86% of Israelis Believe US is Spying on Them, 73% Think Israel is Spying on Friendly Countries Despite View that Israel Faces Serious Security Risks, Majority of Israelis Believe Socioeconomic Challenges More Threatening
86% of Israelis Believe US is Spying on Them, 73% Think Israel is Spying on Friendly Countries
Despite View that Israel Faces Serious Security Risks, Majority of Israelis Believe Socioeconomic Challenges More Threatening
Monday, 4 November 2013, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem - The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University are releasing the monthly Peace Index poll covering Israeli public opinion on the security situation, the role of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and spying among friendly countries.
Israeli opinion on the security situation and the role of the IDF in society was explored.
- Level of Risk to Israel: 67% of Jewish Israelis characterize the level of Israel's security/military risk as high (20% characterize it as very high), while 31% characterize it as low. 38% of Arab Israelis believe Israel's security risk is high, and 53% believe it is low.
- Socioeconomic vs. Military Challenges: 57% of Israelis (58% of Jewish Israelis and 52% of Arab Israelis) believe that socioeconomic challenges are more threatening to Israel's future, while 28% of Israelis (28% of Jewish Israelis and 23% of Arab Israelis) believe that security/military challenges are more serious. 13% of Israelis (12% of Jewish Israelis and 19% of Arab Israelis) believe they are equally challenging. Among Jewish Israelis, both self-described left-wingers (62%) and right-wingers (49%) believe that socioeconomic challenges are more significant than security/military ones (49% and 36%, respectively).
- IDF Can Cope with Threats: 86% of Israelis (89% of Israeli Jews and 74% of Israeli Arabs) believe that the IDF is capable of coping with the security threats facing Israel, while 9% (8% of Israeli Jews and 17% of Israeli Arabs) believe it is not.
- IDF as the Army of the People: 70% of Jewish respondents agree that the IDF is the "army of the people," while 25% disagree.
- Drafts vs. Professional Army: 76% of Israeli Jews prefer that the IDF depend on compulsory service, while 21% would prefer the IDF to cancel the draft and move to an exclusively professional army.
- Civilian Service Alternative: 59% of Israelis (57% of Jewish respondents and 69% of Arab respondents) would support allowing civilian service in lieu of military service, while 36% of Israelis (39% of Jewish respondents and 23% of Arab respondents) would oppose it.
- Equal Benefits for Civilian Service: 68% of Israelis (67% of Israeli Jews and 73% of Israeli Arabs) support granting the same rights to those who complete a full term of civilian service as those who served in the IDF, while 29% (32% of Israeli Jews and 15% Israeli Arabs) oppose it.
Opinion on espionage among friendly countries was assessed.
- Does the US Spy on Israel?: 86% of Israelis (90% of Jewish respondents and 62% of Arab respondents) believe that American intelligence services listen in on the conversations of Israeli leaders and citizens, while 7% (5% of Jewish respondents and 15% of Arab respondents) don't believe they do.
- Does Israel Spy on Friendly Countries?: 73% of Israeli Jews believe that Israeli intelligence listens in on leaders and citizens of foreign countries, while 19% do not.
- Backing for Israeli Spying: 65% of Jewish Israelis would support Israeli intelligence listening in on leaders and citizens of friendly countries if it came to light, while 27% would oppose it. 22% of Arab Israelis would support it, and 65% would oppose it.
This survey, conducted October 28 - 29, 2013, included 600 respondents who constitute a representative sample of the adult population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.
The full results of the Peace Index are available on the Peace Index website.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Peace Index Co-Director Prof. Tamar Hermann, contact:
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