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( A nuclear attack, baseless hatred between population groups, and corruption among decision-makers would be the main contributing factors to the next catastrophic destruction on a magnitude equaling the 9 B’Av destruction of two Jewish states, according to a survey conducted the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, and TNS global market research company.

The survey, which included 500 participants ages 18-65, was conducted on the occasion of the Ninth of Av, which takes place this Shabbat, with the sundown-to-nightfall fast taking place pushed to Saturday night. The survey examines the attitude of Israelis regarding this historic date, including their concerns about a new destruction.


The survey data show that about 42% of Israelis — almost every other Israeli — is worried about the destruction of the State of Israel. 10% of respondents even admitted that they were “very worried.”

On the question of what is the biggest threat to Israel, 28% responded that they fear a nuclear attack; 22% said that hatred is the greatest threat to their opinion (46% of those were Haredim, and 42% Modern Orthodox); 19% thought that corruption at the highest levels of government will lead to the destruction.

Only 10% mentioned fear of international boycotts.

Religious respondents were more likely to cite the Iranian bomb as an existential threat, while secular respondents were more likely to fear government corruption.

When asked whether they fast on Tisha B’Av, one third of said they do, 4% of whom said the fast not for religious reasons but as a social or personal decision. Jerusalem has the highest rate of observance of the fast in Israel.

How many Israelis know what the date stands for?

Only 44% knew that both Temples were destroyed on the 9th of Av. 66% of Jerusalem residents polled responded correctly—67% of Modern Orthodox, 68% of the Haredim, and 50% of secular Israelis. The rest only knew about the destruction of one Temple on Tisha B’Av — 23% thought it was the First Temple, and 27% were confident it was the Second Temple.

“The survey shows the real concerns on the part of many Israelis, in our time, too, of concrete threats on our lives in this country, and it is highly indicative of the lessons and the feelings that accompany the people of Israel since the dawn of history and from the period of exile in particular,” said Orit Lev-Segev, Associate Director of the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

“The destruction is a dramatic and defining chapter in the crystallization of the Jewish people and an integral part of our collective subconscious as a people, then and now,” Lev-Segev noted.


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