While the secular boycott of food products with an Eda Haredit kashrut stamp did not catch on, a recent poll shows it did have potential.
A joint Ynet and Gehser Foundation survey suggests that the majority of seculars prefer not to purchase food products supervised by the Eda Haredit Badatz, one of several Jewish rabbinical courts, so as not to support members of the extreme-haredi faction.
The poll indicated that a third of seculars endorse a full out boycott.
The survey was conducted by the Panels research institute and included 504 respondents – a national sample representing the mature population in large Jewish communities in Israel. The maximal sampling error was ±4.4%.
Asked whether they would endorse a boycott of Eda Haredit Badatz products, 37% responded they oppose any type of boycott, 23% said that given a choice they would purchase products with other kosher stamps, 21% stated they endorse a boycott, 11% said they prefer Badatz products for the level of supervision, while 8% did not have an opinion on the matter.
An analysis according to religious affiliation indicated that 30% of seculars would not purchase Eda Haredit Badatz products and 25% would prefer products with other stamps; 88% of the ultra-Orthodox public would opt for Badatz due to their high level of supervision, whereas 49% of traditionalists and 41% of the religious public oppose any type of boycott.
The survey further indicated that 70% of seculars and 63% of traditionalists oppose boycotting businesses which desecrate Shabbat, whereas 76% of haredim and 68% of the religious public were understanding of such boycotts.
The poll also suggested that the Israeli public is generally indifferent to boycotts of certain groups within society.
Ilan Gal-Dor of the Gesher Foundation commented on the survey's results: "In general, people do not like being told what to do or not do. On the other hand, when one is being limited in his actions such as haredim coercing kashrut stamps and imposing boycotts, the general public would counteract and boycott that group."
He further added, "We in Gesher stress the importance of dialogue over boycotts. A boycott only creates anger and frustration and would at best win the battle and lose the war."