Photo Credit: Mark Neyman (GPO)
Israel Democracy Institute president Yohanan Plesner gave the 2019 Democracy index to President Rivlin, January 7, 2020

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday was presented with the 2019 Israel Democracy Index by the president of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Yohanan Plesner. This is the 17th annual report, outlining the Israeli public’s perception of the state of Israel’s democracy, the faith it places in state institutions, and its views regarding the public sector.

This year’s report includes two special sections on the IDF and Israel-diaspora relations.

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Here are some of the Israel Democracy Index findings:

· 90% of the Jewish public has faith in the IDF, 71% in the president and 55% in the supreme court

· At the bottom of the public trust index are the government and the Knesset with 30% and the various political parties with 14%

· 58% of Israelis believe that public corruption exists among political leaders

· 34% of the Israeli public believes that Israeli democracy is in a good or excellent state, while 34% believe it is not

· Two thirds (64%) of Israelis believe that the country does not take care of its citizens’ welfare, apart from security, where 63% think it does ensure the security of its people

· The split between left and right has become deeper, with 37.5% of the Israeli public seeing this as the most significant tension in the country, a rise of 5.5% since the 2018 index

The president began his remarks by referring to the public’s faith in the institutions of the state, saying, “In two months, the Israeli public will go to the polls for the third time in less than a year, something wholly unprecedented in the history of our country. Israel has already had an interim government for a year. For a year now, the security, economic, social and diplomatic challenges we face are not being dealt with by a stable government. You do not need to be an expert to understand that the tailspin we find ourselves in is problematic, and even dangerous. It is dangerous because public trust in the institutions of democracy – elections, political parties, the Knesset – is eroded. But more than this, the political stalemate, this breakdown, erodes public faith in our ability to work together, to live together. When the people sees its leaders talking each other down, excluding entire sectors of the population and trying to grab votes by dividing people, what do they have left to believe in?”

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