Rightwingers are more comfortable speaking their mind in Israel, according to a survey published on Sunday by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), an Israeli non-profit, independent professional policy planning think tank. The survey was conducted as part of the Jewish pluralism in Israel Index with the support of the Davidson Foundation. According to the survey, half the people who align themselves with the left do not feel comfortable speaking out in Israel, as compared with an absolute majority of people who are aligned with the right — more than 90% — who feel “very comfortable” or “quite comfortable” expressing themselves in the Jewish State.
The survey was conducted for JPPI among 1,000 respondents, out of whom 30.4% described themselves as completely secular, 20.8% secular and a bit traditional, 22.5% traditional, 4% liberal religious, 10.3% religious, and 10.1% ultra-Orthodox.
The survey examined the image of different population groups in Israel, and their perception in relation to their contribution to the success of the state. It revealed that IDF soldiers are perceived as the most positive group, substantially ahead of any other group. At the bottom of the list are two groups which tend not to serve in the army: Muslims and Haredim. The Druze, in comparison, are very high on the sympathy ladder. Also, diaspora Jews are more popular than Israelis who chose to move abroad.
The researchers posed a string of seemingly contradictory questions: more than 60% of Israeli Jews said they favor civil marriages in Israel, but at the same time more than half objected to the possibility of “Jews marrying non-Jews.”
The majority of the Jews in Israel believe women should not be permitted to put on tefillin at the Western Wall, while 56% of Jewish respondents believe Israel must be more considerate of the views of minority groups. Nevertheless, the majority of Jews believe “secular, traditional and religious are equally good Jews.”
Interestingly and perhaps disturbingly, almost 48% believe there’s too much freedom of expression in Israel.
The term “Jewish pluralism” is defined by JPPI for the purpose of the survey as “a situation in which Jews in Israel and around the world, from different social, ideological and religious groups, regardless of their sex and ethnicity, will have an equal opportunity to express their differences in public.”