Netanyahu’s Sincerity Questioned in Quest for Arab Votes

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein seen during a visit at Covid-19 vaccination center in Sderot. (Liron Moldovan/POOL)

Over two thirds of Israelis think Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s quest for Arab votes in this election round is insincere, according to a poll released on Sunday.

The Israel Democracy Institute poll found that 70 percent of Jewish Israelis were skeptical of the prime minister’s sincerity in wanting to help the Arab sector, while Arab Israelis were slightly less so, at 66 percent.

Netanyahu has been meeting with local Arab leaders and making high-profile appearances in Arab towns with promises of a serious fight against rampant crime in their districts.

Analysts are split as to whether he believes they will actually come out and vote for Likud, or whether the premier is seeking to instead lower turnout rates in the sector by dividing its representatives and giving voters the feeling there is little difference between their options, according to The Times of Israel.

But if Netanyahu does not inspire much confidence among Arab voters, Arab politicians aren’t doing much better.

According to the poll, only 23% of respondents rated the Arab-majority Joint List party’s performance as good or excellent, compared to 38% who rated its performance as not good or poor.

Only 42% of Arab Israelis are sure or moderately sure which party they will vote for. Fifteen percent of Arab interviewees said they would not vote at all, compared to 3% of the Jewish respondents.

The January Israeli Voice Index was compiled by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. The survey was conducted on the internet and by telephone, with 605 men and women interviewed in Hebrew and 300 interviewed in Arabic. The margin of error was 3.32%, at a confidence level of 95%.