Three-quarters of Israeli society believes that the government should first address the socio-economic situation in Israel and not the judicial reform, according to the Berl Katznelson Foundation's annual socio-economic index which was published last Sunday.
The index, which presented data regarding the opinions of supporters and opponents of the government coalition on a number of economic and other issues, indicated that 75% of the public think that the cost of living must be addressed first, compared to 19% who believe that judicial reform should be.
Additionally, it indicated dissatisfaction among the government's voter base, with 61.5% of those who voted for the coalition parties thinking that the government should first address the socio-economic situation before judicial reform.
Among secular Israelis, the percentage of people who believe that the economic crisis must be a priority jumps to 92%, and in contrast, just 42% of ultra-Orthodox Israelis feel the same way.
Blame placed on government's shoulders
According to the survey, the majority of the public, or 53.7%, believes that the current government is to blame for the weakening of the shekel, a decrease in tax revenues, a decrease in high-tech investments and inflation.
20% blame the judicial reform protests for the above issues and 17% claim that both sides are equally guilty. Among coalition voters, over half (51%) also blame the government.
Two-thirds of the public (63%) gave Finance Minister Smotritch a poor rating (42.8% rated his performance to be very poor, and 20.2% quite poor) compared to 32% who rated his performance as finance minister to be satisfactory or good.
The index also revealed that 48% of the public supports the Histadrut Labor Union's decision to shut down the economy in order to force the government to reach broad agreements on the reform of the judicial system, compared to 39% who are opposed to such a move.
25% of people who voted for coalition parties believe that the strike led by the Histadrut was justified, and in general, the majority of the public (51%) and about 30% of coalition supporters support another shutdown of the economy by the Histadrut if the government tries to unilaterally advance the reform. 36% of the public would oppose this move.
Financial difficulties in Israel
The index also indicated that 41% of the public have experienced a worsening financial situation in the past year, while 45% stated that their financial situation remained the same.
Among coalition voters, 34% responded that their economic situation has worsened compared to last year. The majority of the public (about 55%), and over one-third (34%) of coalition supporters, fear that their personal economic situation will worsen due to the advancement of the reform.
An absolute majority (65%) of the public opposes the government's intention to increase the budget for ultra-orthodox educational institutions that do not teach core subjects. Even among the coalition voters, there is no majority for the move, with only 46% supporting it.
76% of the public thinks that the State of Israel should invest more funds in health services, education, welfare and public transportation, even at the cost of raising taxes.