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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Democracy Institute’

More Israeli Jews See Trump as Better for Bibi While Arabs Choose Clinton

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

A full 62% of both the Jewish and the Arab public expect Hillary Clinton to win the November elections, while fewer than 25% think the winner will be Donald Trump; the rest do not know, according to the August Peace Index, a monthly survey of 400 Jews and 100 Arabs in Israel, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, which is an independent, leftwing think tank located in Jerusalem.

On the question of which of the two candidates will be better for the current Israeli government, 38.5% of the Jews in Israel pick Trump, compared with only 33% who think Clinton and Netanyahu are a good match. However, on the question of “whom would you want to win the US presidential elections?” 43% prefer Clinton, 34% pick Trump.

On the Jewish left, 86% prefer Clinton over Trump (9%); in the center 57% want Clinton over Trump (23%); the right prefers Trump (49%) over Clinton (23%), but more than 25% of rightwing Israelis said they did not know who was better.

In the Arab public, 40% think Clinton will be better for the Israeli government’s policy, while 31% think both candidates will be good for Israel and only 14% expect Trump to be better. On the question of “Whom would you want to win the elections?” 58% of the Arab public want Clinton over Trump (11%), with a whopping 31% saying they don’t know which candidate to support.

The August survey also inquired about the trial of Sgt. Elor Azaria, who is accused of killing an Arab terrorist who had already been neutralized in Hebron last March. 65% of the Jewish public justify Azaria’s action and uphold his claim that he shot the terrorist in self-defense out of fear that the latter was wearing an explosive belt. Only 25% support the military establishment’s position that Azaria violated the rules of engagement and shot the terrorist for vengeance. The rest, 10%, preferred not to answer.

Rightwing Jews support Azaria at an overwhelming rate of 83%. 51% of centrist Jews, and even 20% of leftwing Jews also support Azaria. Support for Azaria is at 84% among army-age (18-24) Jews, and even more, 95%, among Haredim, and 79% among national religious Jews. A majority of traditional and secular Jews also support Azaria.

51.5% of the Jews support a group of reserve soldiers who recently announced that they will not report to duty when called as long as Azaria has not been completely exonerated. 43.5% oppose the group. On this question, 71% of rightwing Jews support the protest; but only 31.5% of centrist Jews and 14% of leftwing Jews do.

The survey notes that these political camps are not equal in size, and the rightwing now constitutes more than half of the Israeli Jewish public.

JNi.Media

Survey Finds Israelis Have Few Delusions about Peace, IDF Brass

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Against a background of recent disputes between the IDF senior command and right-leaning groups in the Israeli Jewish public, as well as with senior political leaders on the right, the July Peace Index focused on aspects of the IDF’s relationships with the public and with the political leadership. Or, rather, its Tuesday’s press release said so. As in all things factual, God is in the details; and when it comes to public opinion surveys, the details emanate from the questions.

To illuminate things, the Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research of the Israel Democracy Institute. The IDI is mostly made up of hard-left academics, with a smattering of token right-leaning individuals.

Now, rather than copy and paste the executive summary which was emailed to news organizations in a press release, JNI.media examined the actual data, which the Peace Index website also offers.

For whatever reason, it turns out the PI press release completely ignored the second question posed to its July group of 500 Jews and 100 Arabs: “Do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead in the coming years to peace between Israel and the Palestinians?”

Among the Jewish respondents, only 4% strongly believe in such a possibility. 16.1% believe it moderately. 35.4% moderately do not believe it. 41.1% do not believe it at all. We feel this should have been the focus of the survey: some 77% of Israeli Jews do not believe peace is a possibility. Incidentally, the Arab group is more optimistic, with 27% strongly believing in a coming peace, 19% moderately.

But maybe the PI has grown tired of getting this same answer to the peace question from Israeli Jews, who have grown thoroughly disillusioned and simply no longer expect their Arab neighbors to accept them as a legitimate political entity.

So, turning to the subject on which the PI press release opted to focus: how close is the apparent value system of the IDF senior command and that of the general public and of the political leadership? The question posed was: “At present, is the framework of values of the IDF’s senior command level close to or distant from the framework of values of the general Israeli public?”

Very few Jews, 7.2%, actually believe the two are very close. The middle was taken up by 41.7% who see them as moderately close and 28.7% as moderately distant. 8% believe they’re very distant. In other words, about 78% of Israeli Jews perceive a gap between the ideology of the IDF leadership and the rest of the nation. That is some gap.

A very similar outcome emerges in response to a comparison between the IDF leadership and the political leadership. A whopping 69% perceive a distance between the two. In a democratic country, such a perception of the military skewing to the left of where the elected officials and the political majority stand is reason for anxiety.

More Israelis disagree than agree with the assertion by Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, head of the Bnei David pre-military academy in Eli, that the IDF has adopted a pluralist worldview, expressed through HR allocations, appointments and budgets, that opposes halakha and pushes out religious-Zionist and ultra-Orthodox soldiers and officers. 33% of the Jews agree with Rabbi Levenstein, 52.3% disagree.

But one must ask how much of the Levenstein lecture that caused the public brouhaha did those 52.3% actually get to hear?

Are they aware of the recent Liba organization report that points out blatantly anti-religious IDF orders, like the prohibition on growing beards. Or do they know that the age limit for career officers enrolling in the IDF battalion commander course was cut down to 32, deliberately in order to disqualify religious officers whose career track, mixing yeshiva study and military service, is longer? Do they know that the Education Corps promotes soldiers’ interaction with Muslim, Christian and Reform and Conservative practices, at the expense of the more established faith, Orthodox Judaism? Is it possible that those responses would have been different had the respondents been aware of the realities Levenstein’s talk represented?

Finally, here’s a stacked question where the phrasing presages the answer. The PI question was: “In your opinion, is it good or not good for the IDF to adopt a pluralist and open framework of values—for example, regarding acceptance of the other when it comes to the LGBT community?”

What the question does, slyly, is introduce a claim that the values of openness and pluralism are mainly expressed by embracing homosexuals. It doesn’t offer any other choices for pluralism, such as permitting religious soldiers to abstain from concerts with female singers (they must stay and listen); or accepting a call from a brigade commander to go to battle that includes the Shema Israel; or accepting the fact that the vast majority of religious Jews view homosexuality as a repugnant phenomenon, which some are prepared to tolerate, but nothing more.

To produce a reliable response, the question should have been either, “Is it good or not good for the IDF to adopt a pluralist and open framework of values,” with which the vast majority would have agreed (who doesn’t want to be open and pluralistic?) or “Do you support homosexuals serving in the IDF?” — without endowing the LGBT with the mitigating term of “the other,” which would have produced a truer reflection of the Israeli public’s views on the matter.

This month’s survey was conducted by telephone on July 25-27, 2016, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents (500 Jews and 100 Arabs), who constitute a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is ±4.1% at a confidence level of 95%.

JNi.Media

Survey: Majority of Israeli Jews Favor Keeping Judea and Samaria, Israeli Arabs Favor Keeping Large Settlement Blocs

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

“Sometime after the Six Day War the settlement enterprise began to develop. In your opinion, from a perspective of 50 years later, has the settlement enterprise contributed to or damaged Israel’s national interest?” was one of the opening questions in a June survey comparing the attitudes of Israeli Jews and Arabs on the liberated territories.

The survey found that 52% of the Jewish public thinks the settlement enterprise has contributed to the national interest.

And so the survey noted that “some claim that over the years Israeli governments have invested many resources and monies in developing the Jewish settlements and infrastructures in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, and previously also in Gaza, at the expense of other areas and populations in Israel that are disadvantaged and would have needed these resources and budgets. Others claim that there is no connection between the two because one does not come at the expense of the other.” Then it inquired, “With which claim do you agree?”

49% of the Jews said there is no connection between the two; 45% say the investment in the territories comes at the expense of budgets for deprived areas and disadvantaged populations.

In the Arab public, a two-thirds majority considers the investments in the territories a detraction from investments in deprived areas and disadvantaged populations inside green line Israel.

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute. The June survey, conducted by phone on June 28-29, 2016, included 600 respondents — 500 Jews, 100 Arabs, who constitute a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum margin of error for the entire sample is ±4.1%.

The survey also found that a majority of the Jewish respondents do not know for sure the size of the Jewish or of the Palestinian population in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. Asked how many Jews live in these territories (not counting the neighborhoods of expanded Jerusalem such as Gilo or Pisgat Ze’ev), about 25% underestimated the figure to be 100,000-250,000, 30% answered correctly that the number is 250,000-500,000, 13% gave an overestimate of 500,000-750,000, 3% thought the correct number was 750,000 to a million, and about 25% did not know at all.

As to the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, not counting Jerusalem, the estimates were: 24%—half a million to a million, 36%—one to two million, 10%—two million to three million, and 3%—over three million. 27% did not know.

The fact is that no one really knows how many Arabs live today in the parts of Judea and Samaria governed by the Palestinian Authority, and so, in this instance, there is no wrong answer.

59% of the Jews and 73% of the Arabs favor holding a referendum on Israel leaving the territories. As to how the respondents would vote in such a referendum, 52% of the Jews reported that in the existing situation they would vote against a withdrawal, while 36% answered that they would vote in favor.

Among the Arabs 69% said that if a referendum were to be held today, they would vote in favor of leaving the territories while retaining the large settlement blocs.

Only 51% the Jewish respondents believe all the citizens of the state would be entitled to participate in such a referendum. 44% believe that only the Jewish citizens of the country should be entitled to participate.

David Israel

Feilgin on the Jewish National Law

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin spoke about Israeli democracy and the upcoming Jewish National La, in a discussion between himself and a Professor Mordechai Kremnister from the left-leaning “Israel Democracy Institute”, with an introduction by reporter Zev Kam discussing the upcoming Jewish National Law (in whatever form it will take).

The entire discussion is fascinating (but in Hebrew).

Here are some translated excerpts from Feiglin’s statements, as well as from some comments that Feiglin wrote down after the video was posted.

I don’t think Israel is democratic enough. If it was, I don’t think Israel would have been able to send the army to expel 10,000 people from their homes in Gush Katif, to name one example. An act that Professor Kremnister supported and encouraged.

If Israel was more democratic, we wouldn’t see a law like the “Yisrael HaYom Law” where the parliament nullified a newspaper, and the Israel Democracy Center didn’t say a word against it.

Their goal here is not democracy. It is to transform Israel into a “state of all its citizens” instead of a Jewish state.

The word ‘democracy’, does not appear in the [Israel] Declaration of Independence. The reason is that democracy is not an end, democracy is a system.

“Democracy is a very poor method” – Churchill once explained – “But I do not know do any better.” I do not know a good method for implementing liberty.

So I’m a democrat – more than all those fighting against the National Law.

All the dreamers and pioneers, immigrants and warriors, builders and planters – who returned to our holy land after 2,000 years of exile, did not do so in order to establish a democratic country. If that was the goal they could have gone to America and Australia. Most of them actually did so.

Those who came here wanted a Jewish state. The vast majority Jewish state seeks to implement the democratic system, but to place on the same level – the identity [of the country] with the system [of government] with which to implement it – is left-wing demagoguery, which comes to confuse the public and take away the Jewish state.

The National Law is not in any way detrimental to democracy, on the contrary, it preserves the values of the majority and doesn’t allow a small minority to act against its will.

The National Law blocks this frantic quest to obliterate the Jewish identity of the state.

That, and only for that – is what is igniting the opponents of National Law.

Video of the Day

Survey Shows Israelis Have Little Confidence in Talks

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Tel Aviv University’s Israel Democracy Institute released its monthly Peace Index Poll on Monday, revealing that only 25 percent of Jewish Israelis believe that Israeli-Palestinian conflict talks will lead to peace.

The poll showed that 89 percent of Jewish Israelis are either sure or moderately sure that the Israel Defense Forces can defend their country properly from security threats.

Fifty percent of Arab Israelis believe that Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations will lead to peace, doubling the confidence of Jewish Israelis in that outcome, according to the survey. Additionally, 90 percent of Israeli Jews believe that U.S. intelligence services are spying on Israelis.

Click here for the full survey (PDF).

JNS News Service

Too Many Religious Officers and a Constitution

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

In an interview last week with Makor Rishon, Dr. Arye (Arik) Carmon, head of the Israel Democracy Institute said,

“as the number of religious commanders in the army increases, we’re in for bigger problems.”

Dr. Carmon is not only the president of the Israel Democracy Institute, but he is one of the senior members of a group of people trying to put together a Constitution (“by Concensus”) for the state of Israel. A Constitution that is supposed to represent all of Israeli society and our shared values.

HIS CLARIFICATION

Following the publication of his statement last week, Carmon felt that there was a need to clarify what he really meant.

Carmon said (with my comments added in [italics]):

“As someone who was injured during my army service [yes, because that now gives any statement he makes automatic legitimacy], and whose sons fight shoulder to shoulder with their brother’s [see previous comment], the religious soldiers, the alumni of the National-Religious educational system, I have much respect for them, to the soldiers and commanders in the IDF whose contributions to the security of Israel are priceless [did he mention that some of his best friends are religious too?].It’s important for me to clarify that in the heat of the interview, my words were not understood properly [Actually, I think we did understand them properly].

I meant, that as long as there is no solution for the source of the authority in the IDF in general, and specifically, including the integration of women [because listening to women sing, is the biggest problem the army faces], the problems will grow and increase. As the number of religious soldiers and commanders grow, since the authority of their Rabbis is what rules for them, the size of the problem will get larger. More and more officers and soldiers will find themselves indecisive when they face this conflict.

Any other way to understand my words is mistaken.”

I’m honestly not sure what is worse, the original statement or his clarification.

Carmon is clearly afraid of two things, that the soldiers have a moral authority and value system that he doesn’t share, that supersedes blindly following orders, and that religious soldiers are blocking his coercive goals of secular-democratic supremacy.

His first problem is that religious soldiers listen to a higher moral authority, and he is afraid of the conflict that religious soldiers might have, especially if there are too many of them, and how that will affect their following orders.

Though logically that doesn’t make sense, because if there are more religious soldiers who share a common moral thought process, the conflict is unlikely to trickle down, as obviously immoral and illegal orders will be identified and stopped higher up in hierarchy – as they should be.

But, Carmon is thinking of two specific issues – one he states, which is the integration of women, and the other, which I believe he implies, is not following orders in case of another Expulsion/Disengagement – the classic Israeli argument of moral/religious right vs. the tyranny of the majority- the Jewish-Democratic state conflict.

Carmon has firmly placed himself firmly on one side of that argument, the secular side that immorally kicked out 8000 Jews from their homes and let a terrorist state develop in Gaza, and would do so again in Judea and Samaria if they could.

ONE SIDED CONCERN

Yet Carmon apparently doesn’t have a problem with too many left-wing pilots or reservists, hundreds of whom famously signed onto petitions saying they won’t follow orders to attack our enemies. You would think that he would find an identifiable group who seditiously and openly called for disobeying orders to attack the enemy to be far more worrisome than religious soldiers and officers, with a healthy and respected value system. But as you’ll see later in the article, he doesn’t.

To my knowledge, Carmon has never said that as the number of Left-wing pilots grows, the problems will increase. No, he specifically said the problem is with too many religious commanders.

JoeSettler

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/too-many-religious-officers-and-a-constitution/2013/02/10/

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