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Protest against Arabs in Bat Yam Photo: Ofer Amram
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Poll: Foreigners jeopardize Israel's Jewish character

Survey reveals majority of Jewish Israelis believe influx of immigrants, foreign workers greatly endangers Jewish character of State; 43% oppose having church, mosque built next to their homes

Ynet
Published: 01.04.11, 07:35 / Israel Jewish Scene

Not only the orthodox oppose assimilation of non Jews: A joint Ynet-Gesher poll reveals that some 78% of Jewish Israelis think migrants and refugees endanger the Jewish character of the State of Israel.

 

The poll, conducted by Panels Institute, included 501 respondents who represent a statistical sample of the adult Jewish population residing in Jewish towns across Israel. The maximum sampling error is ±4.4%.

 

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Some 57% of respondents said the influx of immigrants and foreign workers greatly endangers the Jewish nature of the State of Israel, while approximately 21% thought the danger was only moderate.

 

Only 19% said the situation only slightly undermined the Jewish character of the state, or did not endanger it at all.

 

Among the ultra-Orthodox, religious and traditional respondents, a vast majority believed that the State's Jewish character was jeopardized (93%, 85% and 71% respectively), while some 43% of seculars responded similarly.

 

When asked what they would think if a mosque or a church was to be built next to their place of residence, some 43% respondents said they would firmly oppose it.

 

"Absolutely not, this is the Jewish state and it is forbidden to build such places," replied 80% of haredim, 69% of the religious, 52% of traditionalists and 31% of secular respondents.

 

In contrast, 30% said they would agree unwillingly and ask for the structure to be modest, and 27% said it was a right that should be granted to all worshippers – regardless of their faith (36% of seculars, 17% of traditionalists, 4% of the religious and 10% of haredim held this view).

 

What about children?

When asked, "If you would have resided in a city or neighborhood with many non-Jewish residents, would you let your children have social contacts with non-Jewish kids?," 56% of the respondents replied affirmatively, while 39% replied negatively.

 

In reference to the question, "If your child declared he/she wants to marry a non-Jewish, how would you respond?," 42% said it would bother them and would oppose the marriage, while 33% said it would bother them but they wouldn't oppose the wedding, and 23% declared that it would not bother them if he/she were "a good person."

 

All of the haredim, 87% of the religious, 62% of traditionalists and 20% of seculars opposed the intermarriage, while 40% of seculars, 27% of traditionalists and 12% of religious respondents said it would bother them but they wouldn't oppose the marriage.

 

Thirty-three percent of seculars said they would not object to their kids tying the knot with non-Jewish partners.

 

Director of the Jerusalem Gesher Center Ilan Gal-Dor said that "more than 75% are concerned about the negative effect foreign workers have over on the Jewish character of the State, and believe that the humanitarian issue must be resolved – but not at the expense of Israel's Jewish character.

 

"In addition, some 70% want their children to marry a Jew. This is proof that most Jews, despite willingness and desire for openness and equality, want the continuity of the Jewish people. The education system must deal with the tension between giving equal treatment to minorities and/or foreign workers and the continuity of the Jewish people." Gal-Dor concluded.

 

 

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