In the period leading up to Israel’s 2009 parliamentary election, several polls I conducted among the Jewish population turned up a consistent finding: The youngest respondents (18-35 ) disproportionately described themselves as right wing. They also supported Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party slightly more than others. Then weeks before the election, Haaretz reported on polls among high-school students in which Lieberman won simulated elections outright.
The nationalist, right-leaning trends among young people have been making headlines ever since, with sensational surveys showing intolerance and weak democratic values. But the polls have not clearly explained what’s behind the apparent trend – why young people express such attitudes. Read more