Photo Credit: courtesy, Regavim
The results of a ‘trust index’ survey carried out by Direct Pulse for the Regavim Movement

The results of a ‘trust index’ survey carried out by Direct Pulse for the Regavim Movement last week show that public trust in the Knesset far exceeds, by tens of percentage points- public trust in the High Court, and the threats by Air Force pilots to refuse to serve, in protest of proposed legal reforms, damaged the public’s trust in the IDF.

Against the backdrop of controversy surrounding judicial reform, the survey examined the degree of public trust in state institutions: the Knesset, the High Court, the President and the IDF. Participants were asked, “How much trust do you have in the members of the Knesset whom you elected?”


Seventy-seven percent of respondents expressed a ‘medium to high degree of trust’ in their Knesset representatives compared to only 21 percent who indicated they had low to non-existent trust in their elected representatives in the Knesset.

More than 85 percent of people who voted for haredi-religious parties Likud and Religious Zionism/Otzma Yehudit expressed confidence in their elected officials. Voters for HaMachaneh HaMamlachti (Benny Gantz’s party), Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu party expressed confidence at a level of 70 to 80 percent. The lowest level of confidence (below 65 percent) was registered among voters for Arab parties, the Labor Party (Meirav Michaeli’s Ha’Avoda) and Meretz, which closed the list with only 45 percent of voters expressing trust in the MKs for whom they voted.

The survey also shows that only 50 percent of the pubic trusts the Supreme Court: Likud voters expressed only 16 percent trust in the judiciary, and voters for the Religious Zionist and ultra-Orthodox parties less than five percent, as compared to HaMachane Mamlachti, Labor, Yesh Atid and Israel Beitenu parties with more than 80 percent trust.

The institution that received the highest level of trust is the IDF with 92 percent of the public’s trust. However, 31 percent of the respondents stated that their trust in the IDF “following the threats of refusal to serve and other protest actions” against the legal reform had damaged their trust in the IDF.

On average, 61 percent of the voters of the right-wing parties stated that they experienced a violation of the trust they place in the IDF; only five percent of people who voted for left-wing parties expressed this sense of violation of trust.

“Under the guise of objections to judicial reform and claims of protecting Israel’s democracy, the leaders of the protests – among them former IDF Chiefs of General Staff – crossed every red line and caused dramatic damage to the public’s trust in the IDF, whose status as the “people’s army” was severely damaged by threats of refusal to serve,” says Meir Deutsch, CEO of the Regavim Movement.

Regarding public trust in Israel’s president, Likud, Religious Zionism and ultra-Orthodox party voters expressed less than 40 percent trust, compared to voters of HaMachane HaMamlachti, Yesh Atid and Labor, who expressed more than 70 percent trust. These findings are similar to the results of the survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, but point to a trend of radicalization and growing polarization of positions between the camps, which is understandable in light of public controversy on the issue of legal reform.

However, on the question of public trust in the Knesset, there is a fundamental contradiction between the Israeli Democracy Institute’s ‘Israel Democracy Index’ data for 2022, in which the results for the question of trust in the Knesset indicated only 14 percent having moderate to high trust compared to 83 percent low to non-existent trust.

The ‘Trust Index’ data reflected in the Regavim – Direct Pulse survey indicate that 77 percent answered ‘medium to high trust,’ compared to only 21 percent who indicated a low to non-existent level of trust in the Knesset.

Regavim ‘s spokesperson explains that the gap stems from the difference in the wording of the question. The Israel Democracy Institute’s survey asked about the “level of trust in the Knesset” while the “Regavim-Direct Pulse Trust Index” survey examines trust “in the members of the Knesset you elected.”

“It is clear to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of politics that there is no expectation that Likud voters will trust the Knesset members of left-wing parties, and vice versa; they will trust the elected representatives they chose as their messengers,” says Deutsch.

“The public chooses those who are supposed to represent their values in parliament. They choose representatives who are given a mandate to impact decisions that touch upon essential questions and core issues on Israel’s public agenda. They are expected to work toward agreements, to make concessions while maintaining balance. The goal of elections is that elected officials will bring the will of every person who voted for them to expression in the best possible way. This is democracy.”

According to Deutsch, the Israel Democracy Institute’s question regarding the public’s trust in the Knesset creates a false representation of a lack of trust in the members of the Knesset, while at the same time creating a false impression that the public favors the judges of the Supreme Court.

The purposefully phrased Israel Democracy Institute survey attempts to justify weakening the powers of the legislative branch, the Knesset, in favor of ceding excessive powers to the judicial branch.

“The relevant question is the level of the public’s trust in the members of the Knesset chosen by them, and the results prove that an absolute majority of the public trusts its elected officials – a fact that points to a very healthy reality in a parliamentary democracy,” Deutsch said.

The new survey was conducted by Shlomo Filber and Zuriel Sharon through Direct Pulse Ltd. for the Regavim Movement on 7 May 2023, using a combined digital system and panel system, among a sample of 540 adults (+18) reflecting a sample of the general population in Israel (statistical sampling error 4.3 percent +- with a probability of 95 percent).


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.