Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Study Released On Israeli Religion-State Public Opinion

In Israel yesterday, Hiddush- Freedom of Religion for Israel released its 2014 Israel Religion and State Index. The report is its annual study of Israeli public opinion on religion and state issues. Here is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:
[T]he Israeli Jewish public expressed an all-time high dissatisfaction with the government policies regarding religion and state..... A sweeping majority of Israelis (including the beleaguered residents of southern Israel) indicated their opposition to the claim, used to legitimize ultra-Orthodox draft evasion, that Torah study and prayers are Israel's true defense mechanism. Similarly, the majority of the respondents did not accept rabbinic explanations that security incidents and natural disasters are caused by punishments for religious sins.  Unfortunately, freedom of religion and equality continuously fall victim to politicians who ignore the strong will of the Israeli public for freedom of religion and equality.