Israelis Split Over Jewish State Bill

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The proposal to formally declare Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people has been getting a mixed reaction from the Jewish people in the state of Israel, according to a new poll.

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) found that almost 40% of Israeli Jewish respondents believe it would harm the interests of the state, while just over 31% said it would be a good thing, The Jerusalem Post reported.

In addition, respondents were leery about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s motives for backing the law Some 61.3% said he did so to please the Israeli right-wing. Just 29.7% said they were persuaded the prime minister was acting out of a sincere concern for strengthening the Jewish character of the state.

The poll came out just after the Knesset was dissolved on Tuesday, in part a result of a sharp split within the government coalition over thebill.

Another issue explored by the poll dealt was that of employing Israeli Arab citizens amidst the ongoing wave of terror.

While Mayor of Ashkelon Itamar Shimoni was heavily criticized by political leaders, including Netanyahu, for a partial ban on Arab workers doing construction work in his city, the poll showed that a large minority supported him.

Fifty-two percent of respondents opposed the idea of banning Israeli Arab workers from working at “sensitive” sites such as schools and 43% supported such steps.

Just over 25% of respondents said they opposed employing Arab doctors and nurses in hospitals and nursing institutes, as opposed to almost 69% who said they supported employing Arab medical professionals.