Israel’s polls suggest a significant increase in support for leaving the country, as the country faces a possible political crisis.
According to the Israeli polling organization, Levada, support for a “Yes” vote jumped from 46% to 54% in the latest survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute.
In the second round of voting in September, the Israeli public backed leaving the Jewish state by a margin of 55%-44%.
The institute’s chief executive officer, Yossi Stern, described the result as a “surprise” given that the country has been a “safe haven for the Jewish community since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.”
We have known for a long time that it is impossible to get a majority for a move like this, but we were surprised at the high turnout,” he told the Jerusalem Post.”
If we assume that the vast majority of the electorate voted for the right and voted for peace, and that they voted against any alternative that was not in line with their values, it means that they support Israel, which they have never supported before.
“This is a very good outcome for us, and we can celebrate it,” he added.
The survey, which was conducted on behalf of the Israel Electoral Council (EEC), found that the majority of respondents favoured leaving the Israel-Palestine conflict alone, while most said they would be open to changing their mind if the situation changed.
The country is facing a possible re-election challenge from the ultra-Orthodox parties, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is set to hold its first parliamentary elections in a decade on November 4.
According the Levada survey, only 42% of the respondents said they supported the party of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, with the ultra right-wing Jewish Home party making up only 12%.
A majority of 55% of respondents said that if the party’s support fell below 10%, they would support a Yes vote, while 37% said they were undecided.
“These are very positive results, and if you consider the recent developments, it is clear that the right wing is not the only one,” said Ece Toker, head of the EEC, who was in Israel for the results.
“In our opinion, the results are proof that people are rejecting Netanyahu’s policies.”
The EEC has been criticised by some for failing to monitor polling sites and for failing even to include a Yes or No question in the survey.
The ECE is set up in 2005 to monitor Israeli elections, and was formed to address the “political, economic, social and educational problems” of the country’s 1.8 million citizens.
According this, the ECE had a very low turnout in its first election in 2013, when it polled only 3.6%.
However, a recent survey found that an astonishing 69% of Israeli citizens would vote for the new Yes government if the country were to go back to a two-state solution, which is a major plank of the peace process.