Three-quarters of Israeli Jews and nearly two-thirds of Israeli Arabs would not marry someone from a different religion, according to a Dialog poll conducted by Haaretz this week.
The survey found that opposition to interfaith relationships was highest among Haredi Jews, at 95 percent, while 88 percent of traditional and religious Jews and 64 percent of secular Jews also opposed inter-dating.
Seventy-one percent of Muslim Israeli Arabs opposed interfaith relationships, but only half of Christian Israeli Arabs were opposed.
Across religious denominations, Israeli Jews would be much more opposed to their relatives marrying Arabs than they would be to relatives marrying non-Arab non-Jews. Only a third of secular Jewish Israelis would be opposed to a relative marrying an American or European Christian, but a majority would oppose a relative marrying an Arab. Seventy-two percent of Israeli Jews overall would be opposed to a relative marrying an Arab.
Last week, a small far-right group protested in Jaffa outside the wedding of an Israeli Arab and a Jewish-born Israeli who converted to Islam.
Intermarriage rage in Israel used to be minimal but has grown to approximately to five percent nationwide, and only 1 per cent of less in Judea and Samaria.
The primary cause for the rise increase is the large-scale immigration of Jews from the former Soviet bloc. Approximately 300,000 immigrated even though only the father was Jewish. A child is Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish, regardless of the religion of the father, according to Jewish law.
Not surprisingly, opposition to intermarriage was lowest among immigrants from the former Soviet Union. More than half would avoid having a relationship with a non-Jew, but if they were to fall in love with a non-Jew, only 35 percent would insist their spouse convert.
Two-thirds of Israeli Jews see intermarriage as a serious threat to Jews worldwide, and one-third see it as a serious threat to Jews in Israel.
The rate of intermarriage in the United States has shot up to more than 60 percent.JTA
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