Nearly half of Israel's
Jewish population believes the "price tag" activities executed by extreme rightists against Palestinians are justified to a certain extent, according to a survey conducted for Ynet and the Gesher educational organization.
The poll was carried out by the Panels research institute following the massacre
of five family members in the settlement of Itamar, among 504 respondents who constitute a national representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel. The sampling error stands at 4.4%.
Respondents were asked to refer to the "price tag" activities executed by extreme right-wing elements. Forty-eight percent said there was no room for such actions (33% - "totally unjustified", 15% - "somewhat unjustified"). On the other hand, some 22% said the actions were "perfectly justified", and 23% defined them as "quite justified".
While most seculars oppose "price tag" activities (36% in favor, 57% against), most traditional, national-religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews believe these actions are justified (55%, 70% and 71%, respectively).
The survey respondents were also asked whether rabbis were capable of preventing the "price tag" actions. Some 68% responded that rabbis were "quite capable" or "very capable" of preventing such actions.
Here too there was a significant difference between the stance of secular and traditional Jews, and that of religious and haredi Jews: About 76% of the seculars and 66% of the traditional Jews believe the rabbis have the power to prevent the "price tag" activities, while the national-religious and haredim say the rabbis are incapable of doing so. About 40% of religious Jews and 35% of haredim believe rabbis can prevent acts of violence and revenge.
Finally, the respondents were asked who should be held responsible for preventing "price tag" activities. The most popular answer was "the settlers' leadership" (52%), followed by the police (45%), rabbis (43%), the Israel Defense Forces (37%) and the legal system (22%).
According to Gesher Director Ilan Geal-Dor, "The pain over the terrible attack evokes bad feelings of revenge. The public feels something must be done, but the price tag solution does not improve the situation in any way. It can only make it worse.
"The survey shows that the absolute majority believes the rabbis can prevent these actions. The rabbis have a key role, not just in the hall of study, but also by directing efforts at other channels rather than the price tag.
"I call on the rabbis to sign a new 'rabbis' letter', urging the hot-tempered and all young people to avoid any price tag activities. Such a letter will allow the security forces to focus on securing communities rather than chasing rioters."