Half of Israelis: Trump plan intended to help Netanyahu win

Poll finds that the prime minister's probe is the top voting issue, and that more than two-thirds think Election Day should only be considered a vacation day for people who can prove that they voted.

JUST GIVE HIM one more chance. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump at the White House this week. (photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
JUST GIVE HIM one more chance. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump at the White House this week.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
US President Donald Trump introduced his "Deal of the Century" plan last week in order to interfere in the March 2 Israeli election and help Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerge victorious – according to half of the respondents in a new poll by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), published on Monday.
The poll found that among the general public, 49.9% see the plan's presentation at the current time as deliberate interference in Israeli politics, 22.2% said they do not agree so much, 13.5% do not agree at all, and 14.4% said they did not know or refused to answer.
The sectors who most thought Trump was interfering were left-wing Jews (78%), centrist Jews (69%) and Arabs (68%). Only 33.5% of self-defined right-wing Jews saw the plan's announcement as interfering in Israeli politics.

 

The poll asked Israelis what issue would most affect their voting. Netanyahu's criminal investigations were in first place, with 32%, followed by the cost of living and housing (21.3%), the security situation (17.1%), matters of religion and state (10.4%) and Jewish-Arab relations (7.2%). Ahead of the September election, the security situation came first, followed by the cost of living and housing; the Netanyahu investigations were third.
A segmentation by voting intentions in the approaching elections revealed that voters for Labor-Gesher-Meretz and Yisrael Beytenu are least satisfied with their party’s list of candidates for the Knesset. The most satisfied are voters of the Joint List and Blue and White.
Asked whether people should vote for one of the large parties and not for a small one to bring about a decisive result in the upcoming election, Israel's third in under a year, 57.1% of the public agreed, 34.5% disagreed and 8.4% did not know or would not respond. Unsurprisingly, most of the support came from those who intend to vote for Blue and White or Likud and most of the opposition came from people voting for the smaller parties.
Since the April 2019 elections, the IDI has been monitoring to what extent Israelis think the publicized election results matched the actual voting, or were manipulated in one way or another in the official reporting. The study found that a considerable portion of people do not believe in the propriety of the Israeli elections, nor do they believe that the results as published are the real ones.
Among the general public, 17.7% said they had full trust in the results, 40.1% a lot of trust, 27.1% little trust, 9.7% no trust and 5.5% did not know or refused to answer.
More than two-thirds of the Israeli public (68.8%) think the day of the elections should count as a vacation day only for those who can prove that they have fulfilled their civic duty and voted, while a quarter (25.5%) disagree and 5.7 did not know or declined to respond. Support for this notion ran very high among the Jews (75%), while over half of the Arab interviewees oppose it (51%).
The survey results show that most of the Israeli public opposes fines for those who do not vote in the elections (54.7%), while 38.3% support them and 7.1% did not know or would not respond.
The poll of 762 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Israeli adult population was conducted from January 26 to January 28, 2020. The maximum sampling error was 3.7%± at a confidence level of 95%.