update deskIsrael at War

Israelis optimistic despite the war, survey shows

Among Jewish Israelis, confidence rose across the ideological spectrum.

Israelis demonstrate outside the President's Residence in Jerusalem while President Isaac Herzog meets inside with relatives of people abducted by Hamas, Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.
Israelis demonstrate outside the President's Residence in Jerusalem while President Isaac Herzog meets inside with relatives of people abducted by Hamas, Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

Israelis are increasingly optimistic about the future of the country despite being at war with terrorist groups in Gaza and Lebanon, polling demonstrates.

The Israel Democracy Institute conducted two flash surveys during the second week of the Hamas-initiated war against the Jewish state, with the results showing a 13.5 percentage point rise in optimism (65.5%) compared to June of this year (52%).

Among Jewish Israelis, increases in optimism were seen across the ideological spectrum—left, right and center—while levels of optimism among Israeli Arabs remain stable at around 36%.

The increase in optimism comes as trust in the government hit historic lows, falling for Jewish Israelis from 28% in June to 20.5% in October.

Right-wing Jewish Israelis’ trust in the government saw a drop from 42% in June to 31% today. Left-wing and centrist Israelis’ trust level was already low, but the 18% in October represented the lowest percentage since the Israel Democracy Institute started measuring trust in institutions in 2003.

Also, while only 33% of right-wing Israelis believe that the government does not have a clear plan of action for the next phases of the war against Hamas in Gaza, 71% on the left and 55% in the center believe this.

On how to handle the Hezbollah terrorists on the northern front, 43% of Israelis (48% of Jews and 15% of Arabs) support a preemptive strike against the Iran-backed terrorist group to prevent an attack similar to the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas of more than 1,400 Israelis. A total of 41.5% of Israelis say that Israel should make every effort to avoid opening another front in the north against Hezbollah.

The strongest support for a preemptive strike against Hezbollah comes from right-wing Israelis at 61%.

While trust in the government has decreased, trust in the Israel Defense Forces, police and media has increased among Jewish Israelis since June, with the IDF remaining highly rated at 87% compared to 85.5% in June.

Trust in the police shot up to 59% in October compared to 35% in June, while trust in the media rose to 39% from 25% in June.

The IDF and police also received high marks for their performance in the early days of the war. The IDF combat forces received a grade of 80% while the Israel Police received a 70.5% rating. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant got a grade of 35%, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was at 22% and the government and ministers at 14%.

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