PROTESTERS AGAINST a law that would lower the volume of mosque loudspeakers hold a sign in Umm el-Fahm that reads, 'You will not silence the muezzin.'.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A majority of the Jewish public is in favor of the “muezzin bill” that would prohibit mosques from using loudspeakers for the call to prayer, a phenomenon that many complain disturbs their sleep in the very early morning hours.
According to the Israel Democracy Institute’s monthly peace index poll, 56% of Jewish respondents support the bill, which has been proposed by Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev and was scheduled for a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Tuesday.
However, 59% of Jewish respondents also thought it possible to reach understanding between Jewish and Arab communities to solve the problem without legislation.
Among Arab respondents, 93% said arrangements could be made without the bill.
The bill has been welcomed by those living close to Muslim neighborhoods, who say they have suffered due to the excessively loud volume of the call to prayer coming from some mosques in the predawn hours of the morning when the first call is made.
Critics, however, have said that the issue can be resolved through existing laws, and that the legislation would inflame tensions in Israel between Jewish and Arab communities and in the broader region.
In addition to the muezzin bill, the IDI poll also assessed attitudes to the settlements arrangements bill, which will retroactively legalize settlements built without proper authorization and on private Palestinian land.
Of those polled, 46% of Jews said they supported the government’s position in favor of the legislation, while 43% supported the attorney general’s position against the bill.
The bill passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Monday
On a similar issue, 44% of Jewish respondents support annexing the West Bank to Israel, while 38% oppose such a step.
And a clear majority of Jew who were surveyed think that Palestinians living in a newly expanded State of Israel should not have full civil rights.
Asked if they agree with the statement, “If the territories are annexed and one state is established under Israeli rule, there will be no choice but to give the Palestinians full and equal civil rights,” 48% disagreed, while 42% agreed.
The poll also asked whether or not the respondent considered the Jewish people to be greater than other peoples.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they did not believe the Jewish people to be greater than others, while 41% said they did.
Broken down according to religious observance, 80% of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community, 72% of the religiously traditional and 64% of the religious-Zionist community believe that the Jewish people are greater than other peoples.
This month’s peace index survey was conducted by telephone from November 29 through December 1 by the Midgam Research Institute.
It included 600 respondents (500 Jews, 100 Arabs) as a representative sample of the population ages 18 and over, and was reported to have a margin of error of 4.1%.
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