1 in 10 Israelis fully support Netanyahu’s handling of coronavirus

Written by on August 5, 2020

The poll was done on the backdrop of nationwide demonstrations, mainly in protest of the prime minister’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent financial crisis.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wearing a medical mask amid coronavirus pandemic

(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Only one in ten Israelis are completely satisfied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus, and a majority support transferring the responsibility of handling the crisis to the Defense Ministry, a recent poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute found.

The poll was done on the backdrop of nationwide demonstrations, mainly in protest of Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent financial crisis. It was conducted among over 600 people representing a sample of Israel’s adult population, including both Arab and Jewish demographics, and was carried out by the institute’s Guttman Center for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy. 

The poll found that more than a quarter of Israelis (28%) were extremely unsatisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, compared to only about one in ten (9.5%) who were extremely satisfied, on a scale of one to five, with five being extremely satisfied and one not being satisfied at all. About 16% gave a ranking of four, meaning that a quarter (25.5%) support the prime minister in his handling of the crisis. Meanwhile, 28% of Israelis gave Netanyahu a ranking of three, 17% a ranking of two, and about 28% a ranking of one.

However, the rate of satisfaction varies significantly when broken down between the Arab and Jewish demographics. 

While 10% of Jews are extremely satisfied with Netanyahu’s handling of the crisis, only 4% of Arabs feel the same way. The gap closes when ranking those who are extremely dissatisfied. Among Jews, 29% report being dissatisfied while 24% of Arabs feel the same way. 


Meanwhile, about a third (31%) of Israelis feel similarly dissatisfied toward the overall government’s handling of the crisis, compared to the 11% of Israelis who feel that the government is handling the crisis well. 

About 60% of Israelis support transferring the leadership of handling the coronavirus crisis, with 27% strongly supporting the idea, and 30% who mostly support it.

Among the Arab demographic, 12% outright support the decision, while 11% are in complete opposition. Much of the remainder sit somewhere in the middle, with 20% stating that they somewhat oppose transferring dealing with the coronavirus crisis to the Defense Ministry, and 19% stating that they somewhat support the idea.

Meanwhile, only 4.5% of Jews are outright opposed to transferring responsibility along with 11% who mostly are opposed, while 30% fully support the idea and 33% mostly support it. 


With regards to the financial crisis, as the government struggles to find solutions to keep the country, its businesses and the people afloat, more than a quarter of Israelis (27.5%) oppose the government’s financial policies. Percentages among the Arab and Jewish demographic again vary, as 29% of Jews oppose the government’s financial policies compared to 18% of the Arab population. 

Some 14% of Israel’s overall adult population support the government’s financial policies, including 11% of Jews and more than double that percentage of Arabs at 26%.

In light of the ensuing crises following the spread of the coronavirus in Israel, only 13% of respondents answered that they support dissolution of the government and a move towards a fourth elections compared to 37% who were against.

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