A poll conducted by Ynet and Gesher has found that 51% of secular Israelis would not like an ultra-Orthodox neighbor. The poll was conducted among 500 adult participants.
When asked who they would least like to have as a neighbor – a haredi, secular, national-religious, or conservative/reformist Jew – 41% were impartial, 36% said they would not like to have a haredi neighbor, 12% answered conservative/reformist, 8% didn't want a secular neighbor, and 3% answered national-religious.
The most tolerant sector to participate in the poll was that of traditional Jews, of which 58% were impartial. In contrast, 73% of ultra-Orthodox participants said they did not want a neighbor who was not an Orthodox Jew.
Haredi participants were also opposed to reform marriage, and 88% said they would boycott such an occasion. Of the seculars polled, 94% said they would attend the wedding, and 67% of traditional Jews concurred.
Professor Asher Cohen of Bar Ilan University was encouraged by the findings, and said he believed there were two reasons for the positive results. "One is that the relationships between us aren't as bad as they appear in the media, and the other is that people's answers may not be based on their actual desires, but rather on political correctness," he said.
Cohen added that the fact that only half of seculars said they did not want an ultra-Orthodox neighbor was "positive and amazing".
"For many years the haredim have been suffering from a strong image of extortionists who not only use their power to receive funding, but do it while engaging in separatism and evasion of army service," he said.
"Add to that the vivid memory from recent weeks in which not a day has gone by without a report of haredi riots. This is a sure recipe for a majority of seculars to admit that they do not want an ultra-Orthodox neighbor, and that is why the data before us is positive."