Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Half of Israelis believe democracy is in grave danger, poll shows

Leftists and centrists are worried but the same isn’t true of those on the right

About half of Israelis say they are worried about their country’s democracy, a new poll found, a jump from 45% in 2017, though down from 54% in 2019.

The Israeli Voice Index, a monthly survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, showed stark differences based on respondents’ political identities and ethnicities. For example, more than 80% of those who said they are on the political left, and 74% of centrists have serious concerns about the state of democracy, up from 63% and 43% of each of those groups on last year.

“That’s a huge change in such a short term, only one-and-a-half years,” said Or Anabi, a researcher at the institute

Among those on the right, 30% are very concerned about the state of the democracy, as are three-quarters of Arab-Israelis. For secular Jews, the number is 70%.

The poll surveyed 601 Jews and 150 Arabs over 18. The maximum sampling error was 3.59%.

Anabi attributed the shift to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new far-right coalition, which has threatened to dismantle the independent judiciary, and includes ministers with history of extremism regarding Palestinian rights. Netanyahu, already Israel’s longest-serving leader, returned to power Dec. 29 after Israel’s fifth election in three years.

“When we are talking about democracy, most of the Jews are on the right,” said Anabi. “In the last election, we saw that a lot of the right-wing voters from previous elections didn’t come to vote.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.