A recent survey by the Israel Democracy Institute found that a majority of Israelis oppose the government’s proposed overhaul of the judiciary. The survey showed that more than half of all voters were opposed to each of the main proposals put forward by the government.

The Poll Results

The poll showed that 66% of Israelis believe the Supreme Court should have the power to strike down laws that are incompatible with the quasi-constitutional Basic Laws, which is a central tenet of the government’s judicial plan. The poll also found that 63% of Israelis think the Judicial Selection Committee should maintain its balance between justices and politicians, who must reach agreement on judicial appointments. The government’s proposed legislation would give politicians control over the committee.

Among the respondents who voted for opposition parties, 87% supported the court’s power to review Basic Laws, and for those who voted for coalition parties, 44% supported it. Close to half, 47%, of respondents who voted for Netanyahu’s Likud party supported the court’s ability to oversee Basic Laws.

Additionally, 58% of voters were opposed to changing the process of appointing government legal advisers, which is another plank of the government’s judicial plan. Most Israelis, 70%, said the coalition and opposition should hold a dialogue in an attempt to reach a compromise.

Concerns About the Plan

The survey showed that more than half of Israelis said they fear damage to their personal savings, restrictions on freedom of expression, exposing IDF soldiers to international war crimes charges, politicization of the civil service, restrictions on public transportation during Shabbat, and harm to gender equality. 43% were concerned about harm to LGBTQ rights, and 45% feared a negative impact on the rights of Arab Israelis, including 87% of Arab respondents.

The Survey Methodology

The survey was carried out online and via telephone between February 9-13 by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Viterbi Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research. A total of 606 Israelis were queried in Hebrew, and 150 in Arabic, in a representative sample of the adult population. The sampling error was 3.56%, the Israel Democracy Institute said.


On February 21, the Knesset passed, in the first of three readings, a first and significant bill in the divisive effort by Netanyahu’s hard-right coalition to overhaul Israel’s judiciary. The legislation aims to amend the Basic Law: The Judiciary to cement government control over judicial appointments and revoke the High Court’s ability to review Basic Laws. The legislation now returns to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for preparation for its second and third readings, which are expected by the end of March.