Polls show most Israelis oppose segregating Jews and Arabs in hospitals

A poll presented on Channel 2’s “Meet the Press” Saturday night found that only a third (34 percent) of Israelis support separating Jews and Arabs in maternity wards.

April 9, 2016 21:18
1 minute read.

Long empty hospital corridor (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Most Israelis oppose segregated maternity wards in hospitals, a survey found after reports of the illegal practice sparked controversy last week.

A poll presented on Channel 2’s Meet the Press Saturday night found that only a third (34 percent) of Israelis support separating Jews and Arabs in maternity wards, and 61% opposed it, while another 5% did not know. The poll’s margin of error was 4.3 percentage points.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The vast majority of Israelis (82%) said they would be willing to have an Arab doctor treat them, with only 13% opposing the option.

The poll was taken online on April 7 by Midgam Research and Consulting among 505 people, a representative sample of Israeli adults.

The Israel Democracy Institute reported in its 2015 Democracy Index that 77.8% of Jewish Israelis said it does not make a difference if a Jewish or Arab doctor treated them or their children, and 91.4% of Israeli Arabs agreed.

In other words, the assessment by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi), that most of the public agrees with him when he advocated such a separation, is inaccurate.

Most of the public also disagrees with Smotrich’s wife, who said in a televised interview that she would not want an Arab doctor delivering her baby.

Smotrich said on Tuesday that “after giving birth [his] wife wants to rest and not have a party like Arab women do,” and his “wife would not want to lay down next to someone who just gave birth to a baby who might want to murder her baby in 20 years.”

His remarks followed an Israel Radio report that several hospitals around the country separated Jewish and Arab women in the maternity ward, at some women’s requests, though it is illegal. The hospitals denied the allegations The report and Smotrich’s support of the policy sparked outrage across the political spectrum.

On Saturday, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said, “Smotrich is a terrorist attack on Israeli public diplomacy. He is standing with [far-left NGO] Breaking the Silence in slandering Israel to the world.”

Related Content

Eitan Broshi
July 18, 2018
Alleged sexual harassment rocks Zionist Union