Report: 76% of Jewish Israelis say Netanyahu failed in dealing with Hamas

According to a Tel-Aviv University survey, 76% of Jewish-Israelis think the Netanyahu administration failed when dealing with Hamas; among Israeli-Arabs the number is 82%.

December 9, 2018 17:34
2 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an annual state memorial ceremony for Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, at his gravesite in Sde Boker, Israel November 14, 2018. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)


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A majority of Jewish Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed in his dealings with Hamas, according to a survey conducted by Tel Aviv University released on Sunday.

The monthly Peace Index survey claims that 76% of Jewish Israelis believe the Netanyahu administration failed when dealing with Hamas, while 82% of Israeli Arabs feel the same.

Of right-wing Jewish Israelis who were asked their opinion, 73% held this position, while among those who hold centrist views the number is even higher, at 77%, and 88% among those who hold left-wing views.

Unlike the Netanyahu administration, the IDF enjoys high levels of approval among Jewish Israelis, with 78% of those with left-wing views saying it handled the clashes along the Gaza security fence well and 75% of those holding centrist views agreeing with the statement. Only 63% of those holding right-wing views agreed with it.

In stark contrast to Jewish Israelis, only 14% of Arab Israelis held the same view.

About one third of those surveyed (33%) held the view that the Palestinian side emerged from the clashes in a stronger position than the Israeli side, while 21% claimed the Israeli side was the winner. Overall, 28% believed neither side can claim a victory, but the number rose to 60% when analyzing the responses of just Arab Israelis.

The decision by the Netanyahu administration to seek a ceasefire with Hamas and not to launch a massive ground operation in the Gaza Strip was seen by 48% of Jewish Israelis as wrong, as opposed to 43% claiming it was the correct move. However, among those who hold right-wing views, 38% supported the decision, as did 47% with centrist views and 87% with left-wing views. Some 70% of Arab Israelis also support the decision.

The decision by Netanyahu to fill the position of defense minister following the resignation of Avigdor Liberman is seen by 55% of Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis as a move that will overburden the already hard-working Netanyahu and would mean he will not be able to address security concerns adequately.

Despite this, 46% of Jewish Israelis would prefer Netanyahu to serve as prime minister, more than any other politician. Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz came closest to this approval rate, with 39% of Jewish Israelis wishing to see him fill the role despite Gantz not making any of his views known publicly since he left his position in the military.

The Peace Index, an initiative of Tel Aviv University and the Israeli Institute for Democracy, has published monthly telephone surveys since 1994.

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