Study Shows: Over a Quarter of Israelis Feel Discriminated Against

ethiopians israel
Ethiopian Israelis protest the killing of Solomon Tekah, 19, shot by an off-duty police officer, outside Kiryat Ata, in July. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

More than a quarter of Israelis feel that they were discriminated against in the past year, a study by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) says. The discrimination was based on a number of factors, respondents said, including age, national origin, ethnic or community background, skin color, faith, gender, and physical disabilities.

The study was based on a questionnaire distributed to some 626,000 Israelis, who were asked if they felt discriminated against at any time in the past 12 months. Twenty-seven percent of those 20 years old and above answered in the affirmative. Discrimination was felt most strongly by members of the Ethiopian community (53% of community members who responded), Chareidim (40%), Arabs (37%), lower-income individuals who earn NIS 2,000 or less per capita (36%), and single individuals (34%).

Of those polled, 11% of Israelis – 8% of Jews and 24% of non-Jews – said they felt discriminated against because of their ethnic or community background. Ten percent said they felt discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, lifestyles, or activities; 19% of complainants were Muslim, and 8% Jews. Among Jews, one third of chareidim said they were discriminated against because of religious reasons, 11% were from the Religious Zionist community, and 4% of traditional or secular respondents said they were discriminated against.

Eleven percent of women said they were discriminated against because of their gender, with younger women – 18% of those age 20-29 and 16% of those 30-39 – complaining. Only 7% of women age 40 and older said they felt discriminated against.

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