Photo Credit: Miriam Alsterl/Flash90
Haredi MKs with Prime Minister Netanyahu. A majority of Israelis prefer them in the opposition.

The January Peace Index poll conducted by Tel Aviv University and Israel Democracy Institute, found that only a relatively small minority of the Jewish public (27%) prefer a government that includes the Haredi parties, while 53% would rather have a government without them. Only 5% of secular Israelis, 21% of the non-religious traditional, 53% of the religious traditional, 60% of the religious, and 81% of the Haredim said they’d like to continue seeing Haredim in ruling Knesset coalitions.

A few Haredi MKs last week advanced an idea for a constitutional law (“Basic Law”) that will declare Torah Study a constitutionally recognized right, presumably so that Haredi youths who are required by law to enlist in the IDF could claim that the draft contradicts their civil rights. A 70% majority of the Jewish public disagrees with that idea. Only 4% of secular Israelis and 8% of the non-religious traditional agree with it, alongside 45% of religious traditional, 54% of religious, and 98% Haredim.


On the issue of opening businesses on Shabbat, which the entire Jewish public debated in January, the pollsters presented interviewees with a list of seven kinds of businesses and asked that they rate them by their personal support for keeping them open on Shabbat.

A majority of the respondents prefer six out of the seven business categories be kept open on Shabbat.

Cafes (68.5%) and movie theaters (68%) received the highest approval for Shabbat business. Public transportation got 64% approval, convenience stores and private health clinics got 61%.

Supermarkets should stay open on Shabbat according to 56.5% of respondents.

The only category that 52% of respondents think should stay closed on Shabbat is car repair shops.

As to the estimated 36,000 illegal African migrants who have infiltrated Israel, in response to the suggestion that the Jewish State should show a greater generosity than others and allow them to stay in the country, a whopping 60% said No. Of all the groups, rejection of the claim that the Jewish State should be more merciful to the illegal migrants was highest among the religious traditional.

As for the Arab respondents, 58% agreed with the claim about Israel’s special responsibility.

An even larger number of Jewish respondents, 69%, support the government’s decision that the illegal infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan must to leave Israel within a short period of time, and approve of the government’s announcement that it has already begun the process of expulsion to African countries with which it has reached agreements to absorb them.

78% of rightwingers support the government’s decision to expel the illegal foreigners, only 35% at the center and 26% on the left support the decision.

“In other words,” the poll authors conclude, “a majority of the Jewish public, and particularly the political right, does not concur with the voices of protest or draw the same lesson from Jewish history, instead taking a distant stance toward the ‘asylum seekers.’ In the Arab public, about one-half support the government’s decision while 37% oppose it. That support can perhaps be understood in terms of the economic competition that the asylum seekers constitute for the Arab workers in certain professions.”

And the fact that they broke the law and while in the country were involved in anti-social behavior, violence and crime. So there was that, too.