Russia-Ukraine war: Which side are Israelis on?

Israelis believe in sanctions, mostly supporting the financial measure, over a step into direct military conflict with Russia.

 An Israeli child holding a "stop Putin" sign as Israelis protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
An Israeli child holding a "stop Putin" sign as Israelis protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Almost half of all Israelis support the West's approach to sanctioning Russia and president Vladimir Putin for the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Israel Democracy Institute's (IDI) latest Israeli Voice Index released on Wednesday found.

Some 48% of respondents believe that sanctions targeting the Russian economy are a more appropriate measure than entering a military conflict with Russia in Ukraine. 

A 37% minority, on the other hand, believes NATO forces should enter Ukraine and that sanctions are an inadequate response to Russian violence in eastern Europe.

Interestingly, a majority of (51%) Israeli Jews agreed against the use of military force, significantly more than only 35% of Arab-Israeli respondents.

Asked on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's mediation efforts, 52% of respondents argued that developments in Ukraine could transform Israel's standing on the international stage.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a previous meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. (credit: Sputnik/Kremlin/Reuters) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a previous meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. (credit: Sputnik/Kremlin/Reuters)

Israelis who emigrated from Russia or nations once part of the USSR have voiced a different opinion to the consensus throughout the index.

On a potential military conflict between NATO and Russia, only one out of three (32%) respondents believe a direct military conflict is necessary, compared to 40% of other Israeli Jews.

On Israel's involvement, citizens from former Soviet nations do not believe the Russia-Ukraine war has a significant impact on Israel, with only 39% stating the opposite.

IDI surveyed 753 Israelis over the age of 18. The sampling error is 3.59%.