Evacuation of Havat Gilad outpost
Photo: Samaria Settlers Committee
A majority of the national-religious public believes that religious Israel Defense Forces soldiers must not obey an order to evacuate Jewish communities in the West Bank, according to a survey conducted ahead of the Jerusalem Conference held in the capital last week.
Nonetheless, less than one-fifth of this public says the Land of Israel and settlement issue should be the top priority of a united Zionist-religious party.
The survey was conducted by the Maagar Mochot research institute for religious-rightist newspaper Besheva among 566 respondents – a representative sample of the adult national-religious population in Israel. The maximum sampling error was 4.5%.
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The poll's questions dealt with issues of "Judaism, State and modernization", which were discussed during the Jerusalem Conference sponsored by the paper.
The first question was, "If the government were to order the IDF to evacuate Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, what do you think religious soldiers serving in the IDF should do?"
Fifty-eight percent of the respondents said the religious soldiers must avoid evacuating communities: According to 30%, the soldiers must openly refuse to execute the order, while 28% said they must not obey the order quietly.
Eighteen percent believe religious soldiers must find a way out of the mission, and take part in it only if they fail to find such a way. Only 9% said the troops must obey the order. The rest of the respondents did not answer the question.
And how should Judea and Samaria's residents act in case of an evacuation? Thirty-six percent support resistance which would be much stronger than during the disengagement from Gaza, 33% said the resistance must be legal, 16% believe the resistance must be similar to resistance demonstrated in Gush Katif (which was mostly legal and in some communities criminal), and only 2% are in favor of accepting the evacuation without any resistance.
Moving on to politics, 50% of the respondents said education, society and welfare should be the top priorities of a united national-religious party. Only 19% put the Land of Israel and Judea and Samaria settlement issue as a top priority, while 11% favored the relationship between state and religion. The rest (20%) chose other options or had no opinion.
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