Survey: Right-left divide No. 1 tension in Israel for first time

The Right and Left divide has been identified as the major split in Israeli society for the first time since a 16-year survey began.

By World Israel News Staff

For the first time, a democracy survey found that the number one tension in Israeli society is between Right and Left. The findings of the 2018 Israel Democracy Index was presented to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Monday.

“The new reality in Israel in 2018 is one in which the two political blocs – the Right and the Center-Left – are at odds with each other … and the gaps between these two perceptions are growing wider,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), which has put out the survey for the last 16 years through its Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research.

“Two blocs have formed within Israeli Jewish society, holding opposing views on many different aspects of Israel as a collectivity: security issues, socioeconomic issues, and with regards to questions on corruption, culture, gender and liberal values,” said Dr. Tamar Hermann, director of the Center.

“This polarization is a dangerous process, reflecting an inability to reach consensus on what is the common good,” she said.

Hermann says tension between Right and Left among Israel’s Jewish population is growing. In 2012, only nine percent of Jewish Israelis said the polarization between Right and Left was the “most powerful source of tension” in Israel.

“As 2018 draws to a close; we see a dramatic increase to 36 percent,” Hermann said.

The survey also reported positive findings with 53 percent of the Israeli general public (Jews and Arabs) saying Israel’s overall situation is good or very good. Eighty percent of the general public say their personal situation is good or very good.

The majority of the public say they’re proud to be Israeli (81.5%) though the Arab-Israeli public’s percentage has declined for the second straight year and now stands at 51 percent.