67% of Israelis are concerned about civilian surveillance
Women show less support for coercive policies
The survey was administered on April 1st, 2020, by Geocartography and sponsored by the Jerusalem Market Research Institute. The study was conducted as part of an Internet survey of 626 men and women, Internet surfers aged 18 and over. The sample is representative of this population in the State of Israel (Internet surfers) at a 95% confidence level.
Participants in the survey were asked to rate their support for specific government policies and which COVID-19 restrictions affected their lives the most.
Not surprisingly, 77% of the respondents reported being primarily affected by the ban on family reunions, almost as many (72%) by the lack of freedom of movement and 59% by the prohibition to visit nature sites and practice outdoor sports. A lower percentage reported being affected by the loss of livelihood (43%), children care (45%), and participation in community gatherings (44%). A further, 39% reported feeling anxious and uncertain about their future.
The respondents were then asked if they trust the government to do the right thing, 46% trusted the government, 35% had a moderate trust, and 19% didn’t trust the government. Confidence in the government is the same across gender but increases with the level of religiosity and decreases slightly with levels of education. Only 35% of the secular, trusted the government compared to 63% for the more religious. Among the respondents, with an academic degree, 40% had full confidence in the government compared to 50% for the rest of the population.
Participants who reported higher trust in the government also tend to support surveillance on private citizens and trust that security monitoring will be temporary compared to the participants with less trust that fear that surveillance could become permanent.
Overall 67% expressed various degrees of concerns about the use of surveillance on private citizens, 23% were worried or very worried, 22% were moderately worried and 22 % slightly worried. The remaining 33% weren’t concerned at all about surveillance. Data show that secular citizens are most concerned about surveillance, 29% of them said being worried or very worried compared to only 16% among the Masorti and 11% for Dati and Haredim. The strongest predictor for being concerned about surveillance is the level of trust conferred to the government. Within, the respondents with the most concerns, only 30% had reported high trust in the government. Among the less worried citizens, 68% trusted the government to do the right thing.
Following on the previous question, respondents were asked if they expect the government to cancel civilian surveillance after the crisis; a majority (55%) expressed doubts. Among this 55%, 32% didn’t trust the government to cancel the policy, and another 23% expressed only partial trust. As in the previous question, the individuals with high trust in the government also believe that surveillance will be canceled (79%) compared to only 16% for the respondents that had little confidence in the government.
Participants also rated their agreement or disagreement with different lockdown policies and their enforcement by security forces. Israelis (82%) largely support the ban to congregate, and 77% agree that it should be enforced. Fewer respondents (54%) agree with giving fines to citizens found outside the 100 meters radius, only 27% support to the use of force to stop a citizen out of the allowed range, and 13% support shooting at them.
As seen before, the individuals with high trust in the government show stronger support for bans, and lockdown (90%) compared to only15% among the respondents with less trust in the public service. However, as policies become more coercive, both groups start to converge. For policies that don't involve punishment, the difference between both populations is 29 points (84% vs 55%), for policies involving physical force the difference is less than 5 (17% vs 12%).
The data shows that women tend to withdraw their support much faster than men for policies that combine physical coercion. The introduction of the "use of force" reduces women's support for the procedures by 50% (from 77% to 39%) compared to only 30% for men (from 78% to 54%).
The data also shows that although secular individuals agree less with policies that combine physical coercion, the introduction of the "use of force" seems to bother almost equally the secular and the religious. The support of the seculars decreased by 44% (from 77% to 43%) and for individuals that self identifies as Masorti/Dati/Haredi by 40% (from 83% to 50%).