Ashkenazic Chareidim, Arabs Report Most Personal Discrimination


81 percent of Israeli Arabs feel that they are the victims of discrimination – and among Jews, the group that feels the most discriminated against are Ashkenazic chareidim, typically voters of United Torah Judaism. A European Union-funded poll on discrimination showed that 43 percent of UTJ voters felt that others discriminated against them in work, social settings, and other areas.

The poll was taken between September 2016 and January 2017, and included a representative sample of 2,557 Israelis. The results of the poll were published in Ha’aretz over the weekend. Participants were asked if they would included themselves as members of a group that was discriminated against, and which political party they belonged to or voted for.

The last time this poll was taken was over a four-month period in 2014-2015, and the results of that poll showed that both Arabs and Ashkenazic chareidim felt less discriminated against. In the previous poll, 62 percent of voters of Arab parties felt discriminated against, as did 32 percent of UTJ voters.

Among Jews in the new poll, the second-largest group to feel they are discriminated against are Meretz voters, 29 percent of whom said they were victims of discrimination. They were followed by Shas voters, and voters of Jewish Home, Kulanu, Zionist Camp and Likud. Only 5 percent of voters for Yisrael Beytenu – presumably mostly of Russian or Eastern European backgrounds – felt discriminated against, the poll showed.

Commenting on the results, Ha’aretz journalist Yossi Verter wrote that “Arabs, leftists and chareidim see themselves as being discriminated against. It is easy to understand that feeling among the first two,” given the rightwing government in Israel now. “It is sometimes dangerous to belong to those groups in Israel of 2017.”


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