Russian President Vladimir Putin is Israelis’ person of the year, according to a Panels Research poll taken for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister publication Ma’ariv Sof Hashavua.

The poll of 527 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Jewish adult population, was taken Tuesday and has an error margin of ±4.3 percent.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents chose Putin as their person of the year, 16% picked German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 15% Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 3% Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 2% Pope Francis, 2% US President Barack Obama and 33% said they did not know.



When asked what the country’s biggest problem was, 45% said the wave of terrorism, 33% said the cost of living and socioeconomic gaps, 8% said the diplomatic stalemate, 4% said Right-Left relations, 4% said international isolation, 2% said religious-secular relations and 4% said they did not know.

Asked if a diplomatic agreement could currently be reached with the Palestinians, 68% said no, 22% said yes and 10% did not know. Among respondents defining themselves as Center-Left, 43% said no, 41% said yes and 16% did not know.

Two-thirds of respondents said their feeling of security went down in the past year, nearly one-third said it stayed the same and just 2% said it rose. When asked what was currently the biggest danger to Israeli security, 47% said the Palestinians, 24% said Islamic State and radical Islam, 13% said Iran, 7% said Jewish terrorism, 6% Hezbollah and 3% said they did not know.


Two-thirds of respondents said they believed the terrorist wave could be stopped, 28% said it could not and 7% said they did not know.

Nearly 80% said they did not believe Iran would keep its commitments in the Iranian nuclear deal, 15% said they did not know and only 6% said they thought Iran would keep the deal.

When asked what they thought was the most important item on the international agenda in 2016, 50% said the struggle to stop Islamic State, 25% said the Syrian refugee crisis, 10% the US presidential election, 6% the war in Syria and Iraq, 5% the Iranian nuclear program and 4% said they did not know.

Asked if there would be elections in 2016: 5% said they were sure there would be, 27% said apparently yes, 46% said apparently no, 9% said they were sure there would not be elections and 13% said they did not know.