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Israel at 63

What is the most important thing in the Jewish state? Photo: Reuters
What is the most important thing in the Jewish state? Photo: Reuters
 
How many spent Independence Day barbecuing? Photo: Index Open
How many spent Independence Day barbecuing? Photo: Index Open
 
Ilan Gal-Dor
Ilan Gal-Dor 
 
 

60% of Israelis satisfied with State

Most secular, traditional and religious Jews believe State fits their values, but only 21% of haredim feel the same way, Ynet-Gesher poll shows. Fifty-five percent of population say maintaining Jewish majority is most important thing

Ynet
Published: 05.12.11, 13:33 / Israel Jewish Scene

The majority of Israel's Jews are satisfied with their country and feel it fits the values they believe in, according to a survey ordered by Ynet and the Gesher educational organization in honor of Independence Day.

 

The poll was conducted by the Panels research institute among 516 respondents – a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel (maximal sampling error: 4.4%).

 

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The first question was: "To what extent does the State of Israel, as the Jewish people's state, match your ideals?" Sixty percent replied "very much" or "pretty much", 30% said "moderately" and 10% responded "slightly" or "not at all".

 

An analysis according to religious definitions reveals that 60% of seculars, 70% of traditional Jews and 55% of religious Jews feel that the State fits their values. Among the haredim only 21% feel the same way, while 53% said the State does not reflect their values.

 

Who fears religion?

Respondents were then asked which characteristic (out of four options) is most important for Israel as a Jewish state. Fifty-five percent favored securing a Jewish majority, 25% said separating religion from the State, 12% said maintaining a "special character" on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and 4% supported furthering Jewish legislation.

 

The remaining 4% said they would choose other characteristics or had no opinion on the matter.

 

Each of the four sectors ranked "securing a Jewish majority" first. This was the response of 52% of seculars, 64% of traditional Jews, 58% of religious Jews and 42% of haredim.

 

In another part of the survey, 50% of the respondents said they fear a situation in which religious Jews and haredim will make up majority of Israel's citizens in the future. Thirty-seven percent are not fearful but are do not hope for such a situation, and 13% want a religious-haredi majority.

 

An analysis according to religious definitions found that 66% of the seculars fear a situation in which most citizens will be skullcap wearers, 53% of the traditional Jews are indifferent about such a situation and 54% of religious Jews and 79% of the haredim are awaiting it.

 

Medium-rare for me please

And how do Israelis celebrate Independence Day? According to the survey (respondents could select more than one answer), 60% spend the day at a picnic with family or friends, 26% tour the country, 16% stay at home, 10% visit IDF bases open to the public or watch military parades, 5% visit historic sites and museums, 4% go to the synagogue, 9% celebrate in a different way, and 3% don't mark Independence Day at all.

 

Sixty-one percent of seculars, 64% of traditional Jews and 65% of religious Jews have barbecues during the holiday, while 42% of the haredim don't celebrate Independence Day.

 

"The survey proves once again that the Israeli society wants a Jewish majority in the State of Israel," says Gesher Director Ilan Gal-Dor. "They want democracy, they want equality and a modern state, but without giving up on the State's Jewish character.

 

"The demand for a Jewish majority expresses a national desire for a state with a Jewish character. A state with a Jewish majority will be able to grant rights to minorities and will be open to a variety of opinions.

 

"On Independence Day of all days, we must all recognize the national value of the State of Israel as the Jewish people's center in the world."

 

 

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