Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu Flash 90

A recent poll has revealed serious mistrust in the current Israeli government's performance by the public, particularly vis-a-vis the summer's war with Gazan terrorists, which many Israelis feel was not completed satisfactorily - as well as some interesting statistics regarding the attitude of Arab voters.

The results of a Peace Index survey released Tuesday showed that 61% of Jewish Israelis mistrust the government in general - and a segmentation of the respondents according to their political affiliations revealed that voters from across the spectrum were united in disappointment, though to varying degrees.

Some two thirds of respondents who identified as politically "centrist" expressed such negative sentiments - as did a full 80% of self-described left-wingers. At the same time, just over half of right-wing voters felt the same way, despite the coalition being led by a right-wing party (Likud). 69.5% of Arab voters say they were dissatisfied with the government's performance - a high rate, but notably less so than among leftist Jewish voters.

The authors of the report noted that such negative sentiments may explain why just 52% of respondents said they were satisfied with the performance of the party they voted for in the last election.

Yesh Atid voters particularly unhappy

Some voters, however, bucked the trend - most notably those on the far-left and among hareidi voters. 

The most satisfied camp were those who supported the Ashkenazic-hareidi United Torah Judaism party (UTJ), with a full 93% saying they were pleased with their party's performance. That is perhaps not so surprising considering that most UTJ voters tend to come either from hassidic or Lithuanian hareidi institutions which simply vote in accordance with the directives of their rabbis.

The second-most satisfied voters were those who backed the far-left Meretz party, 80% of whom were happy with the party's performance in the opposition.

The least satisfied voters were those who cast their last ballot for Finance Minister Yair Lapid's secularist Yesh Atid party; 40% of Yesh Atid voters said they are unhappy with their party of choice's performance. The results will add to Lapid's woes, as successive polls have shown his party losing half of its current 19 Knesset seats in the next election. It also comes amid embarrassing reports that Yesh Atid was rejected by left-wing and Arab opposition parties when senior party officials sent out feelers to gauge support for Lapid as opposition leader should he make good on threats to leave the government if Prime Minister Netanyahu does not end his opposition to the finance minister's budget proposals.

Arab voters feeling unrepresented

Among Arab voters, only a quarter said they had even voted in the last elections - but a surprisingly high number of those who did, some 38%, said they were dissatisfied with their party's performance, compared to just 28% who said they were satisfied. Those figures jibe with reports prior to 2013's elections which indicated that many Israeli Arabs felt that Arab MKs tended to take extremist positions and focus on foreign policy instead of representing their constituency's needs and focusing on local issues.

Regarding Operation Protective Edge, 52% of respondents were less than enamored with the government's performance, although 46% thought that Israel achieved more in the operation, as opposed to just 13% who felt that Hamas came out on top. Arab voters, however had a very different perspective: just 4.5% thought Israel had achieved more in the war, compared to 40% who thought Hamas did.

Despite the negative responses to both the operation and the government's overall performance, over 61% of the Jewish Israeli public were either very satisfied or moderately satisfied with the government's performance in the security domain.

On the topic of the Islamic State, or ISIS, terrorist group, the poll revealed that most Israeli Jews (55%) agree with the position of former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin that the group did not present a significant threat to Israel's existence, compared to 39% who do. Among Israeli Arabs, 53% felt ISIS was not a threat to Israel, whereas 43% think it is.

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