Survey Suggests Israel More Divided Than Ever

Majority says internal tensions have only worsened since unity government took power, most won’t vote for same party in next election

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: Bennett
Israelis protest against the government outside the Knesset on May 18, 2022.
Israelis protest against the government outside the Knesset on May 18, 2022. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

When Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid pulled together a “government of change” made up of ideologically disparate parties, the goal (in addition to ousting Benjamin Netanyahu from power) was to demonstrate that Israelis of all stripes could work together for the good of the nation.

But after just one year, that coalition is unraveling, and a new survey suggests that Israeli society at large feels more divided than ever.

In its monthly Israeli Voice Index, the Israel Democracy Institute asked Israelis if tensions within the country were better or worse since the current government took power last year.

A strong overall majority said yes, tensions in Israel have reached a new peak. Among those who voted for the opposition parties, 72% answered thus. And even among voters for coalition parties, a 48% plurality agreed that things were worse now in Israeli society.

See related: A House Divided

The other results were largely predictable, with opposition voters saying the government has done a terrible job, and coalition voters giving Bennett and his ministers generally positive reviews.

Of interest was that less than one-third of Israelis surveyed said they would definitely vote for the same party in the next election. Fifty-seven percent said they “might” vote for the same party, and 20% said they would definitely vote for a different party next time around. Twelve percent were undecided.

If accurate, that could indicate a power shift when Israelis next go to the polls. And if the government’s current woes are any indication, that could be very soon.

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