Nearly Half of Israeli Jews Consider Leftists Not Loyal to the Country, Poll Shows

The Israel Democracy Institute survey also shows 40 percent of citizens would support Israeli annexation of occupied territory.

Jews and Arabs protest racism in Israel in October 2015.
Olivier Fitoussi

Nearly half of Israeli Jews consider leftists to be disloyal citizens, according to a poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute.

The IDI’s monthly Peace Index survey, published Tuesday, found that 48 percent of Israeli Jews think that leftists are either “not so loyal” or “not loyal at all” to the state.

Almost 55 percent said they “strongly agree” or “moderately agree” that voicing criticism of the state at times of tense security situations is “unacceptable.”

Israeli Arabs were much less likely to take a harsh view of dissent.  Only 17 percent said that leftists are either “not so loyal” or “not loyal at all”, and just over 40 percent deemed criticizing the state as unacceptable.

The survey was conducted among a representative sample of Israelis (500 Jews and 100 Arabs) between November 29 and December 1.

According to the survey, 40 percent of Israelis favor annexing the West Bank. The figure was slightly more than 44 percent among Israeli Jews, and just under 20 percent for Israeli Arabs.

In the event that the West Bank is eventually annexed to Israel, less than half of the respondents (46.7 percent) said they believed there was no choice but to give Palestinians living in the area full and equal civil rights. Among Israeli Jews, only 41.8 percent were of that opinion, as compared with 70.7 percent of Israeli Arabs.

The survey also sought to gauge how Israelis felt about the U.S. election results. Asked how they viewed President-elect Donald Trump’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just over half (50.3 percent) said they thought he was “more in favor of Israel,” while only a tiny fraction (1.3 percent) thought he was “more in favor of the Palestinians.” 

About 20 percent considered him to be neutral. A majority of the respondents (63.2 percent) expressed hope that the new U.S. administration would actively try to broker a peace deal. 

A significant majority said they believed the president-elect would be good for the settler movement.  Just over 38 percent said they did not think he would intervene with building in the settlements, and almost 27 percent thought he would actually support new construction there. 

Until now, the United States has taken a highly critical view of Israeli settlement expansion.