was acceptable, while only 15% of the Arabs thought that maintaining the status quo was acceptable.
The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (%, Jews and Arabs, thought the proposed solution was acceptable)
A segmentation by political camp reveals large gaps in the Jewish public regarding a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. A large majority on the left (88%) thinks that the two-state solution is acceptable, and so does almost half of the center camp (46.5%), compared to less than a fifth of the right-wing camp (19.5%). Half of those who defined themselves as right-wing thought that maintaining the status quo (51%) was acceptable, compared to a third of the center and a tenth of the left. The one-state solution is not accepted by any of the three political camps.
The solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (%, Jews, think that the proposed solution is acceptable)
The next table indicates a deep chasm between voters for the different parties composing the coalition on the issue of a solution to the conflict: In Ra’am, a large majority thinks that both the two-state solution and the one-state solution are acceptable. There is also a large majority that think that the two-state solution is acceptable in the two left-wing parties (Meretz and Labor), and a smaller majority in the centrist parties (Yesh Atid and Blue and White). On the right-wing side of the coalition, only a minority thinks that the two-state solution is acceptable, and notably on this issue, among voters for the prime minister’s party, Yamina, only 12% think that the two-state solution is acceptable, while more than half think that it is acceptable to maintain the status quo.
Among the opposition parties, apart from the Joint List, the greatest support is for those who think that the status quo is acceptable.
The solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (%, entire sample, think the proposed solution is acceptable)
|The two-state solution||One state with full equality||Continuing the status quo|
|Blue and White||59||25||39|
The Israeli Voice Index for July 2021 was prepared by the Viterbi 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 July 27 to 29, 2021, 599 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 151 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 ± 3.59% at a confidence level of 95%. The fieldwork was done by the Midgam Institute. For the full data file see: Data Israel