Nearly half of Israelis believe another assassination is possible – poll


A new survey released on Sunday has found that almost half of Israelis (45%) believe another assassination for political ends is possible due to incitement. The survey was conducted as a special poll by the Israel Democracy Institute, together with the Department of Zionist Enterprises in the World Zionist Organization. The survey was done in remembrance of the late  Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was shot and killed by a far-right Bar-Ilan University student Yigal Amir due to the latter’s opposition to the Oslo Accords and negotiations with the Palestinians.  The respondents to the survey said that they are concerned about the  high levels of incitement in their society and divisiveness in the public discourse. What remains unclear is the question, according to the survey, of who are the main targets of incitement. A majority of Israelis on all sides of the political spectrum including   84% of the Right, 65% of the Center and 52% of the Left, believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the main target of incitement to a “considerable” or “very large” extent. Similarly, Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz is also a target of incitement, but to a lesser extent, with 47% among the Right, 54% among the Center and 53% among the Left believe Gantz is a target for incitement to a “considerable” or “very large” extent.Breaking down responses according to political affiliation, the survey indicated that about two-thirds (65%) of self-described left-wing respondents are concerned about the possibility of an assassination, compared to half (50%) of centrists and 41% of self-identified right-wing supporters. In terms of religious observance, the survey showed that the belief in the likelihood of a political assassination is highest among  the traditional- religious (55%) and the secular (54%), followed by the non-religious traditional (44%), the ultra-Orthodox (29%) and the national- religious (25%). On the question of who is to blame for incitement, a plurality of Israelis blame mainly the political leadership on the Right (31%) and the media (31%). For political affiliation, 46% of the Right blames the media as the main culprit in cultivating incitement; and in second place- the political leadership on the Left (21%).  Those associated with the political Center and Left, place most of the blame on the political leadership on the Right (44% and 74%, respectively). 75% of the Ultra-orthodox blame the media for incitement. Likewise, in combating incitement, only 12% of Israelis think that law enforcement is doing a good job.