By JERUSALEM POST STAFFThe public will no longer tolerate selling Israel’s future to the haredi parties, Rabbi Uri Regev, director of Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality in Israel, said on Wednesday, in response to a public opinion poll his NGO recently conducted.
The general public thinks the haredi community shows disrespect for and rejects democracy, according to the survey. Fifty-eight percent of the Jewish public supports the establishment of a national unity coalition government that would include Kadima, but not the the haredi Shas or United Torah Judaism parties.
The survey data “demonstrates unequivocally that the haredi parties managed to make themselves an anathema among the general public that supports the rule of law and democracy,” Regev said.
While 95% of secular Jews displayed an overall disapproval of the haredi community, a surprising 62% of modern Orthodox Jews expressed similar views.
“Israelis are no longer willing to accept the sale of Zionism and the future of Israel to the haredi parties through dubious political deals. It is time Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu heeds the cry of the people and establishes a national unity government capable of bringing about a sorely needed civil revolution,” Regev said.
According to the poll, 83% of the Jewish public considers the struggle by Ashkenazi haredi parents in Emmanuel to have their daughters study separately from Sephardi girls whose families do not follow Ashkenazi haredi practices unjust.
In addition, 75% of the population supports the High Court of Justice’s decision to eliminate income support funding for married yeshiva students from the 2011 state budget, saying the payments are discriminatory because there are no such payments for married secular students.
“The public is telling Netanyahu: You do not have a mandate to continue undermining equality by passing legislation that bypasses court rulings and provides ‘pork barrels’ and preferential grants to yeshiva students,” Regev said.
He continued, “You do not have a mandate to make kosher the despicable racism in education through fictitious compromises. This is the hour of urgency. Israel’s democratic and Zionist character is under assault. Netanyahu has to tell the haredi parties: Enough!”
The poll reported that 83% of Likud voters and 100% of Israel Beiteinu voters condemned the Emmanuel struggle as anti-democratic, and 73% of Likud voters and 88% of Israel Beiteinu voters supported the court’s decision to halt the income support for married yeshiva students.
“Israel Beiteinu – whose main constituency is the new immigrant community that is the primary victim of the submission to the haredi parties – as well as the Labor Party, should stand firm and make it clear to Netanyahu that they will not be part of a government that subjects Zionism to suicide and exhibits serial surrender to haredi blackmail,” Regev said.
The public opinion survey, commissioned by Hiddush and conducted by Smith Research on June 27-28, was based on a sample of 500 respondents representing Israel’s adult Jewish population.
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]