Most Israelis don’t regard Jerusalem Day as a holiday, poll finds

Religious Jews are more likely to celebrate Jerusalem Day.

May 11, 2018 06:25
1 minute read.
Israelis celebrate as they hold Israeli flags during a parade marking Jerusalem Day.

Israelis celebrate as they hold Israeli flags during a parade marking Jerusalem Day, the day in the Jewish calendar when Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Old City from Jordan during the 1967 Middle East War, just outside Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City May 24, 2017.. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)


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Seventy-two percent of Israelis think Jerusalem Day, which falls on Sunday this year, and celebrates the capital’s reunification in 1967, is “just a regular day,” a poll published on Thursday found.

Religious Jews are more likely to celebrate Jerusalem Day. More than half (52%) of liberal-religious Israelis mark it in some way, while 63% of those who identify as “religious,” do, as do 75% of national-haredi respondents, according to a survey conducted by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

But only 13% of haredim (ultra-Orthodox) do not see Jerusalem day as one like any other.

Jerusalem Day was declared a national holiday after the Six Day War, and is linked to the controversy over what Israel should do in the West Bank. This year, Jerusalem Day is the day before the US moves its embassy to the capital.

Israelis on the Right are far more likely to celebrate Jerusalem Day than those on the Left. Asked if they raise an Israeli flag on the holiday, about a third of right-wing Jewish Israelis said yes, whereas less than 5% of those on the Left did.

The poll also found that when asked if they agreed that “being a good Jew means settling all of Greater Israel,” meaning sovereign Israel and Judea and Samaria, 53% said greatly or very greatly.

Among religious Jewish Israelis, 85% agreed with the statement, whereas only 26% of those who identified as completely secular agreed. Secular-traditional Israelis were split 50-50 on the matter, 69% of those who identified as traditional agreed with the statement, as did 73% of liberal religious, 83% of national haredi, and 44% of haredim (ultra-Orthodox).

The poll was conducted among 3,000 Israeli Jews by the JPPI’s Israel-Judaism Project, headed by Senior Fellow Shmuel Rosner and pollster Prof. Camil Fuchs. The margin of error is 1.8%.

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