Despite being relatively satisfied with the state of the country’s economy and security situation, 53 percent of Israelis said they were not satisfied with the way Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was running the country. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman fared somewhat better, with only 43.6 percent rating his performance negatively.
The numbers were supplied by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, in their monthly poll of the state of the country on behalf of Channel Two. The poll showed that 62 percent of Israelis were satisfied with the state of the country’s security, while 58 percent said its economic performance was positive, an 63.5 percent were satisfied with its health care system. However, a majority – 72 percent – said they were dissatisfied at how the government was handling social issues, such as poverty.
A majority of Israelis, however, were happy that Netanyahu did not proceed to renewed peace talks after the Aqaba summit held in February 2016, when then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gathered Arab leaders to push for a renewal of talks. According to reports, Netanyahu had agreed in principle to enter the talks and had even declared that he would be willing to suspend construction outside of settlement blocs. He also reportedly arranged a unity government with Zionist Camp head Yitzchak Herzog, but the deal fell apart after the evacuation of Amona in September 2016, with Netanyahu backing off the deal. According to the poll, 57 percent of Israelis were happy that he did so.
Israelis both on the left and right generally oppose one-sided actions by Israel, preferring to achieve diplomatic goals via negotiations. On the right, 66 percent of those polled said they opposed unilateral actions by Israel such as withdrawals from areas of Yehudah and Shomron without a deal, while 52 percent of voters who identified themselves as supporters of left and center-left parties agreed with that position. Among Arab voters, 54 percent oppose such actions as well, the poll showed.