Poll Shows Israelis Pessimistic About Health Crisis

Israelis wear protective face masks as they shop at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

As the country struggles to contain a second wave of the coronavirus, a poll released on Wednesday said that nearly half of Israelis are pessimistic about prospects for success.

Forty-five percent of respondents expressed doubts about the nation’s ability to weather the health crisis and its severe economic fallout, according to the Rafi Smith Institute on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute.

Half of Jewish Israelis and 32 percent of Israeli Arabs said they were optimistic about the chances of recovery, down from 68 and 61 percent, respectively, at the end of March.

Regarding the performance of Israeli officialdom, confidence was also not high. The IDI reported that 61 percent of Israelis do not trust in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to manage the crisis, while 35 percent said they do. That’s a rise of 5.5 points in public confidence in the PM, compared to the previous month.

According to the IDI, recently appointed national coronavirus project coordinator Prof. Ronni Gamzu has the trust of 59.5 percent of the people.

Economic anxiety, meanwhile, has eased somewhat, the pollsters found.

Asked if they were worried about their economic well-being in the foreseeable future, 53.5 percent of people earning an average income replied in the affirmative, down from 61 percent in July. Sixty-six percent of low income earners expressed concern, a slight drop from 69.5 percent last month.

Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry forecast that it could take up to five years for the economy to fully recover from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The IDI poll had a margin of error of 3.7 percent and surveyed 620 people in Hebrew and 150 in Arabic, online and by telephone.

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