Press Release

If Elections Were Held Tomorrow, Israelis Would Select a Right-of-Center Government

Latest Peace Index: Trump’s White House invitation to Abbas not viewed as negative toward Israel; Israelis believe chances of Israeli-Syrian war low

If elections were held in the near future, a decisive majority (70%) would want a right-wing or center-right government to take office, according to the results of the latest Peace Index. Only 24% would prefer a center-left or left-wing government.

The survey, published today by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, likewise found that 81% of Jewish respondents also estimate that a right-wing (35%) or center-right (46%) government would have higher chances of being elected. Only 8% believe a left or center-left government stands a chance.

In the Arab public, 58% would want a left-wing government, but only 10% assume this would happen if elections were held in the near future.

In addition to the questions related to upcoming elections, this month, the Peace Index survey likewise focused on what the public thinks about the Trump administration’s initiatives to promote a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian arena and Russia’s involvement, and how Israeli characterize their current political-diplomatic situation, among other topics.

Recently, President Donald Trump invited Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to an official visit at the White House. When asked, “To what extent is this invitation a negative sign from the standpoint of Israel and its relations with the United States?” the majority of the public (75% of the Jewish public and 88% of the Arab public) does not see Trump’s invitation as negative.

Against the backdrop of Russia’s involvement on President Bashar Assad’s side in the Syrian civil war, the prevailing opinion in the Jewish public (49%) is that this involvement is dangerous to Israel, while 37% think the opposite.

Nonetheless, a large majority (Jewish public—61%, Arab public—67%) defines the relations between Israel and Russia as very good or moderately good. Here, apparently, lies the explanation for the seeming contradiction between the view that Russia’s involvement in Syria is dangerous to Israel’s security and the support for continued attacks on Syria if necessary. That is, the Jewish public believes that the good relations with Russia mean Israel can continue its current policy despite Russia’s support for Assad.

In addition, the prevailing assessment in the Jewish public (67%) is that the chances of a war between Israel and Syria in the foreseeable future are very low or moderately low. In the Arab public, an even higher rate (75.5%) sees slim chances of such a war.

Lately, the view expressed in the media is that Israel is isolated internationally and vulnerable. This does not seem to be the opinion of the Israeli public. Some 50% of the Jewish public defines Israel’s security situation as good or very good. Some 35% characterize it as “so-so.” Only a small minority (14%) views Israel’s security situation as bad or very bad.

On the diplomatic front, some 31.5% of Jews define Israel’s diplomatic situation as good or very good. Another 38% define the situation as “so-so.” Only a small minority (26%) see Israel’s situation as bad or very bad.

For more information or interviews: Maayan Hoffman, Director of International Communications, or +972-50-718-9742.


The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone on March 27-29, 2017, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents (500 Jews and 100 Arabs), who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.