JPPI Israeli Society Index

Poll: Significant decrease in public confidence that Israel will win the war

JPPI’s Monthly Israeli Society Index finds that Only 61% of the Israeli public thinks Israel will win compared to 78% in October. 57% say their level of trust in the government is low or quite low.

JPPI’s “Monthly Israeli Society Index” shows a significant decrease in the confidence among the Jewish public in Israel that Israel will win the war.

Only 61% of Jewish respondents are still confident that victory is possible; in October 78% of Jews expressed such confidence. In addition, 57% of survey respondents reported a low or fairly low level of trust in the government.

The survey indicates that even among coalition supporters there was a decrease in confidence in victory, but the decrease was sharper among opposition supporters.
One hundred days into the war, most of the Jewish public believes that Israel will win, but there has been a significant erosion in confidence compared to previous months (October and November 2023). The question was presented in identical form on a monthly basis since the war began in October.

According to JPPI’s president, Prof. Yedidia Stern, “In order to preserve Israeli deterrence externally and the Israelis’ sense of security internally, Israel must clearly win the war against Hamas. However, continued prosecution of the war without an agreed upon and clearly articulated strategy for the future of the Gaza Strip causes more and more Israelis to doubt whether it will be possible to declare “victory” at the end of the military operation, whatever its achievements. Israel must realistically define the goals of the war, and the corresponding political options, so that the IDF can project power in a way that brings local and international recognition that we have won.”

In the JPPI survey, respondents were asked to rate their confidence that Israel would win the war on a scale of 1 (not at all confident) to 5 (completely confident). In October and November, about three out of four Israeli Jews answered either 4 or 5; in January, the percentage dropped to 61%. In the same period, the percentage of respondents who rated their confidence in victory as 1 or 2 increased from 10% to 18%.

The decreased confidence in victory is evident among coalition supporters and among opposition supporters alike. Among coalition supporters, in November 87% felt confident in victory (rating 4.5), today’s rate stands at 76%, a significant drop. The drop was even sharper among opposition supporters: from 71% in November to 53% in January. A decrease was also evident along the religiosity spectrum: from 93% to 72% among religious Israelis and from 72% to 53% among secular Israelis.

The decreased confidence in victory has no accompanying significant change in the level of confidence in either the political echelon (fairly low confidence) or the military (fairly high confidence). Between November and January there was almost no change in Israelis’ level of trust in the government. Only about a third of Israeli Jews (36%) and about a quarter of Israeli Arabs (26%) have a high or very high level of trust in the government, which is similar to the November data. Coalition supporters exhibit much higher trust levels than opposition supporters despite the presence of the centrist National Unity Party in the government and the war cabinet. Of the coalition supporters, 65% report having a high level of trust in the government; by contrast, only 19% of opposition supporters report a high level of trust in the government. Trust in IDF commanders is higher among opposition supporters (90%, high or very high), compared to coalition supporters (66%).

Data collection for the JPPI survey was conducted by the TheMadad.com (about 700 Jewish respondents in an online survey), and the Afkar research company (about 200 Arab respondents, half surveyed online and half by telephone). The data was analysed and weighted by Prof. Camil Fuchs to achieve a representative sample of Israel’s adult population, with analysis by JPPI’s Shmuel Rosner and Noah Slepkov.