Majority Think Low Chances Next Election will End Gridlock
51% of Israelis are satisfied with the decision to hold new elections and 62.5% will vote for the same party as the last election; 57.5% of Israelis think that there is a low likelihood of a stable government being formed after the election
* Across the total sample, this month saw a sharp rise in optimism about the future of national security and a slight rise in optimism about the future of democratic rule in Israel.
* The rise in optimism about the future of democratic rule mainly came from those on the Right, while on the Left there was a decline in optimism.
* The share of Israelis who are satisfied with the decision to dissolve the Knesset and hold elections is larger than the share of those who are dissatisfied with it.
* Among voters for parties currently in the opposition, a very high proportion report that they intend to vote for the same party again this time. Among coalition party voters, the picture is more varied – there is a high degree of confidence in repeat voting for some of the parties, while for others the likelihood of repeat voting appears much lower at this time.
* Most Israelis still feel that there is a party for which they can vote wholeheartedly at the upcoming elections.
* A majority of both Jews and Arabs believe that there is a low likelihood or no likelihood at all of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians within five years. There is no significant difference on this issue between political camps among the Jewish public.
* On the Left, there is strong support for a two-state solution, and more than half of those in the Center support this option, while on the Right, only a negligible minority are in favor.
* The majority of Jews (in all three political camps) believe that if no agreement is reached in the foreseeable future, a third Intifada will break out in the occupied territories. Only a minority of Arabs (just under half) think this will happen.
* Only a minority of Arabs believe that if a third Intifada breaks out in the occupied territories, then Israeli Arabs will join in the struggle. By contrast, a majority of Jews in all three political camps think that this would be the case.
* Regarding the recent teachers’ strike, the position of the Teachers’ Union enjoys more support among the Arab public than does the position of the Finance Ministry. Opinions in the Jewish public are divided on this question.
* The majority of the Israeli public agree with the idea that every woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester, if she wishes to.
The National Mood
Across the total sample, the end of June saw a sharp rise in optimism about the future of Israel’s national security, but only a slight rise in optimism about the future of democratic rule. Thanks to these twin developments, the level of optimism about the country’s national security returned to being much higher (as in the past) than the level of optimism about its democratic future (a gap of 14 percentage points).
Optimistic about the future of democratic rule in Israel and about the future of national security, April 2019–June 2022 (total sample, %)
The increase in optimism about the future of national security may be attributed to this month’s quiet on the security front, but perhaps also to rising hopes among right-wing voters for a change in regime. Over the last year, these voters were very pessimistic on almost every issue, and particularly regarding national security, as long as the Bennett-Lapid government was in power. Thus, while only 31% of respondents who identified as on the Right said they were optimistic about national security last month, this month their share almost doubled to 57%. There were also increases in the Center and on the Left, but much more moderate (14% and 11%, respectively).
Optimistic about the future of national security in Israel, by political orientation, May and June 2022 (Jewish sample, %)
And what about the future of democratic rule in Israel? While there was a small increase in optimism across the total sample, this stemmed from a large increase in optimism on the Right, balanced by an even sharper decline in optimism among those on the Left. That is, as in previous months and as we shall see in other topics presented below, public discourse in Israel is framed almost exclusively by the political orientation of those expressing their views.
Optimistic about the future of democratic rule in Israel, by political orientation, May and June 2022 (Jewish sample, %)
The Political System
Bringing forward the elections: The share of Israelis who are satisfied with the decision to dissolve the Knesset and hold new elections (51%) is clearly higher than the share of those who are dissatisfied with it (42%). Unsurprisingly, a large majority of voters for opposition parties are satisfied with the decision to hold elections (81%), compared with only a minority (29%) of voters for coalition parties.
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the decision to dissolve the Knesset? By voting pattern at the last elections (total sample, %)
There is no significant difference on this issue between Jews (52% satisfied) and Arabs (48.5% satisfied).
Will Israelis vote for the same party they voted for at the last elections? Currently, most Israelis (62.5%) are sure or think that they will vote for the same party they voted for at the last elections. However, there are sizable differences in voting intentions among voters for different parties, with a very large proportion of voters for opposition parties indicating that they will vote for the same party again (United Torah Judaism, 94%; Shas, 91%; Likud, 86%; Religious Zionism, 79%). Among coalition party voters, the differences are very large: While a majority of voters for Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beytenu, Blue and White, and Meretz report at present that they will vote the same way again (74%, 71%, 63%, and 60.5%, respectively), much smaller shares of voters for Ra’am, Labor, New Hope, and Yamina are sure or think that they will repeat their vote at the upcoming elections (54%, 53%, 41%, and 32.5%, respectively). It should be noted that the confidence level for the data for small parties on this issue is lower, because of their smaller representation in the sample.
Sure or think that they will vote for the same party they voted for at the last elections, May and June 2022, by voting pattern at the last elections (total sample, %)
Confidence in electoral preference: We asked, “Is there a party that you feel you could vote for wholeheartedly and without hesitation?” The majority of respondents answered in the affirmative (63%), and only one-quarter gave a negative response (26%). Among Jews, a majority said that there is a party they can vote for wholeheartedly (65%), while less than half of Arab respondents currently feel the same way (48%).
However, it was fairly surprising to discover that despite the considerable public criticism of Israel’s political and party system, voiced from all quarters, a large proportion of Israeli voters continue to identify with some party. Thus, we found an association between identifying a “suitable” party and confidence in voting for it: The majority of those who said that there is a party for which they can vote wholeheartedly also stated that they will vote for the same party for which they voted at the last elections. On the other hand, of those who reported that there is no party for which they feel they can vote wholeheartedly, only a minority said that they will vote for the same party they voted for at the last elections.
Will vote for the same party they voted for at the last elections, by response as to whether there is a party they can vote for wholeheartedly and without hesitation (total sample, %)
Breaking the deadlock between the two main political blocs: We asked, “In your opinion, what is the likelihood that following the upcoming elections, the deadlock between the main blocs will be broken and one of the sides will successfully form a stable government supported by a majority of Knesset members?” Across the total sample, a small majority of respondents (57.5%) believe that there is a low likelihood of a stable government being formed after the elections. Only one-third think that there is a fairly high or very high likelihood of this outcome.
A breakdown by voting pattern at the last elections reveals that while a large majority (72%) of voters for parties that formed the coalition believe that the likelihood of a stable government being formed after the elections is low, only 40% of voters for opposition parties hold the same opinion, while around a half think (or hope for) the opposite—that there is a high likelihood.
Likelihood that following the upcoming elections, the deadlock between the blocs will be broken, by voting pattern at the last elections (total sample; %)
Which bloc has the greater chance of forming a stable government? Across the total sample, half of respondents believe that the Right has a greater chance of forming a stable government after the elections, while only 9% think that the Center-Left has a greater chance. A further 13% said that both blocs have the same chance of forming a government, and 16% that neither bloc has a chance of doing so.
Which of the two blocs do you think has the greater chance of forming a stable government after the elections? (total sample, %)
A breakdown of responses to this question by voting pattern reveals that among those who voted for opposition parties at the last elections, there is strong confidence in the ability of their bloc (the Right) to form a stable government after the elections. By contrast, only a minority of voters for parties in the Center-Left bloc believe that their bloc can form a stable government.
Which of the two blocs do you think has the greater chance of forming a stable government after the elections? Breakdown by voting pattern at the last elections (total sample, %)
|Right bloc||Center-Left bloc||Both blocs to the same extent||Neither bloc|
|United Torah Judaism||82||0||9||6|
|Blue and White||30||12||13||29|
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Though there have been no recent developments in the relations between Israel and the Palestinians, we chose to examine several aspects of this issue ahead of US President Biden’s planned visit to the region, during which Israeli-Palestinian relations will doubtless be discussed, and also in order to keep our finger on the pulse. Thus, we asked about the chances of a peace agreement being signed, the two-state solution, and the possibility of a third Intifada breaking out if no agreement is reached in the near future.
Likelihood of an agreement being signed: There is almost complete consensus in the Israeli public (87%) that the likelihood of a peace agreement being signed with the Palestinians in the foreseeable future is low or nonexistent. There was no change on this issue since the last occasions on which we examined it, in September 2021 and in August 2017. The view that a peace agreement is unlikely was found to be common to both Jewish and Arab respondents, though Arabs are slightly less pessimistic (Jews, 91%; Arabs, 69%). Similarly, we did not find significant differences among the three political camps (Jews), all of which are very pessimistic about the likelihood of an agreement in the foreseeable future.
What do you think the likelihood is that in the next five years, a peace agreement will also be signed with the Palestinians? (total sample, %)
Despite these findings, we wished to know how acceptable the two-state solution is among the Israeli public.
The two-state solution: We asked, “If Israel and the Palestinian Authority reach agreement on a peace accord, would you support or not support the accord, if it includes dividing the Land of Israel into two states, Israel and the Palestinian state?” We found that a minority of Jews would support the arrangement described in the question, while a large majority of Arabs would be in favor. A breakdown of Jewish respondents by political orientation revealed a large majority of supporters on the Left and a small majority in the Center, compared with a very small minority on the Right.
|%||Arabs||Jews||Right (Jews)||Center (Jews)||Left (Jews)|
|Sure or think they would support a two-state solution||71||32||18||55||80|
The likelihood of a third Intifada breaking out if no agreement is reached: A small majority of Jewish respondents (57%) think or are sure that without an agreement being reached in the foreseeable future, a third Intifada will break out. The differences between the three political camps are small, but it is evident that the Right is less worried about this possibility than the Center and the Left. Among Arabs, less than a half think or are sure that a third Intifada will happen.
Think that without an agreement in the foreseeable future, a third Intifada will break out in the occupied territories (%)
The Teachers’ Strike
Whose position is more justified—the Teachers’ Union or the Finance Ministry? Israelis are divided on this issue. While in the Jewish public, support for the Finance Ministry’s position is very slightly higher than support for the position of the Teachers’ Union (45% versus 43%, respectively), support in the Arab public is much higher for the Teachers’ Union than for the Finance Ministry (52% versus 36%, respectively).
On this question, an interesting difference can be seen between the views of voters for parties that have a strong social and economic platform (such as the Joint List, Shas, and Meretz) and those of voters for parties in favor of free markets, such as Religious Zionism and Yamina. It is also interesting that there are similarities on this issue between voters for parties that take opposing positions on other subjects (for example, the Joint List and Shas, or Yesh Atid and Religious Zionism).
In the negotiations between the Teachers’ Union and the Finance Ministry, which position do you support more? By voting pattern at the last elections (total sample, %)
To conclude this topic, we asked what influenced the timing of the teachers’ strike more—political considerations, with the aim of weakening the Bennett-Lapid government, or lack of progress in negotiations with the Finance Ministry? Around two-thirds of respondents (67.5%) attributed the timing of the strike to the lack of progress in negotiations, and only 13% claimed that it was politically motivated, aimed at weakening the government.
Abortion and Women’s Freedom of Choice
Terminating unwanted pregnancies at an early stage: Following the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the subsequent furor, we wished to inquire about the position of the Israeli public on this issue. First, we asked respondents to give their opinion regarding the statement: “Every woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester if she wishes to.” A large majority of Jews (75%) agreed with this proposition, as did 54% of Arabs.
Among Jews, we found majorities in favor of this statement among both men and women, though the majority among women was larger (women, 80%; men, 70%). A similar difference emerged among Arab respondents, though less than half of Arab men support women’s right to abortion, compared with a clear majority of Arab women (men, 48.5%; women, 60%).
A breakdown of the responses by religiosity (Jews) found that only among Haredim is there a large majority opposed to abortion rights as described in the question, whereas in all other groups, the majority are in favor, though the size of the majority varies.
Agree that every woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester, if she wishes to (Jewish sample, %)
The June 2022 Israeli Voice Index was prepared by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute. The survey was conducted via the internet and by telephone (to include groups that are under-represented on the internet) between June 27 and June 29, 2022, with 601 men and women interviewed in Hebrew and 154 in Arabic, constituting a nationally representative sample of the adult population in Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum sampling error was ±3.59% at a confidence level of 95%. Field work was carried out by Midgam Research and Consulting Ltd. The full data file can be found at: Data Israel.