A new survey conducted in advance of Independence Day this week and published in full in the Sunday edition of Israel Hayom reveals that a full third of Israeli citizens believe that the state does not treat bereaved families appropriately; and also that Memorial Day and Independence Day should be completely separated.
Around 35 percent of the survey's respondents said that bereaved families should be treated better; however, there was a huge disparity in how the various age groups regarded the issue, with 68 percent of those under the age of 29 critical of the state's attitude as opposed to just 19 percent of Israelis over the age of 65.
The debate regarding the direct proximity of Memorial Day and Independence Day is an old one. 30 percent of respondents felt that the two days should be distinct rather than the sorrow and mourning of the one being immediately followed by the rejoicing of the other.
Around 12 percent of respondents explained their views saying that the fact that Independence Day directly follows Memorial Day harms the sanctity of the day. Another 13 percent felt that the proximity of the two days was too emotionally taxing for bereaved families.
65 percent of respondents said that they had a personal connection to at least one bereaved person - someone with either a friend or relative who had been lost in a terrorist attack, a war, or a military operation. 23 percent of respondents said that they themselves had lost a close friend or relative.
Around 90 percent of respondents said they were proud to be Jews, with those identifying as right-wing expressing more pride in their religion. 80 percent of respondents said they were proud to be Israelis, with 53 saying they were very proud. 20 percent said they were not proud at all to be Israeli. The highest level of national pride was in Beer Sheva, followed by Haifa and then Jerusalem.
As for specifics, 66 percent of those polled said they were proud of the IDF; 47 percent said they were proud of Israeli hi-tech; 39 percent said they were proud of a sense of mutual responsibility that had been demonstrated during the COVID crisis; 24 percent said they were proud of Israeli industry and agriculture.
56 percent of respondents said they were optimistic regarding the State of Israel's future; 40 percent were not optimistic. The proportion of those expressing lack of optimism was larger among younger respondents.
Issues of most concern were shown to be socio-economic gaps in the population (41 percent); the high prices of food (25 percent); the Iranian threat (12 percent); the situation vis-a-vis the Palestinians (12 percent). Issues of concern differed from city to city, with 43 percent of Tel Aviv residents expressing concern over high food prices, and 42 percent of Jerusalem residents more concerned about socio-economic disparities.
The survey also revealed that 33 percent of Israelis considered leaving Israel at some point during the past year. Among Israelis under the age of 24, this figure jumped to 66 percent, and even among Israelis under the age of 34, the figure was stil high at 53 percent.
When asked for their reasons, 40 percent cited the high price of food, while just 22 percent cited security concerns and 18 percent cited socio-economic disparities.