A poll published Sunday (April 4) found that 48 percent of Israelis now back forming a government with the outside support of Arab parties, showing public feeling has warmed to the idea compared to where it was just a year ago; when only 23% of Jewish voters backed the idea.
Thus the degree of support among the Jewish public has increased significantly compared to February last year, especially on the right and center.
The Israel Democracy Institute’s Voice Index for March survey found that in the wake of four inconclusive elections for the Knesset in two years, and which in the last election has left one Arab party in a realistic kingmaker position; Israelis need to think of new paths for the future.
With the Knesset divided between those who want to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continue in office and those who want to oust him, and neither side having a clear path to a majority, the Islamist Ra’am party is being courted by both sides to help tip the balance with the four seats it controls. Ahead of the recent elections, Ra’am split off from the Joint List, an alliance of predominantly Arab parties that had long represented the Arab community in the Knesset.
Among supporters of specific parties, those on the left and in the center tended to have a majority in favor of a government that relies on Arab parties, with support dropping below half as ideology tended toward the right and religious parties. However, the Ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism supporters were 52% in favor of Arab party support, compared to just 39% among voters for fellow ultra-orthodox party Shas.
The least support — and greatest objection — came from Likud, Yamina, and the Religious Zionism right-wing parties. Likud voters are only 36% in favor, with 26% for each of the other two parties. Yet even in those parties, there has been a marked change from February 2020, when opposition to a government relying on Arab parties was 80% among Likud voters.
That figure has since dropped to just 51%. It was 83% opposing in each of the other two right-wing parties last year but was 63% in the recent survey. A clear majority, 68% of respondents, said they are not satisfied with the election results, with a larger portion of Jews (72%) unsatisfied compared to Arabs (50%).
Among the supporters of the various parties that won seats in the Knesset, the conservative Islam Ra’am supporters were most satisfied (43%), while the lowest satisfaction was among voters of the right-wing party Yamina (5.5%), which secured only seven seats.
The elections saw an unprecedentedly low turnout among Arab voters of only 44.6%. Among the Arab public, the reasons given were the way the government deals with issues in the Arab community (33%) and disappointment in the left-wing Joint [Arab] List party as political leaders (31%).
Among Jewish voters, 36% said they think it was the disappointment in the Joint List that caused the low turnout among the Arab public. The Joint List finished with six seats in this election compared to twelve (plus 3 Ra’am seats) in the last election.
If the Muslim Ra’am party makes itself part of a political coalition government it will be a very important step toward the 2,500-year-old prediction by Prophet Isaiah that: "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. On that day Israel will join a three-party alliance with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing upon the heart."
"The LORD of Hosts will bless them saying, “Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance.”…(Isaiah 19:23-5)
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will hear from party leaders on Monday, whom they recommend get first try to form a coalition and later this week will officially assign the task to the leader with the greatest chance of establishing a government.