Cover Photo: AP News | Ariel Schalit
Recent polling conducted on Thursday by the Dialog Center found that four out of five Jewish Israelis blame the government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the recent Hamas attacks and massive casualties in Southern Israel.
The survey canvassed 620 Israeli Jews throughout the country and found that most respondents are dissatisfied with their government’s authority and apprehensive about its approach to resolving the conflict in Gaza.
According to the poll, an overwhelming 92% of respondents claimed the war was causing anxiety, with 86% of respondents, including 79% of coalition supporters, believing that the surprise attacks from Hamas were a failure of the country’s leadership.
Nearly all the respondents, an astounding 94%, think that their government should take some responsibility for failing to notice security and intelligence risks at their southern border, with over 75% claiming that most of the responsibility falls on the government.
The conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas has killed at least 2,215 people in Palestine and another 1,300 in Israel. With emotions and fear high, a section of Israelis have voiced desires to strip their leaders and ministers of power in the days since the attacks.
The Dialog Center survey indicates that a slim majority of 56% of respondents want Netanyahu to resign once the conflict concludes, with 28% of coalition voters agreeing with this position. A further 52% of respondents think that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant should resign too.
Dissatisfaction from Israelis with Netanyahu’s government and far-right coalition has surged in the past months, specifically after the overhaul of the Israeli judicial system which allowed government control over judicial appointments and limited authority of legal advisors. This led to widespread protests from Israelis who saw the act as a breach of democracy.
Netanyahu is also entangled in an ongoing corruption trial after he was charged back in 2019 for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes in three separate scandals involving powerful media moguls and wealthy associates. He maintains no misconduct on his part, but critics of Netanyahu claim his drive to weaken the courts and judicial system serves as a way to derail his trial.
An additional survey published by Maariv, also reveals that public support for Netanyahu and his cabinet is diminishing among its 600 respondents. Favor shifted towards former Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity party, with 48% of respondents expressing support for Gantz to lead the country instead compared to 29% for Netanyahu. However, unlike the Dialog Center survey, 71% of respondents told Maariv that they are either very or somewhat trusting in the IDF to protect the country.
While previous conflicts with Hamas typically bolstered and strengthened Netanyahu’s government, this no longer seems to be the case, though the true ramifications for his administration will likely be seen in the coming months as the conflict escalates.
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