In Brief: Confidence in Israeli government collapses amid ongoing protests

Benjamin Netanyahu > World Economic Forum / Manuel Lopez, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

February saw a sharp increase in the proportion of Israelis who describe the Jewish state’s overall situation as either bad or very bad, according to the Israeli Democracy Institute’s February 2023 polling.

The percentage of Israelis who are optimistic about the future of Israel’s national security declined from 46 percent in January this year to 31 percent in February.

The fall in confidence likely reflects the ongoing uptick in terror attacks, including most recently an attack in central Tel Aviv which wounded three people.

More broadly, the number of respondents who characterised Israel’s overall outlook as bad or very bad rose from 30 to 47 percent since October last year.

Meanwhile, a Channel 13 poll found that more than half of Israelis believe that far-right national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir should be fired, with one in five Likud voters also supporting his removal.

By contrast, 40 percent of Israelis believed Ben-Gvir should remain in place.

The poll also showed some support among centrist voters for the liberal Yesh Atid party, led by former prime minister Yair Lapid, and centre-right National Unity party, led by former defence minister Benny Gantz, to enter government with Netanyahu as a means of halting the government’s controversial judicial reform plans – 41 percent of centrist voters supported this proposal, while 47 percent disagreed.