Poll Finds Significant Rise in Arab Israelis’ Trust in Government

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Ra’am party chairman Mansour Abbas confer in the Knesset. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Arab Israelis are expressing more trust in government institutions than in previous years, according to a poll released on Thursday.

As for the first time in decades an Arab party entered the governing coalition, securing massive funding for police and social services, political parties enjoyed more trust among Arab respondents: at 22% this year compared to 14% in 2020. The Knesset was also up to 25% from 17.5% last year, according to data gathered by the Israel Democracy Institute.

The government gained more trust, increasing from 14% in 2020 to 28% in the recent survey.

Other institutions also gained: the High Court reached 49%, compared to 40% in 2020. The president also gained trust, at 41% up from 31%, as did the IDF with 36% compared to 32% in the 2020 survey.

However, the police slipped from 26% to 22%, and media from 36% to 32%.

Meanwhile, among Jewish Israelis, whose confidence level is normally higher than Arab citizens, it was nudged slightly downward.

The Israel Defense Forces again topped the list with the highest level of public trust, though down from 90% in 2019 to 78% in 2021, the lowest level since 2008.

The president of Israel was next highest in the rankings with 58%, similar to the 56% recorded in 2020.

Though it’s in third place, only a minority trust the High Court, whose positive rating dropped from 42% in 2020 to 41% for 2021.

The Israel Police was in fourth place with 33.5%, down from 41% in 2020; the media was at 25%, down from 32% the year before; and at the bottom of the list came the Knesset with 21% and political parties with 10%.

The government gained a few percentage points, rising to 27% compared to 25% in 2020.

In addition, the poll found that 57% of Israelis want “a strong leader who will not consider the Knesset, the press or public opinion” when making decisions. That number has gone up steadily in the annual study, from 41% in 2014.

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