Poll: Politicians exploiting haredi draft
About 60% of Israeli public believe parties making cynical use of 'equal
burden' issue in their election campaigns; half say none of them capable of
Kobi Nahshoni YNET Published: 01.16.13, 13:36 / Israel Jewish
The Israeli public wants an equal share of the burden among all segments of
society, but does not believe politicians demanding the same thing, a
Ynet-Gesher poll reveals.
According to the survey, 93% of Israeli Jews believe the ultra-Orthodox
public must enlist in military or civil service, but 59% are convinced that
parties stressing the issue in their election campaigns are making cynical
use of the matter for political purposes.
While National Service Administration says number of yeshiva students
seeking to volunteer is much higher than dozens who joined service this
week, haredim fear arrangement will be canceled by High Court – resulting in
The survey was conducted by the Panels research institute through the
Panel4all Internet panel among 514 respondents – a representative sample of
Israel's adult Jewish population. The maximum sampling error was 4.4%.
Respondents were first asked, "In your opinion, should the haredi public
serve in the army?" Forty-nine percent replied "like everyone else," 37%
said "in the army or national service," and seven percent chose "in national
service." The remaining seven percent selected the fourth option – "I would
exempt them from any duty."
An analysis according to religious affiliation reveals that the majority of
secular and traditional Jews believe haredim should be forced into "regular"
service (58.5% and 49%, respectively), religious Jews settle for any kind of
service – military or civil (50%), while haredim would exempt themselves
from the duty (62%).
Lack of faith
Asked whether politicians were exploiting the haredi draft issue in their
election campaigns, 51% gave an affirmative answer while 41% gave a negative
answer. All haredi respondents, 81% of religious respondents, 60% of
traditional respondents and 50% of secular respondents said they did not
believe politicians' statements in regards to this issue.
This disbelief was also reflected in the survey's third question: "Which of
the following candidates, as prime minister, will solve the equal burden
problem in a better way in your opinion?" Twenty-seven percent believe
Benjamin Netanyahu will do so, 23% said Shelly Yachimovich, while 50%
replied: "Neither of them."
An analysis of the results reveals that traditional Jews are most
optimistic: Forty-two percent of them said neither of the two would succeed
in solving the problem, but 41% said Netanyahu could do it. On the other
hand, 62% of haredim, 58% of religious Jews and 51% of seculars don't
believe in either of them.
According to Ilan Geal-Dor, CEO of the Gesher Foundation which works to
bridge the gaps between different segments of the Israeli society, "The
willingness to understand the needs of the haredim on the one hand, and the
importance of their integration on the other hand, leads the majority of
Israeli society to further moves aimed at creating graduation and
understanding ahead of the integration."
Geal-Dor added that "such significant social moves can only be advanced
through a real dialogue."