A majority of the Israeli Jewish public believes that the protests surrounding the Karta parking lot in Jerusalem spur hatred and conflict between the sectors and do not promote Shabbat observing.
In a poll conducted for Ynet and the Yesodot organization by the Panels Research Institute, 510 respondents were asked to answer questions surrounding the controversial issue.
When asked whether the Jerusalem municipality should allow the opening of parking lots on Shabbat, 74% responded positively, while 21% said the status quo should be maintained.
Meanwhile, 63% of respondents stated that the violent riots against the opening of the parking lots in Jerusalem mainly fueled tensions and hatred between ultra-Orthodox and seculars; 19% said the rallies dishonored Judaism and the Shabbat; and only 12% said they believe these protests help preserve the holy day's dignity.
A breakdown of the respondents according to religious affiliation revealed that in all sectors the riots were perceived as a dividing factor: 71% of seculars, 53% of traditional Israelis, 52% of haredim and 42% of religious Jews viewed them as such.
Only 30% of haredim said the demonstrations helped protect the Shabbat, while 18% of them said these constitute Shabbat desecration.
'Violence evokes hatred'
Head of the Yesodot Center for Torah and Democracy Shoshi Becker said that in her opinion the Karta parking lot should stay open on Shabbat, because it is not located in a residential area and serves several tourist sites that are visited by many non-Jewish tourists.
"Of course a religious person is saddened when he sees or hears of en masse Shabbat desecration, but in a democratic country this sentiment cannot force a secular person to remain cooped at home," said Becker.
"It should be made clear to the religious and haredi public that they can use educational and cultural mthods to persuade people not to drive on Shabbat. But using violent rallies only evokes hatred towards the ultra-Orthodox society as a whole, and undermines the place and status of the Shabbat," she added.