JPPI Israeli Society Index

New Poll: 78% of Israeli Jews believe they will be victorious in war

Priority given to overthrowing Hamas as the main goal of the war
• Only 14% sees the return of hostages as a victory in the war
• One-third of Israeli Jews want control over Gaza at end of war
• One-quarter of Israeli Jews want to reestablish settlements in Gush Katif
• Vast majority of Israeli Jews believe fear of attack against Jews abroad should not affect
war plans (90%)
• Trust in IDF commanders very high (86%)
• Level of trust in Prime Minister low (30%)
Jerusalem, Nov. 24, 2023…A survey conducted by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in November
reveals that a large majority of Jewish citizens in Israel believe that Israel will win the war (78%). Among
almost all respondents, the need for Israel to emerge victorious is emphasized, even if victory requires
unintentional harm to innocent civilians.

Defining Victory
On the question of what is the main achievement that would define victory, the response that received
the highest percentage was “if Gaza is no longer under Hamas control – we have won” (38%). About a
quarter of respondents (25%) chose the answer “if residents of the border area feel safe to return to their
homes – we have won,” and 14% said “if the hostages return home – we have won.” There were
noticeable differences in the responses based on political affiliation. Voters from coalition parties clearly
favored ending Hamas rule as the key to victory, while among voters from opposition parties, the
preferences were more evenly balanced between the options presented.

About a third of the Jews in Israel want full Israeli control over Gaza after the victory, while about a
quarter believe that this control should also include the return of Gush Katif settlements to Gaza. Among
the coalition voters, almost half of the respondents (44%) chose the option that includes a return to Gush
Katif, and about sixty percent chose the option of full Israeli control. In contrast, among the opposition
voters, only 9% chose the option of full Israeli control of the Strip.
According to JPPI Vice President Dr. Shuki Friedman, “While the fighting in Gaza is not over, Israelis are
already thinking about its end. Among the political considerations guiding Israeli decision-makers, the
most important thing is to ensure that Hamas does not continue to exist and that we are no longer
dependent on the goodwill of others for our security.”

Out of six options presented to the respondents about what would happen in Gaza after the war, about
45% of the respondents chose Palestinian rule in Gaza, provided that Israel would be responsible for
security, or that Gaza would be demilitarized. Of these, a relatively small proportion (12%) chose the rule
of the Palestinian Authority, and a larger proportion expressed a preference for a Palestinian government
that is not Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (21%).

Trust in IDF increased; decreased trust in Prime Minister
The survey reveals a significant increase in the trust of the Jewish public in Israel in IDF commanders
compared to last month, while there has been a slight decrease in trust in the Prime Minister, Benjamin
Netanyahu. The level of trust in IDF commanders (quite high and very high) rose from 75% in the survey
conducted in mid-October to 86% in the survey conducted after mid-November. The level of trust in the
Prime Minister decreased from 32% to 30%, and the level of trust in the emergency government
remained unchanged (43%).

Decrease in level of concern for security situation
Overall, there is a decrease in the level of concern among respondents regarding the security situation.
While in mid-October, a few days after the Hamas attack, 42% of the Jewish public said they were “very
concerned” about the security situation, this month the figure decreased significantly to 27%. The total
number of concerned individuals (very concerned and moderately concerned) decreased from 84% to
74%, with the more noticeable decrease in concern among voters of coalition parties. There is also a
noticeable increase in optimism compared to the previous month when respondents were asked, “Are
you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the State of Israel?” The percentage of respondents who
answered “very optimistic” increased from 35% to 43%. The change is similar among voters from both
the coalition and opposition.
According to Prof. Yedidia Stern, president of JPPI, “The aggressive military posture in Gaza is
changing the national mood. Israelis are still worried about the security situation – but
considerably less. The severe pessimism we experienced following the Hamas attack is also
easing.”

Gap between groups regarding civilian harm
There is a noticeable gap between different groups regarding the willingness to cause harm to uninvolved
Gaza civilians. Among the secular respondents, the majority (62%) believe that the goal of the IDF should
be “to win while making an effort not to harm innocent civilians.” In contrast, among religious groups,
there is a tendency to respond “to win and it doesn’t matter how” (47% among religious respondents) or
even “to win and seek revenge, including causing harm to as many Gaza residents as possible” (20%
among religious respondents). The percentage of Jewish Israelis who agree with the goal of “not to harm
innocent civilians, even at the cost of a less clear victory” is very low.
Fear of harming Jews abroad should not affect war plans
In recent weeks, the war in Gaza has manifested itself in a significant increase in anti-Semitic statements
on the networks, in calls against Jews in various parts of the world, in attacks by Jews – and the Jews
themselves express, including, recently, in a JPPI survey among American Jews, a growing anxiety about
the strength of anti-Semitism. In light of this, the institute’s questionnaire in November included a
question concerning the manner in which Israel should behave. Should the fear of harming Jews abroad
affect Israel’s war plans?
In the answer to this question: “The fear of harming the Jews should not affect Israel’s war plans.” 90% of
the respondents agreed, and the differences between voters of different parties, or between different
groups according to a scale of religiosity, are not large. Among the supporters of the state camp, 92% said
no, and among the religious Zionist voters, 87% said no.

Link to the Survey

The Jewish People Policy Institute survey was conducted from November 15-18 by theMadad.com website 666 Israelis participated in the survey, and the results were weighted by Prof. Camil Fuchs according to voting patterns and religiosity to represent a representative sample of the Jewish population in Israel. It was compared to a previous survey conducted in October in a similar format.