Poll – Israeli Jews support death penalty for terrorists

In comparison to previous years, fewer care about what international law would have to say about it. By Batya…

Zakaria Zubeidi capture

In comparison to previous years, fewer care about what international law would have to say about it.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An annual survey of Israeli Jews’ view of the IDF published Monday shows that a majority of Israelis believe a harsher stance must be taken against terrorists.

In comparison to previous years, fewer care about what international law would have to say about it.

The poll, taken mid-month by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), compared respondents’ opinions from 2018 to 2022 on the issue. In that intervening period, Israel has been pummeled by thousands of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip and suffered through several months-long rounds of terror attacks where Palestinians have knifed, gunned down, or rammed cars into random Israeli civilians on the street.

Jews in mixed cities also experienced severe rioting by their Arab neighbors during last year’s Operation Guardian of the Walls which left three dead, dozens injured, and massive damage caused to their personal property.

The majority, 55%, now support killing a terrorist even after he poses no further threat, when only 37% agreed with the idea four years ago. Support for the IDF directing heavy fire at Palestinian populations centers – “to burn into their minds the price of Palestinian organizations provoking Israel” with their violence – also rose from 27.5% in 2018 to 45.5%.

In addition, the majority jumped from 63% to 71% in the public’s support for the death penalty for terrorists convicted of killing Israelis.

At the same time, the percentage of those who said that the IDF should ensure it was obeying international law on war when planning military operations plummeted from 80% to 63%. A large majority (77%) held steady that the army acts morally during war.

While 71% gave the IDF high marks for its military capability, the respondents were less satisfied with the army’s care for its troops’ welfare.

Only 32% thought the army was doing a good or excellent job in caring for the soldiers’ physical health, with 56% giving it a medium or poor grade. The numbers were far worse regarding treatment for psychological issues, with only 16% saying the IDF was doing a good job and 41% giving the IDF a strong thumbs down.

In the 18-24-year-old bracket, the very negative opinions jumped to 48% and 49% on those two respective medical issues. Food was an even redder light for this age group, which serves most in the IDF, with a full 53% giving the army a failing grade on what they are given for sustenance.

Travel was a sore point as well, though less so, with 41% saying the IDF was doing a poor job helping them get to their bases after furloughs.

The respondents were also asked about two burning issues in Israeli society today – the drafting of haredim (ultra-Orthodox), and women in the army.

Regarding women, 72% of those self-defining as secular supported female service in combat units, while only a bare majority of traditional Jews (52%) agreed. The numbers plunged in the national-religious and haredi sectors (19% and 17% respectively), leading to an overall approval rate at 54%.

Respondents were asked if they support the newest law on the table in the Knesset that exempts men from army service if thay had studied Torah full time until age 22. While 49% either strongly or partially opposed the law, 40.5% supported it at least somewhat and 10.5% said they didn’t know.

Another aspect of the draft was also queried – whether there should be one at all.  The numbers of those supporting the idea of turning the IDF into a professional army (such as in the U.S.) have grown over the last five years from 38% to 47%.

This does not tell the whole story, however, since a breakdown by age shows that a solid majority (57%) of those aged 25-34 (the most active reservists), as well as 51% of those aged 18-24 – most draftees – and in the 35-54 age group, want to get rid of the draft. Opposition to the idea over the years has also shrunk from 59% to 41% of the population.

The IDI poll was conducted online and by phone among 805 men and women above age 18.

The post Poll – Israeli Jews support death penalty for terrorists appeared first on World Israel News.

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