Topics: Elections

Israelis Distrust Bibi, Don’t Care What Diaspora Jews Think

The annual Israel Democracy Institute survey revealed some interesting shifts in Israeli society after two failed elections

Failed elections have caused many in Israel to distrust their leaders even more.
Corinna Kern/Flash90

In a year in which Israel endured two failed national elections (with a third on the way later this year), trust in the government and public institutions predictably declined.

In Israel, elections are supposed to occur every four years. That is almost never the reality, but that’s not the problem.

Among all Israelis (both Jews and Arabs), a full 58 percent said they believe the nation’s leaders are corrupt, according to the Israel Democracy Institute’s 2019 survey. That’s an 11 percent increase over 2018. Just 30 percent said they have any faith in either the government or the Knesset.

It’s notable that the survey was conducted last May, before the first of the national elections failed to produce a government and before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on charges of corruption. It is entirely possible that the percentage of Israelis who distrust the government is now much higher.

At the same time, a least half of all Israelis (50 percent) still consider the overall situation in the country to be good or very good. Another one-third of respondents say the overall situation is so-so.

Diaspora Jews and Israel elections

The volatile situation in Israel and the Middle East, coupled with rising antisemitism abroad, has put much more political focus on the views of Diaspora Jews. However, according to the survey, 60 percent of Israeli Jews don’t want the government to consider the views of Jews around the world when making important decision. And only a slim 51 percent majority said Jews in Israel and those in the Diaspora even share a common destiny.

As the previous half dozen elections have demonstrated, a firm majority of Israeli Jews lean to the right of the political spectrum, while Diaspora Jews, especially those in the US and Europe, generally tend to be more liberal and left-wing.

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