Israelis, including Israeli Arabs, feel more connected to Israel and its challenges than ever before, a survey by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute found.
The survey found that 90% of Israelis (92.5% among Jewish Israelis and 77% among Arab Israelis) said they feel that they are a part of Israel and share in its problems. These are the highest results for this question in the past decade. Between 2014 and 2019, the rate of Arab Israelis answering the same question positively ranged between 35% and 62%, and Jewish Israelis varied between 83% and 87%. Most noticeable was a surge in among the ultra-Orthodox to 93.5%, from 68.5% a year earlier.
In evaluating Israel's successes and failures over its 72-year history, 63.5% of Israelis (67% of Jewish Israelis and 44% of Arab Israelis) said that the country's success rate exceeds its failure rate, compared to only 8% who think more failures can be counted. 22% claim that there is a similar degree of successes and failures.
“The coronavirus epidemic, with all the restrictions and difficulties it imposes on us all, seems to also have a positive impact on Israeli society," said Dr. Or Anabi, a researcher at the Guttman center at the Israel Democracy Institute. "Today, a few days before Israel celebrates its 72nd Independence Day, a majority of the public feels part of the State of Israel and shares in its problems. The level of cohesion in Israeli society is at the highest rate we have measured in the past decade.”
The results were part of an ongoing survey IDI is doing to track the mood of the country as the coronavirus pandemic crisis unfolds. Anabi noted that many of the variables he had intended to track were stable over the first month.
"Each survey we have done has shown that the level of trust in public officials is about 44%, trust in government health officials is about 66%, and trust in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is around 55%, with fluctuations of a few points here and there," Anabi said. There has been an overall decline in peoples' stress levels, with the average Israeli rating his stress level at 5.1 on a scale of 1-10, compared to 5.64 at the beginning of the month, he noted.
Asked whether the government's response to the crisis was exaggerated, 57.9% said it was not exaggerated, and 37.4% thought it was overblown. Regarding whether the media is overstating the crisis, the results were split, with 47.8% saying yes and 47.6% saying no.
In terms of consuming information, Israelis said they most trust interviews with scientists and medical professionals, with 76.1% saying they found those trustworthy. 51.5% said they trust television reports, 49.4% trust online news sites, and only 17.4% said they trust what they read on social media.
When will the crisis be over? 21.5% of Israelis said it would be 6 months to a year, 20.1% said it would be 3-6 months, 16.8% said 1-2 months, 16.5% said 2-3 months, and 9.8% said it would be more than a year. Just 7.4% thought the crisis would be done in a month or less.