New Survey Highlights Israeli Public’s Opposition to Religious Policies

A new survey has found that Israelis are opposed to the country’s current religious policies. The Israel Religion and State Index, carried out by the Smith Institute on behalf of NIF grantee Hiddush, assessed the views of 700 Israeli Jewish Adults. The survey found that 73% want public transportation on Shabbat, 72% want to defund yeshivas that don’t teach core subjects, two-thirds support the (now suspended) Western Wall compromise, and 83% want ultra-Orthodox Jews to share the burden of national service. 71% support greater freedom for Israeli Jews to marry and divorce without rabbinic interference.

Hiddush CEO Uri Regev said: “The Index reveals the government’s total disregard for the public’s will regarding matters of religious and freedom and equality of civic burden. The divide between the will of the public and the government coalition’s actions is increasing . . . The gap between the people’s will and the will and actions of the Coalition continues to grow. If [the Coalition] is selling out the public for the mere pittance of continuing to stay in office, while the Opposition is looking to a possible future partnership with the ultra-Orthodox parties, which is why they don’t fight the government in matters of religion and state. This should be a warning sign to the secular parties.”

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November 2016