Jewish Israelis Overwhelmingly Want Separation Of Religion And State, End To Haredi And Orthodox Monopoly On Religious Affairs
"The toughest tension: 74% of the Jewish population (3 out of 4 respondents) sees the tension between secular and ultra-Orthodox populations as the most (or second-most) harsh domestic conflict in Israeli society. Other conflicts dramatically lag behind (47% - between political left and right and33% - between rich and poor)."
Here are what Hiddush calls the report's key findings:
• The toughest tension: 74% of the Jewish population (3 out of 4 respondents) sees the tension between secular and ultra-Orthodox populations as the most (or second-most) harsh domestic conflict in Israeli society. Other conflicts dramatically lag behind (47% - between political left and right and33% - between rich and poor).
• 83% of the Jewish population support freedom of religion and conscience in Israel.
• Exchanging vows, without the Chief Rabbinate: 62% support recognition of civil, Reform and Conservative marriages in Israel (currently, only Orthodox marriages are recognized for Jews); 67% of secular Israeli Jews would prefer a non-Orthodox alternative for their own marriage or for their children.
• Same-sex marriage: 56% of Israeli Jews and 77% of secular Israelis believe that Israel should recognize same-sex marriage.
• Equality for all denominations: 67%, including 56% of Habayit Hayehudi (the Modern Orthodox party) voters, support granting equal recognition by the government to Rabbis from all Jewish denominations. Only 33% hold that the Chief Rabbinate and rabbinic courts should continue their monopoly on Judaism in Israel. This question was asked for the first time and indicates rising acceptance of Reform and Conservative Judaism. 70% of the Israeli Jews oppose the continued existence of Chief Rabbinate in its current form.
• Just leave the ultra-Orthodox out of it: Almost two-thirds of Israeli Jews (64%) support a government coalition without ultra-Orthodox parties.
• Keep on cutting: 75% support budget cuts to ultra-Orthodox yeshivas as motivation for seeking employment, 63% hold that the government should stop funding ultra-Orthodox schools that do not teach core curriculum (Math, science, English and civics). 79% hold that the government should require ultra-Orthodox schools to teach these core curricular studies.
• Support for Shabbat Shopping. Two-thirds of Israeli Jews (67%) support Shabbat business hours in shopping centers located outside of cities. 59% support the same policy for small markets and convenience stores. 64% support public transportation on Shabbat.
• High government disapproval: 76% of the Israelis are not pleased with the government's activities regarding religion and state. 76% are not pleased with Yesh Atid party and its leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid's performance in this area, including 52% of Yesh Atid voters.
• Who are you calling religious? Though Habayit Hayehudi is the traditional choice for Modern Orthodox Israelis and a member of the government coalition, it's constituency is far more diversified on religious issues: 44% of its voters support separation of religion and state, 50% support opening shopping centers on Shabbat and holidays outside of cities and 56% support equal recognition of rabbis of all streams in Judaism.
*The Religion and State Index is conducted for Hiddush by the Rafi Smith Polling Institute. The study is based on telephone interviews, done between July 10-24th, 2013 with 800 adult Jewish respondents to represent the adult Jewish Israeli population. The 2013 Religion and State Index was published with support from the New Israel Fund of Canada.
The entire report as a PDF file: