Photo Credit: Roy Alima/Flash90
An Israeli Arab woman casts her ballot in Kafr Qasim (archive).

Ahead of the March 23 election, the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, in conjunction with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, conducted a comprehensive survey in the Arab society and discovered that 87% of Israeli Arab voters support joining the government or supporting it from the outside.

The study’s main findings:


A relatively high expected turnout in the Arab society (59.7%) this time – the expected voter turnout is somewhat lower than in the 23rd Knesset elections held in March 2020 (64.8%) and is similar to that in the 22nd Knesset elections held in September 2019 (59.2%). Compared with the predicted turnout before the election campaign, it appears that as election day approaches there is growing intention on the Arab street to participate in the elections.

Join the government or support it from the outside – about one-half of the respondents (46.0%) expressed support for seeing an Arab party join any government to be formed after the elections, while 18.0% stated that they would only support joining a Center-Left coalition. 21.3% were in favor of an Arab party supporting the government from the outside (to block no-confidence motions) in exchange for benefits for the Arab community. In total, 87% of Arab voters favor joining the government or supporting it from outside. Only 13.0% of respondents answered that they would not support an Arab party joining the government or supporting it from the outside under any circumstances.

Forecasted support of the parties from the Arab community (in the number of seats) – the Joint Arab List is likely to win 8.3 seats from Arab voters; The United Arab List, headed by Mansour Abbas, will win 4; and the Likud, headed by Netanyahu, will win 1.6. Meretz, Yesh Atid, and “Ma’an – Together” (headed by Mohammad Darawshe) are expected to receive one-half seat each.

The suitable candidate for prime minister – the most qualified candidate is Benjamin Netanyahu (24.9% of respondents), followed by Ahmad Tibi (14.3%); Yair Lapid (13.9%); and Ayman Odeh (11.7%). Other candidates are Mansour Abbas (4.7%); Gideon Sa’ar (4.6%); and Benny Gantz (2.4%). Meanwhile, 10% feel that there is no qualified politician for the position of prime minister.

What will be the most important issue after the elections – the most important issue for the Arab public is the implementation of the government plan to combat violence in Arab society (58.6% of respondents), which provides the background for the low level of confidence (1.9 on a scale of 1 to 5) that the government will indeed implement the plan that it announced last month.

Arab Women in politics – a large majority (82.5%) of respondents are in favor of Arab women playing a central role in the political arena.

The data were collected during the period March 4–6, 2021 in a telephone survey carried out in Arabic among a representative sample of the adult Arab population (aged 18+). Size of the sample: 501. Sample error: ±4.46 percent.


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