The Jewish People Policy Institute’s (JPPI) published on Sunday its Pluralism Index in Israel revealing that nearly 90 percent of Jewish Israelis are “comfortable being themselves” in Israel.
The sense of comfort was found to be greater among respondents who define themselves to the Right of the political and religious spectrum with over 90 percent saying the feel “very comfortable” or quite comfortable”. On the other hand, nearly half of those who define themselves as left said that they do not feel comfortable being themselves in Israel.
Moreover, the survey revealed that public perceptions regarding the “contribution” of certain sectors within the society revealed that soldiers are perceived to contribute the most to the success of Israel, significantly more than any other group.
Unsurprisingly, the two groups whose children tend to avoid military service were at the bottom of the list. Muslim-Arabs and haredim are viewed as contributing least to the success of Israel.
Despite the sharp religious and political differences, the public seems to agree on pluralistic values. “The index is intended to provide a yearly and objective measurement as to the ability of each Jew to feel at home in the Jewish state,” said JPPI President Avinoam Bar Yosef.
“Seemingly, there is a significant gap between the problematic image of Israel held by some of world Jewry as a liberal, open and welcoming society, and the picture that arises from the research that led to building the index.”
Bar Yosef assessed that based on the research conducted so far, the majority of the differences “arise from the gaps between the desire of the vast majority in Israel to maintain a unifying structure and a Jewish character to the state”
Other issues relating to pluralism show that a majority of Israeli Jews: believe there should be civil marriage in Israel; feel that there is no need to allow women to wear tefillin (phylacteries) at the Kotel; view diaspora Jews more favorably than Israelis who live abroad; and appreciate Ethiopian immigrants’ contribution to the State.
To view JPPI’s full survey, click here.