search

After terror attacks, poll finds bleak security outlook among Israelis

83% of Arab Israelis and 64% of Jewish Israelis feel no personal security, Israel Democracy Institute poll finds; 31% of Jewish Israelis say most Arab Israelis support terrorism

Illustrative: A young Israeli holds a tear gas gun he just bought in a Jerusalem store for self-protection (File photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: A young Israeli holds a tear gas gun he just bought in a Jerusalem store for self-protection (File photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The vast majority of both Jewish and Arab Israelis are more pessimistic about Israel’s security situation than they have been in years, according to a new poll taken in the wake of a rash of deadly terror attacks late last month.

The poll, released Monday by the Israel Democracy Institute, found that 66 percent of Jewish Israelis and 70% of Arab Israelis said they were pessimistic about Israel’s security situation in the foreseeable future.

The survey was conducted by IDI’s Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research between March 29 and April 1, days after five people were gunned down by a terrorist in Bnei Brak. That attack followed one in Hadera in which two police officers were killed. Days earlier, four people were killed in a combined stabbing and car-ramming attack in Beersheba, bringing the issue of terror back to the fore after nearly a year of relative calm.

The attacks marked the highest single-week death toll since 2006.

According to IDI, the level of pessimism regarding security was the highest seen in two years.

The poll found that 83% of Arab Israelis and 64% of Jewish Israelis felt no personal security or only a small degree of security. Only 16% of Arab Israelis and 33% of Jewish Israelis said they felt a very large or fairly large degree of personal security.

The two terrorists who carried out a shooting attack in Hadra on March 27, 2022: Ayman Ighbariah (left) and Ibrahim Ighbariah (right), pictured at Haifa District Court on June 29, 2016, when he was on trial for trying to join the Islamic State in Syria. (Screenshot)

Asked whether they believed Arab Israelis supported terrorism, 40% of Jewish Israelis said only a minority of Arab Israelis support terrorist attacks and 31% said most Arab Israelis support terrorism.

Approximately 78% of those who identified as politically left-wing said they believed only a minority of Arab Israelis support terrorism, while only 28% of those who identify as right-wing said that was the case.

The large majority of Arab Israelis (77%) said they believed only a minority of their community supported terrorism.

Asked whether they thought their own community supports carrying out attacks on Arabs as revenge, most Jewish Israelis (58.5%) said they believed only a minority of their community would support such attacks.

Colleagues mourn during the funeral of Israeli border police officer Shirel Aboukrat in Netanya on March 28, 2022. Aboukrat and colleague Yazan Falah were shot dead on March 27 in a terrorist attack in Hadera claimed by the Islamic State group. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Asked about the role that Arab leadership plays in preventing terrorism, only 12% of Jewish Israelis said they believed that the Arab Israeli leadership was actively working to prevent Arab violence against Jews.

The majority of Arab Israelis (60.5%) said they thought their leaders were taking an active stand against Arab terrorism.

Most Arab Israelis (63%) also said they believed it possible for Arab citizens of Israel who feel a part of the Palestinian people, to also be loyal to Israel. Only 28.5% of Jewish Israelis agreed with this notion.

Two of the recent terror attacks that have shaken the country were committed by Arab Israelis from localities within Israeli territory. The Beersheba attack on March 22 was carried out by an Arab Israeli man from the southern town of Hura. The attack in Hadera, only a few days later, was carried out by two cousins from Umm al-Fahm.

Most Jewish Israelis (85%) said they believed that the penalties imposed by the courts for carrying out terrorist attacks were too light, compared to only 22% among Arab Israelis.

The majority of Jewish Israelis (78%) agreed that in the fight against terrorism there should be no room for moral considerations and that all means can be used to prevent terrorist attacks.

Only 19% said they did not agree with this statement.

Dividing participants according to their political affiliation, 85% of those who consider themselves right-wing said they agreed with the statement, while just over half of those considering themselves left-wing (51.5%) said they agreed with it.

A similar question asked in an IDI survey in 2018 found that only 38.5% of Jewish Israelis agreed that moral considerations were an irrelevant factor in the fight against terrorism.

Israeli riot police face off with a Jewish man as clashes erupted between Arabs, police and Jews, in the mixed town of Lod, central Israel, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)

Regarding integration into Israeli society, 73% of Arab Israelis said most Arab Israelis want to integrate into Israeli society and be a part of it. 21% disagreed. Among Jewish Israelis, 53% said they agreed with the statement and 43% disagreed.

Regarding the possibility of separating from the Palestinian people in a future agreement that would see the establishment of a Palestinian state, 67% of Arab Israelis and 35% of Jewish Israelis said it would be better if Jews and Arabs in Israel were to live separately. Respectively, 22% and 59% said they disagreed.

The survey was conducted online and by telephone. It covered 605 men and women who were interviewed in Hebrew and 156 in Arabic, constituting a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and older. The maximum sampling error for the entire sample was 3.59%± at a confidence level of 95%.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed