Poll: 48% of Israeli Jews oppose rabbis' rent edict

Survey shows major raise in support among Israelis for Clinton permanent settlement framework, marginal raise among Palestinians.

December 28, 2010 12:53
2 minute read.
SAFED CHIEF Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

Eliyahu 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Most Israeli Jews oppose calls to avoid renting and selling apartments to Arabs, a poll released on Tuesday reports.

Forty-four percent of the respondents support the idea, while 48% are opposed.

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The study, which was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, was triggered nearly three weeks, when 39 municipal rabbis signed a letter calling on the Jewish public to avoid renting and selling apartments to Arabs, and to ostracize those Jews who don’t heed the call.

The poll dealt with a number of issues recently brought up in the Knesset and with the public, including a bill approved by the Knesset Law Committee in late October that would allow small communities in the Negev and the Galilee to reject would-be newcomers on the basis of social, national or economic compatibility with the community.

The poll found that most Israelis oppose such measures – but that most Palestinians believe the majority of Israelis and Israeli Jews support them.

Only 40% of Israeli Jews support the small communities bill, while 48% oppose it. The study also found that 52% were against a law that would ban the public wearing of burkas or other face coverings by women.

Only 6% of Jewish Israelis and 3% of Arab Israelis said they would support the so-called “loyalty oath,” which would require would-be citizens pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, if it was only required of non-Jews. On the other hand, the poll found that 55% of Jews and 17% of Arabs support such a law if it were to apply to all applicants.

The study polled 1,270 Palestinians face-to-face in 127 randomly selected locations in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

The Israeli sample covered 511 Israeli Jewish adults and 408 Israeli Arabs interviewed by phone.

The responses of those who took part in the Israeli section were weighted according to their percentage of the general population. The poll had a 4.5-percentage point margin of error.

In addition, the poll found that 52% of Israelis support president Bill Clinton’s Camp David framework for a permanent settlement and 39% oppose it. Among Palestinians, the percentages are 40% and 58%, respectively.

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