According to the survey, 93% of Israeli Jews believe the ultra-Orthodox public must enlist in military or civil service, but 59% are convinced that parties stressing the issue in their election campaigns are making cynical use of the matter for political purposes.
The survey was conducted by the Panels research institute through the Panel4all Internet panel among 514 respondents – a representative sample of Israel's adult Jewish population. The maximum sampling error was 4.4%.
Respondents were first asked, "In your opinion, should the haredi public serve in the army?" Forty-nine percent replied "like everyone else," 37% said "in the army or national service," and seven percent chose "in national service." The remaining seven percent selected the fourth option – "I would exempt them from any duty."
An analysis according to religious affiliation reveals that the majority of secular and traditional Jews believe haredim should be forced into "regular" service (58.5% and 49%, respectively), religious Jews settle for any kind of service – military or civil (50%), while haredim would exempt themselves from the duty (62%).
Lack of faith
Asked whether politicians were exploiting the haredi draft issue in their election campaigns, 51% gave an affirmative answer while 41% gave a negative answer. All haredi respondents, 81% of religious respondents, 60% of traditional respondents and 50% of secular respondents said they did not believe politicians' statements in regards to this issue.
This disbelief was also reflected in the survey's third question: "Which of the following candidates, as prime minister, will solve the equal burden problem in a better way in your opinion?" Twenty-seven percent believe Benjamin Netanyahu will do so, 23% said Shelly Yachimovich, while 50% replied: "Neither of them."
An analysis of the results reveals that traditional Jews are most optimistic: Forty-two percent of them said neither of the two would succeed in solving the problem, but 41% said Netanyahu could do it. On the other hand, 62% of haredim, 58% of religious Jews and 51% of seculars don't believe in either of them.
According to Ilan Geal-Dor, CEO of the Gesher Foundation which works to bridge the gaps between different segments of the Israeli society, "The willingness to understand the needs of the haredim on the one hand, and the importance of their integration on the other hand, leads the majority of Israeli society to further moves aimed at creating graduation and understanding ahead of the integration."
Geal-Dor added that "such significant social moves can only be advanced through a real dialogue."