Jewish Israelis' Trust in the Military at Its Lowest Since 2008, Poll Finds

Army still most trusted institution among Jewish Israelis, but the level has slid from 90 percent last June to 78 percent in October

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An Israeli army exercise involving paratroopers, last week.
An Israeli army exercise involving paratroopers, last week.Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Polling data from October shows that Jewish Israelis’ confidence in the Israel Defense Forces is at its lowest level since 2008, according to data published Thursday by the Israel Democracy Institute.

The findings, which appear in the institute’s annual Democracy Index report, show that 78 percent of Jewish Israelis surveyed replied that they trusted the army – down from 90 percent last June.

The IDF's spokesman said in a statement commenting on the findings that "public trust is an important component in carrying out its mission. The army considers public trust a most significant component of national security and accordingly strives to learn about it and improve it.”

The Jewish public’s trust in other institutions also dropped or remained steady, but trust in the presidency went slightly up from October 2020 to 58 percent.

President Isaac Herzog attributed the reasons for a decline in public faith in state institutions to “the growing tension and lack of trust between the executive, legislative and judicial authorities.” He said he found that drop “very disturbing” and constituting a “warning light for all of us.”

Confidence in the Supreme Court slipped from 48 percent last June to 41 percent in October, which represented a tiny drop from 42 percent in October 2020. Trust in the police dropped to 33.5 percent from 41 percent a year earlier. Confidence levels in other institutions included 27 percent in the government, 25 percent in the media, 21 percent in the Knesset and 10 percent in political parties.

Among Arab Israelis, trust in all public institutions surveyed hovered below 50 percent. Confidence in the army in October among the Arab public was 36 percent. Views became more favorable regarding the Supreme Court, with 49 percent of the country’s Arabs expressing trust in it compared with 40 percent a year earlier. Trust in the police was 22 percent in October after plummeting to 13 percent last June, a month after communal disturbances during Operation Guardian of the Walls.

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