Poll: Few Israelis Have Faith in Politics, or Politicians

The Knesset building.

As the Knesset prepares to return to work for its winter session, a new poll on politics by the University of Haifa shows that Israelis have less faith in their legislators in more than half a decade. Fifty-six percent of Israelis have “little faith” in Knesset members, while only 6 percent believe that MKs can be relied upon to carry out their promises.

The poll, part of the University’s 18th annual measure of the effectiveness of public servants, included 666 participants, representative of the country’s population. The poll asked participants to rate politicians, policies, parties and institutions on a measure of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating a poor opinion of the individual or institution. The ratings indicated an increasing dissatisfaction with politics in general. The “faith rating” this year was 2.05, down from 2.21 in 2016, and 2.45 in 2013. Overall, 56 percent of Israelis said they were dissatisfied with politics in general and had little faith in the process, while 38 percent said they had “moderate faith” in the process. Only 6 percent gave the process high ratings.

The same result held for Israelis’ opinions of political parties in general. Faith in parties to fulfill their promises is at an all-time low of 1.99, with again only 6 percent of Israelis expressing the belief that parties can be relied upon to keep their word.

“Faith in the system is one of the bedrocks of a successful democratic society,” said Dr. Nissim Cohen, one of the leaders of the study. “There is no doubt that the loss of faith in the political process and political institutions is troubling. In 2013, there was a significant rise in Israelis’ faith in the Knesset, which shows that the situation can be reversed. All those involved must consider increasing Israelis’ faith in politics a national mission.”