What the Israeli Public Really Thinks
Secularists, not the religious, lead the country's rightward shift.
I find public opinion polls fascinating, at least when they are real polls, as opposed to that manipulative pseudo-poll from a couple of weeks back, run by Peace Now’s Amiram Goldblum (Hebrew University, pharmacy studies) and his far-leftist cronies, claiming to “prove” Israelis were pro-apartheid. In the past the Israeli media used to publish 3 or 4 polls a week. The number dropped to near zero in recent years, and my guess is it is because the leftist media do not want you to know what Israelis actually think.
But with elections nigh, there are a lot of polls coming out. The one in a recent edition of Maariv is, I think, interesting. It is a survey of the general population (including Arabs), and a sub-survey just of those who identify themselves as leaning to the Right.
You can draw your own conclusions.
Of the general population, when asked if they favor the existence of a Palestinian state, 66% oppose, 11% favor, and 23% are undecided or have a more ambiguous position. Bear in mind that about 18% of Israelis are Arabs. When asked if they favor construction in the E-1 area between Jerusalem and the Maaleh Adumim suburb, which has been in the news recently as a “controversy,” 51% support construction, 9% oppose, and 40% are not sure (probably do not know what it is about). When asked about allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, 71% support and 7% oppose. When asked what they think of Supreme Court judicial review of laws, 48% oppose it, 41% support, and only 10% did not know.
When restricted to Israelis defining themselves as leaning Right, 54% of these are secularists, 27% say they are religiously “traditionalist,” 11% modern Orthodox, and 8% Chareidi. This is notable because the media stereotype of the “Right” is as the ”Religious Right.” But more than half of rightists are secularist, larger probably than the numbers among the Left or Center. Women are more likely than men to identify with the Right, and the young more than the old. About 24% of rightists have college or post-high school education, probably a bit less than the general population but not a lot less. Income distribution of Rightists looks similar to that of the general population.
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