Only 18% of Israeli public trusts public security minister - poll

A majority of Israelis expressed concerns about their personal safety amid a wave of terrorist attacks.

 Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev at the scene of a terrorist attack that left one dead and three injured, November 21, 2021.  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev at the scene of a terrorist attack that left one dead and three injured, November 21, 2021.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Only 18% of the Israeli public trusts in Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev, while the majority of the public trusts in the Shin Bet, according to a new survey published by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) on Monday.

Concerning trust in Bar Lev, there are differences between the different sides of the political spectrum, with only 11% of right-wing voters expressing trust in the minister while 33% of center voters and 40% of left-wing voters expressed trust in Bar Lev.

Meanwhile, 67% of the general Israeli public expressed trust in the Shin Bet. The level of trust differed between sectors as 75% of the Jewish sector expressed such trust, while only 27% of Arab-Israeli respondents said they felt the same.

A majority of Israelis expressed concerns about their personal safety, with 83% of Arab-Israelis saying they felt a lack of personal safety and 63.5% of Jewish Israelis saying the same. More women than men expressed that they felt unsafe, with 74% of Jewish women and 87% of Arab women saying so, compared to 54% of Jewish men and 78% of Arab men.

40% of Jewish Israelis stated that they believe that only a minority of Arab-Israelis support terrorism, while a little less than a third (31%) said they believe most Arabs support terrorism. A vast majority of Arabs (77%) believe that only a minority of Arabs support terrorism.

 Israeli police officers seen during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Israeli police officers seen during clashes with protesters at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, April 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Most Jewish respondents (58.5%) stated that they believe that only a minority of Jews support revenge attacks, while 37% of Arabs said the same. Among the different parts of the political spectrum, more right-wing voters (23%) stated that they believe that most Jews support revenge attacks.

A vast majority of Jews (85%) stated that they believe that the punishments issued to terrorists are too light, compared to just 22% of Arabs.

Most of the Jewish sector (78%) believe that there is no room for ethics in the fight against terrorism and that all measures to stop terrorist attacks are fair game, according to IDI. Only 19% of Jews believe otherwise. In 2018, only 38.5% of Jews believed that there was no room for ethics.

Only 12% of Jews believe that Arab leaders are working diligently against Arab violence against Jews, while 60.5% of Arabs believe that their leaders are working diligently.

The poll comes amid tensions surrounding a wave of terror attacks in Beersheba, Hadera and Bnei Brak and operations by security forces to combat terrorism and incitement during the month of Ramadan.