Survey: Israelis prefer police over taking law into their own hands

35% of Israelis say they would react violently if someone hurt their family member or a close friend.

By SHELLY PAZ
May 28, 2007 21:46
1 minute read.
police 88

police 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Some 35 percent of Israelis say they would react violently if someone hurt their family member or a close friend, according to a recent survey. Another 15% said they would reply in such a manner if they were the victims of disrespectful behavior However, most Israelis still appear to put their trust in the police. The poll found that 67% of respondents would turn to police if they witnessed their car being vandalized. Women (75%) were more likely to do so than men (60%). The survey was conducted earlier this month by the Mutagim company ahead of the release of the upcoming movie Foul Gesture, which follows a man's decision to take the law into his own hands after his car is vandalized by a criminal he knows. Examining other instances in which people might resort to violence, the poll found that systematic abuse of Civil Service workers would drive 8% of the respondents to react violently, while 5% would do so in an argument over a parking spot. A total of 37% of respondents said they would not be provoked to violence in any of the situations outlined in the survey. Asked how they would respond if they caught someone deliberately vandalizing their car, almost 16% said they would track them down to "deal with him privately and violently,' while 14% said they would not do anything and another 2% said they would plan revenge. According to the survey's geographical breakdown, residents of Gush Dan and the South were more likely to react violently, while Jerusalem residents were the least likely to do so. Commenting on the poll, Prof. Hanoch Yerushalmi of the University of Haifa's Department of Community Mental Health explained that "worldwide, overcrowded cities are characterized by higher rates of violence as areas of conflict." While noting that the respondents were expressing their attitudes on the questions asked and not reporting on a specific event, nonetheless "Israel suffers from a high level of violence in comparison to other countries and that has to do with the everyday violence from both the outside and the inside. The higher the habitual level of violence, the more physical aggression becomes part of the locals' language." "In these sorts of place, when the level of distress increases, people increase their use of violence in an effort to express themselves better."

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