Poll: Tradition holding Jews together

Only one fifth of Israelis see country as unifying force for world Jewry.

November 20, 2006 16:42
1 minute read.
religious zionists 298.88

religious zionists 298.8. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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A survey by Market Watch carried out among a representative sample of the Israeli public shows that two thirds of the public believe that there exists a common denominator between Jews in the Diaspora and Jews in Israel. According to the findings, 43% of the Israeli public believes the main source of unity between Jews is Jewish traditions and ceremonies [i.e., brit mila, bar mitzvah, weddings]. It is primarily the religious sects who see tradition as the main focus of identification. Common historical memory and collective consciousness ranked next as the most prominent factors in Jewish solidarity. About a third of the public agrees that the holocaust, common history and the fear of anti-Semitism are the main factors holding the Jewish nation together. Unlike the religious Jews, those who define themselves as secular see common history as the main defining factor, equal in strength to holidays and Jewish ceremonies. About a third of the Jews in Israel agree that the Magen David is the main symbol uniting Jews in the Diaspora and Israel, the study showed. Only a fifth of the Jews in Israel, however, see the country as unifying force for the nation, according to the survey. This finding seemed to show the failure of Zionism to make the Jewish state the focal point of the Jewish nation. The survey, carried out on June 6, 2006, comprised 502 interviewees, representing a national sample of the Hebrew-speaking Jewish population in Israel.

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