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Poll: Most Israelis reportedly blame government for nation's economic problems

Israelis demonstrate against the high cost of living ,outside the courthouse in Beer Sheva, Jan. 11, 2023. (Photo: Liron Moldovan/Flash90)

The majority of Israelis, 53.7%, blame the Netanyahu-led government for the current financial crisis in the Jewish state, according to the Berl Katznelson Foundation in its annual socio-economic index poll.

The Israeli shekel has weakened in recent months due to investors’ growing concerns that the planned judicial reforms will undermine Israel’s institutions, including an independent judiciary. In addition, the country has also experienced growing inflation, a decrease in tax revenues and a slow-down in investments in the country’s internationally-respected high tech sector.

While the Israeli public remains divided on the judicial overhaul issue, a large majority (75%) believe that the high and growing cost of living in Israel is the most crucial challenge the government needs to address.

Dissatisfaction with the government’s management of the economy is not limited to the political opposition. If the poll is correct, some 61.5% of individuals who voted for the government coalition parties also believe that the government needs to focus on addressing the growing economic crisis. Almost two-thirds of the public (63%) is dissatisfied with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s performance.

However, ultra-Orthodox Jews stand out in the polls.

While ultra-Orthodox Jews disproportionately belong to Israel’s socio-economic weakest population segments, only 42% of them believed that the government needs to focus on the economy.

The head of Israel’s Knesset Economic Committee David Bitan, a veteran Likud party lawmaker, recently criticized his own government for failing to address the country’s high cost of living.

“Unfortunately, did you see one Likud MK who was concerned with the issue of the price of milk? Not one member of the faction tweeted about it,” said Bitan. He also said the controversial judicial overhaul plans will harm both the country and the government. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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