Jewish, Arab Israelis believe gov't dealt well with coronavirus

Some 72% of right-wing respondents felt that the State of Israel is effectively dealing with the outbreak, while only 41% of center voters and 34% of left-wing voters responded similarly.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: REUTERS)
About 60% of Jewish and Arab Israelis believe that the State of Israel has been dealing effectively with the coronavirus outbreak, according to Tel Aviv University’s March 2020 Peace Index that was released on Sunday.
About 35% of Jewish Israelis responded that they did not believe the government had effectively dealt with the outbreak; 30% of Arab Israelis replied similarly.
When the responses by Jewish Israelis were split by voter preference, the Peace Index found that 72% of right-wing respondents felt that the State of Israel is effectively dealing with the outbreak, while only 41% of center voters and 34% of left-wing voters responded similarly.
There are also large differences between age groups, with 64% of young people up to the age of 35 and 61% of middle aged people (35-54 years old) thinking that Israel has been dealing with the outbreak effectively, while only 51% of people older than 55 agree.
The Peace Index noted that, “in addition to the complete lack of trust among present-day opposition party voters in evaluating government conduct during the crisis, there is also a certain level of lack of trust among the age group who are at the greatest risk of being harmed by the virus.”
A vast majority (between 83%-85%) of both Jewish and Arab Israelis believe that the prohibition to leave one’s home was necessary. Only 59% of left-wing Jewish voters believed the same.
Concerning the decision to allow security services to follow those infected with coronavirus, the Arab Israeli public was more supportive of the move than the Jewish public, with 80% of Arab Israelis supporting the step and 74% of Jewish Israelis thinking similarly. Only 38% of left-wing Jewish voters supported the move, while 90% of right-wing voters and 58% of center voters felt the same.
About 83% of Jewish Israelis supported the closing of businesses and workplaces that were considered non-essential, while 85% of the Arab public expressed similar support. Once again, Jewish Israelis were split by political ideology, with 89% of right-wing voters supporting the move, while 79% of center voters and 63% of left-wing voters felt the same.
Some 74% of Arab Israelis supported the closing of courts except for emergencies, while only 61% of the Jewish public felt the same. The Jewish public was greatly split based on political ideologies with 81% of right-wing voters supporting the move, but only 38% of center voters and 17% of left-wing voters feeling the same.
About 60% of the Jewish public trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and believe he is functioning professionally during the coronavirus outbreak, while 35% do not trust him. In comparison, only a third (33%) of the Arab Israeli public trusts Netanyahu while half (51%) do not trust him.
In comparison to the prime minister, only 38% of the Jewish public trusts Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, while 52% do not trust him. The Arab Israeli public trusts Gantz more overall, with 53% saying that they trust him and only 25% saying that they do not.

THE HEALTH Ministry is trusted by the majority of Arabs and Jews, with 83% of the Jewish public trusting the ministry and 76% of the Arab public saying the same.
A majority of both Jews and Arabs trust the Finance Ministry, with 69% of the Jewish public expressing trust in the ministry and 58% of the Arab public saying the same.
Trust in Netanyahu and Gantz is, as expected, split based on political ideology, with 88% of right-wing voters trusting Netanyahu and 70% of center and left-wing voters trusting Gantz. The Health Ministry has the support of the general public, while the Finance Ministry gained the trust of 80% of right-wing voters, but only 55% of center and left-wing voters.
While a national unity government under the leadership of Netanyahu is the most preferred government, the level of support for this type of government is only 33%, while a national unity government headed by Gantz and a right-wing-ultra-Orthodox government under Netanyahu supported by Yisrael Beytenu each have a level of support of 18%. A national unity government with a rotation only has a 16% level of support. A center-left government under Gantz with the support of Yisrael Beytenu and the Joint List has an even lower level of support with just 10%.
Before the April 2019 elections, the first in a series of three within a 12-month period, about two-thirds (65%) of Jewish Israelis said they would prefer a right-wing or right-leaning government in the upcoming elections, according to the Peace Index, while only 15% would prefer a left-wing government.
Preferences among the Arab public are completely different, the Peace Index found, with a majority (54%) preferring a center-left government under Gantz supported by Yisrael Beytenu and the Joint List. 14% prefer a national unity government under Gantz. The other alternatives received minimal support. Before the April 2019 elections, the majority of Arab Israelis also preferred a center-left or left-wing government.
Slightly more than half (52%) of right-wing voters prefer a unity government under Netanyahu while slightly less (48%) of center voters prefer a national unity government under Gantz. A clear majority (69%) of left-wing voters prefer a center-left government under Gantz.
The Peace Index surveyed the public before Gantz expressed willingness to join a unity government with Netanyahu.

CONCERNING A proposed law that would prevent a person accused of criminal activity from serving as prime minister, about 62% of the Jewish public is in favor, while 25% are opposed. In comparison, 74% of the Arab public is in favor of the law, while only 8% are opposed.
Another proposed law that will limit serving prime ministers to two terms of office was supported about equally, with 63% of the Jewish public and 61% of the Arab public supporting it.
As has been found by the Peace Index in the past, 54% of the Jewish public supports negotiations for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, while only 26% believe that it will lead to peace. Comparably, 45% of the Jewish public supports a two-state solution, followed by 31% supporting continuing the current situation and 12% supporting the annexation of the territories into one state with limited rights for Palestinians.
In comparison, 60% of the Arab public supports a two-state solution, and 56% support the establishment of a bi-national state between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea with equal rights for Jews and Palestinians. Only 18% support continuing the current situation and only 27% support the annexation of the territories with limited rights to Palestinians.
Almost half (47%) of the Jewish public believes that the existing situation will continue, while 21% believe that an independent Palestinian state will be formed alongside Israel and 15% believe that the territories will be annexed. 28% of the Arab public, in comparison, believe that the current situation will continue, while 24.5% believe that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel will occur and 14% believe a bi-national state with equal rights for Palestinians will be formed. Some 28% of Palestinians did not know what to expect.
“In other words,” stated the Peace Index report, “among the Arab public, there is great uncertainty about the future of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.”