Study: Over 60% of Israelis want Separation of Religion and State


On Rosh Hashana eve, Hiddush association’s Religion and State Index also shows that half of public believe religious-secular tension is most serious conflict in Israeli society

By: Kobi Nachshoni
Published: September 4th, 2013 in News » Israel
The past Jewish year included an ongoing attempt to draft yeshiva students, emotionally charged Chief Rabbinate elections, the exclusion of ultra-Orthodox parties from the government, an attempt to impose the core curriculum on haredi schools, a dramatic High Court decision against the operation of businesses on Shabbat and an unprecedented ruling by the Jerusalem District Court in favor of the liberal Women of the Wall organization.

As one of the most eventful years in Israel in terms of state-religion relations comes to an end, a majority of the public asserts that it’s time to separate between the two.

The Hiddush association’s Religion and State Index, in cooperation with Ynet – a comprehensive annual research published for the third time – shows that the number of Israeli in favor of separating religion from the State reached a new high in Jewish year 5773, standing at 61% (including 84% of seculars) – a 9% rise from last year.

Thirty-nine percent are against separating religion from the State (83% of ultra-Orthodox Jews, 73% of religious Jews and 54% of traditional Jews).

Most difficult conflict in Jewish society

According to the survey, 51% of the public believe the tension between haredim and seculars is the most difficult conflict in the Israeli society. Right-Left relations came in second, at a huge gap – 23%.

Fourteen percent chose the relations between the rich and poor, 4% said Mizrahi-Ashkenazi relations and 1% chose the tensions between new immigrants and veteran citizens as the most difficult conflict in society. The rest did not respond.

Seventy-five percent of haredim, 80% of seculars, 79% of religious Jews and 58% of traditional Jews mentioned the secular-haredi conflict as one of the two most difficult tensions.


Categories: Arab World, Asia, Israel

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