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The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) on Tuesday presented the 2017 Israel Democracy Index to President Reuven Rivlin.

According to the Index, most Israelis distrust the media, and rely more on traditional media than social media. Forty-five percent of Israelis believe Israel's democratic system is in danger, and 41.5% believe Israel used to be more democratic than it currently is. Among those who believe Israel's democracy is in danger are 23% of Jewish right-wing and religious voters, 72% of Jewish left-wing voters, 65% of Arabs, 33% of younger voters, and approximately 50% of those aged over 55.

Sixty-four percent of the Israeli public believes the Israeli government is not properly handling Israel's main issues, and 80% believe politicians are more concerned with their personal interests than those of the general public.

Twenty-nine percent of Israeli Arabs believe that Israel's identity as a Jewish state is "inherently racist," and 72% believe Israel's Jewish character is "too strong." Meanwhile, 53% of Jewish respondents (15% of haredi respondents, 16% of religious Jews, and 79% of secular Jews) believe the religious population "is gradually taking control of the state."

Regarding the political activism of Israel's Supreme Court, 53% of Israelis believe the Supreme Court should not have the ability to override legislation. Forty-four percent of the public believe that "the leftist judiciary, media, and academia interfere with the elected right wing's ability to rule." However, despite these findings, only 36% of Israelis support the bill to override the Supreme Court's objections to a law.

As a whole, Israelis do not trust government institutions: Only 29% of Israelis trust the government, 26% trust the Knesset, and just 15% trust the political parties. Rivlin's rating rose from 61% of Israelis trusting him in 2016 to 65% trust this year. The IDF is the most-trusted institution, with 81% trust in the general public and 88% among Jewish Israelis. A small majority, 56%, trust the Supreme Court.

When it comes to news, 56% of Israelis believe the media makes things seem worse than they are, and 53% still rely on television as their primary source of political information, with 26% of Israelis reporting they relying mostly on radio and an identical number reporting they rely mostly on social media. Printed media constitutes the main news source for 28% of the population.

Sixty-six-and-a-half percent of Israelis do not agree that the "golden rule" applies to media: Despite the fact that the Israeli government funds the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, these Israelis do not believe the government should be allowed to influence the media's content.

Despite the fact that 46.5% of Israelis believe life is more difficult in Israel than in other Western countries, 68% are optimistic about Israel's future and 48% believe the general situation in Israel is good, up from 36.5% in 2016. 84% of Israelis believe Israel is a good place to live, 81% would not want to emigrate under any circumstances, and 73.5% are satisfied with their personal lives.

"A few years ago, people spoke about the 'Facebook democracy.' They said that people were not prepared to get out and protest, that instead they sit at home and disapprove. Today we are seeing, on the Left and Right, people going out into the streets ready to express their opinions," Rivlin said.

IDI President and former Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner said the findings showed Israel was in the midst of a social "crisis".

"The Index reveals that Israel’s democracy is suffering an ongoing crisis with no imminent signs of a change of trend.... Israeli society is rift with fundamental differences of opinion, not only between Arabs and Jews and not only within tensions of the political-security domain. Within the Jewish Israeli public, deep and ongoing disagreements exist regarding the proper balance between Jewish and democratic values of the State. In this context, and in light of a series of constitutional changes proposed by government members, such as the Nation-state Bill, the current leadership is tasked with the heavy responsibility of fostering respectful, responsible and non-partisan discourse - the kind of discourse that highlights our strengths. Precisely when public trust in state institutions is so low – such discourse is the minimum expected."