Asked to assess the public mood as the New Year approaches, almost 2/3 of Israelis believe it is very pessimistic or pessimistic.
Pessimism also reigned when the question was how the country will fare in the coming year, with 40 percent opining that the coming year will be worse than the current one and only 27 percent looking forward to a better year.
On this summer’s agreement with the United Arab Emirates, Israelis tended to be positive — 79 percent of respondents thought it would yield economic benefits, 76 percent hoped it would help in the political-diplomatic sphere and 53 percent look for improvements from the agreement in the security-military field.
Israeli Jews and Arabs are split on whether the deal will move the Palestinians toward negotiations. Some 55 percent of Israeli Jews believe it will help renew talks between the two sides, 22 percent believe it makes new negotiations less likely and 23 percent say they don’t know. In the Arab sector, the numbers are 33 percent, 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
The Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute conducted the survey.
— Aaron Leibel
Aaron Leibel is the author of the acclaimed memoir, Figs and Alligators: An American Immigrant’s Life in Israel in the 1970s and 1980s, published by Chickadee Prince Books in 2021, and available to order from Amazon in Kindle and paperback, Barnes and Noble, and at every local bookstore in the U.S. and Canada.
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