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The Recent Israel Poll
by the Jewish Magazine Staff
According to a recent poll made in September,
1998, which polled some 500+ Israeli youth between the ages of
16-18 interesting trends were noted. The poll was carried out
by "Dahaf" and reported in the "Yediot Ahronot"
daily newspaper. The results were a bit surprising since most
of the local news sources have assumed that the average Israeli
is "pro-peace," meaning for the Oslo accords and that
he is anti-religious. The results of the polls are as follows.
In questions regarding peace and concessions
to the Arabs the following is the leaning of the youth questioned:
The obvious results from this article is the strong showing for
the Right, the hawkish group who support the current Prime Minister
Netenyahu and his tough stand against granting liberal concessions.
The Left is the doveish group calling for granting large concessions
to the Arabs with little security concerns.
The second surprise was that if election were to be held now 41%
would vote for Netenyahu, while only 22% would support his rival,
Ehud Barak. The other 37% would support other candidates or wouldn't
vote. This also indicates the rise of the Right over the Left.
In regards to Army service, the bastion of Israeli pride, the
results were disappointing. Only 81% planned to be drafted into
the Army. In Israel, all teenage youth are required by law to
be drafted into the army. To refuse the draft is an unaccepted
practice. Yet the refusal of the Israel youth is surprising to
the elder generation who prize army service as a manly contribution
to building the state. Of the 81% who planned to be drafted, only
88% wanted to be drafted, the rest accepted their fate, but did
not want to serve. This means that only some 29% of the Israel
youth do not view army service in a positive light. The large
majority of Israelis, a whopping 71% look forward to fulfilling
their military duty. Of those who planned to be drafted 49% desired
to be in one of the prestigious combat units.
In manner of religion, only 10% felt that they were more religious
than their parent, whereas 28% felt that they were less observant.
Yet 85% said that they fast on Yom Kippur, 58% are careful to
eat only kosher food, and 38% observe the Sabbath.
What is seen from these surveys is all though the Israeli youth
may appear to be separated from their Jewish sources and roots,
yet they maintain a strong identity with the traditional customs
of their ancestors and they esteem deeply the land. The Zionist
idea perhaps has lessened for several of these youths, but love
of the land of Israel and it's Jewish culture still is strong
in the hearts of the nation's youth.
from theNovember 1998Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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