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%).
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.
"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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