Press Release

Poll Reveals Israeli Support for Universal Draft, Why Israelis Voted the Way They Did

73% of Israeli Jews Back Draft for Ultra-Orthodox, 23% of Israeli Arabs Support Military Service for Arabs

73% of Israeli Jews Back Draft for Ultra-Orthodox, 23% of Israeli Arabs Support Military Service for Arabs

23% of Jewish Israelis, 40% of Arab Israelis Prefer Status Quo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem – With Israeli elections over, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University conducted the January 2013 Peace Index poll on one of the most contentious issues at the heart of coalition negotiations – universal military service. The survey yielded the following results regarding expansion of conscription.

  • Military draft for the ultra-Orthodox and / or Arab sectors: 41% of Jewish Israelis said the basic guidelines of the next government must include universal service for both the ultra-Orthodox and Arab citizens; 32% said universal service must apply only to the ultra-Orthodox and not to the Arabs, 23% said it should not be required of either sector, and 2% said universal conscription should be mandatory for Arabs but not the ultra-Orthodox. 40% of Arab Israelis said such guidelines are not necessary regarding either group, 19% said new guidelines should apply to both Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox, 17% for only the ultra-Orthodox and not Arabs, and 4% for just Arabs and not the ultra-Orthodox.
  • Universal service vs. workforce integration: 44% of Jewish Israelis said it is most important that the ultra-Orthodox join the workforce but not necessarily serve in the army, 31% said it is most important that the ultra-Orthodox serve in the army, 19% said serving in the army and joining the workforce are equally important, and 5% said neither are important.

The poll also asked Israelis how they decided to vote and about their satisfaction with the results.

  • Domestic vs. diplomatic / defense issues: 51% of Jewish voters decided for whom to vote based on domestic issues (such as religion, society, and the economy), 23% voted based on diplomatic and defense issues, and 23% made their decision based on both sets of issues equally. Voters for Likud Beytenu (54%) and Hatnua (43%) ascribed the greatest importance to diplomatic and defense issues, while voters for Yesh Atid (80%) and Labor (65%) attached the greatest weight to domestic matters.
  • Ideology vs. leadership: 54% of Jewish voters decided for whom to vote based on party ideology, 24% did so based on the party leader, and 17% did so based on both factors equally. Meretz voters were the most inclined to vote based on ideology (91%), while Likud Beytenu voters were least inclined to do so (30%).
  • Satisfaction with choice: An overwhelming majority (83%) of the Jewish public believes or is certain they would vote for the same party, were elections to be held again today.
  • Satisfaction with election results: A majority (57%) of the Jewish public is satisfied with the election results. Yesh Atid (74%) and Bayit Yehudi (72%) voters were most satisfied, followed by voters of Likud Beytenu and Hatnua (61% each), Meretz (48%), Labor (46%), United Torah Judaism (44%), Shas (36%), and Kadima (0%). Only 37% of the Arab public was similarly satisfied.

The full results of the Peace Index are available online.

The survey, conducted February 3 – 4, 2013, included 606 respondents, who constitute a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Peace Index Co-Director Prof. Tamar Hermann, contact:
Yehoshua Oz
IDI Director of International Communications