'73% of Israeli Jews support universal draft'

Israel Democracy Institute poll finds that 44% of Israeli Jews say it is more important that haredim join workforce than army

February 15, 2013 01:24
2 minute read.
Haredi man overlooking IDF ceremony

Haredi man, IDF ceremony Tal Law Keshev IDF390. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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The majority of Israeli Jews favor drafting ultra-Orthodox men into the army, according to a poll released by The Israel Democracy Institute think tank on Wednesday.

According to the 2013 Peace Index Poll, whose questions relate to universal military service and haredi enlistment, 41 percent of Jewish Israelis said the next government must create guidelines of universal service for ultra-Orthodox and Arab citizens, while another 32% said universal service should apply to haredim but not Arabs.

Some 23% of those polled said universal service should not be required of either sector, and 2% said universal conscription should be mandatory for Arabs but not the ultra-Orthodox.

The issue of haredi enlistment in national service is one of the most central issues in the negotiations being conducted between the various political parties seeking to form a new government.

A senior Yesh Atid source told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he was unaware of any other issue being discussed in the coalition talks at the moment other than that of haredi enlistment, a statement that a Bayit Yehudi source corroborated with the Post.

The IDI poll also examined the relative importance attributed to haredi enlistment and their integration into the work force. Among Jewish Israelis, 44% of those questioned said it was most important that the ultra- Orthodox join the workforce but not necessarily serve in the army, 31% said it is most important that the ultra- Orthodox serve in the army, 19% said serving in the army and joining the workforce are equally important and 5% said neither are important.

Additionally, the survey looked at the electorate’s motives in deciding for whom to vote in the recent election.

The poll found that 51% of Jewish voters decided to vote for a party based on domestic issues (such as religion, society and the economy), 23% voted based on foreign and diplomatic issues and 23% made their decision based on both sets of issues equally.

Some 54% of Likud Beytenu voters and 43% of those who voted for The Tzipi Livni Party ascribed greatest importance to diplomatic and defense issues, while 80% of Yesh Atid voters and 65% of Labor voters said domestic concerns were more important.

Some 54% of Jewish voters based their vote on party ideology, 24% voted based on the party leader, while 17% based their decision on both factors equally.

Meretz voters were the most inclined to vote on ideology, with 91% doing so, while Likud Beytenu voters were least inclined to do so with just 30% voting along ideological lines.

A majority (57%) of the Jewish public was satisfied with the election results. Among Yesh Atid voters, 74% expressed satisfaction with the results, while 72% of Bayit Yehudi voters said they were happy too. Sixty-one percent of Likud Beytenu and Tzipi Livni Party voters were also satisfied with the results, while only 36% of Shas supporters were happy with the outcome and 0% of Kadima voters expressed satisfaction with the election result. Only 37% of the Arab public was satisfied.

The survey, conducted from February 3 to 4, included 606 respondents, constituting a representative sample of the adult Jewish population of Israel. The measurement error for a sample of this size is 4.5 percentage points.

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