IDF soldiers
IDF soldiersIssam Haashlamon, Flash 90

A new study by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) showed that for the 35th year running, the public's trust in the IDF is extremely high.

A full 93% of Israelis trust the IDF, followed by 86% who trust the Mossad and 80% who trust Shabak (Israel Security Agency).

However, only 53% of Israelis trust Israel Police.

Dr. Zipi Israeli, who conducted the research, noted that of Israel's public bodies, the IDF consistently has the most support. The Israeli public also has faith in the IDF's operational abilities, and 87% believe that the IDF is ready for the next military conflict, while just 13% believe the IDF is not ready for the next conflict.

Meanwhile, most Israelis (64%) believe that the ideological divides in Israeli society negatively influence the IDF's operational abilities. Another 27% believe the ideological divides have no influence at all, while just 9% believe the differences influence the IDF for the better.

Dr. Israeli explained that it seems the Israeli public would like to leave the IDF out of arguments. This would also explain why 68% of Israelis agree with the statement that "the IDF is the people's army" and most of those surveyed would prefer to continue with the mandatory draft in place today. Just 19% would like to eliminate the mandatory draft.

Enlistment in the IDF

The vast majority of Israelis support enlistment in the IDF, and have a positive view of combat soldiers and working to meet the IDF's needs. Responses to a new question inserted this year, "If you needed to advise a youth who is about to enlist in the IDF, what would you advise him?" were as follows:

  • 15% would advise the youth to enlist in an elite unit
  • 20% would advise him to enlist as a combat soldier
  • 35% would advise him to enlist as whatever the IDF needs
  • 21% would advise him to enlist in the IDF and take a job with civil importance
  • 5% would advise him to enlist in the IDF and take the easiest job possible
  • 4% would advise him to make an effort not to enlist at all

In addition, the majority of Israelis support changing how haredi youths are enlisted into the IDF. When asked: "What is your preferred solution for the issue of drafting haredi youths?" 67% of Israelis preferred a solution in which a small number would continue learning in yeshiva, and the rest would enlist in the IDF or do National Service.

When asked about religious and women's issues, 47% said they believe the IDF should balance the needs of all groups which serve in the army, while 33% said they believe the IDF should allow full "equality" for men and women, and 19% said the IDF should take into consideration the needs of religious soldiers, even if it means limiting the integration of women.

Judea and Samaria

Forty-five percent of Israeli Jews oppose annexing any part of Judea and Samaria, while 26% are in favor of unilateral annexation of the "settlement blocs" where most Jewish towns are located, 14% are in favor of annexing all areas where Jewish towns are located, 7% are in favor of annexing all of Judea and Samaria, and 8% are in favor of annexing all of Area C.

When asked about a two-state solution, 40% said they believe it is possible but not in the near future, 34% believe it is not possible at all, and 11% believe it is possible in the near future.

Sixty-six percent of Israelis believe the current situation works to Israel's disadvantage, up from 56% in 2017.

The reasearch was conducted by Dr. Zipi Israeli, a senior INSS researcher, and the full results will be presented at the INSS conference this week.