The annual “National Resilience Index” released for the seventh annual Herzliya Conference, indicates that there is a drop of 10 percent in the level the Jewish population in Israel trusts the fighting and winning abilities of the Israel Defense Forces.
The conference, to be held in Herzliya January 21-24, will feature United States Senators, including Sen. John McCain, who is considered a leading candidate for the presidency of the United States. Other speakers will include heads of the defense establishment, leading researchers and academia, leading market officials and guests from abroad. Prime Minister Olmert will be the keynote speaker, along with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
The “National Resilience Index” is a result of a comprehensive study conducted by the National Security Studies Center at Haifa University and examines the “social component of the national strength.” This year, the study examined the influence of war in the north on the strength of the Israeli society. The study, which was headed by Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor, covered 26,000 Jewish and Arab residents of Israel. The range of satisfaction was measured between 1 (completely disagree) and 6 (completely agree).
The results of the study show that due to the war, the level of fear in the Israeli public (Jews and minorities), has risen dramatically. In October 2005, the index stood at 4.34 among the Jewish population and 3.26 among minorities. In October 2006, the index stood at 4.98 for the Jewish population and 3.76 for minorities. This is a rise of 15 percent in the level of fear.
Surprisingly, the Israeli public does not demand any more extreme measures after the war, and the level of militancy has not changed. In October 2005, the index stood at 4.32 for Jews and in October 2006 it stood at 4.38.
The level of patriotism has also not changed after the war, and continues to stand at a level of 4.7. This is a surprising fact, mainly because it is perceived that the level of patriotism rises in times of crisis.
There was, however, a decrease in the public’s general trust in national institutions, dropping 14 percent since 2001. A new low was also observed in the public’s trust of the Supreme Court, a drop of 10 percent from last year.
The level of optimism among the Israeli public has also seen a decrease in the past year, from 4.51 in October 2005 to 4.38 in October 2006 – a drop of 3 percent.