Hundreds of thousands at social protest
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Gesher Executive Director Ilan Geal-Dor

62%: Religious part of social protest too

Ynet-Gesher poll shows 56% of seculars not upset at religious sector for not taking part in protest; only 14% of religious Jews believe rabbis should have actively participated in protest

The tent cities are being evacuated , but the echoes of the social protest are still being heard: Fifty-seven percent of the religious and ultra-Orthodox public support rabbis who expressed their solidarity with the protest's goals but not with the way it was implemented, and only 14% think rabbis should have actively participated in the protests, according to a poll ordered by Ynet and the Gesher organization.


The survey, conducted by the Panels research institute among 501 participants constituting a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel, also revealed that 16% of religious and Orthodox Jews believed the rabbis did the right thing, and 9% thought they should have opposed the protest.


Sixty-two percent of the respondents said the social protest belonged to the religious sector too, while 31% thought otherwise and 7% had no opinion on the matter.


An analysis according to religious definitions shows that each sector has a majority which believes that the protest belonged to everyone (61% of seculars, 66% of traditional Jews, 60% of religious Jews and 74% of the haredim).


Nonetheless, most of the public has no complaints over the religious sector's poor participation in the protests. Sixty-four percent of the survey's respondents were not upset at the religious public's absence from the protest, compared to 32% who were.


Naturally, the majority of the religious sector (88%) was not upset at the absence from the squares, although a majority was recorded in all other sector's as well (56% among seculars, 67% among traditional Jews and 78% among haredim).


Why didn't religious take part in protest?

Asked why the religious public stayed away from the protest, the respondents were required to select at least one answer from a variety of options. According to the results, 43% of the public believe that the religious and haredi Jews were concerned that the governmental budgets they receive today would be cut following the protest.


Thirty-three percent believe it was because the religious public had no representation among the struggle's leadership, 29.5% said the religious sector feared that the protest's real goal was to bring down the government, 19% think the religious viewed it as a populist struggle, and 2% are convinced that the religious and haredi public simply "doesn't have any financial difficulties".


An analysis of the data according to sectors shows that 57% of the haredim believe the religious were absent from the protest because they lack representation among its leadership, 49% of religious Jews explain that it was because of fear that the protest was aimed at replacing the government, and 48% of traditional Jews and 54% of secular believe that the religious and haredim are afraid of losing budgets.


According to Gesher Executive Director Ilan Geal-Dor, "Gesher believes that the social protest, or any other protest, is a suitable platform for a dialogue between Israel's different sectors. The current protest has revealed that the religious public is not fully active for reasons that have to be thoroughly examined.


"The vast majority of leaders and rabbis in the religious public did not take an active stand in the protest, and those who did, like Rabbi Benny Lau, did not have the public's support. Why? It's unclear!"



פרסום ראשון: 09.11.11, 14:30
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