Polls Show Majority Support Segregated Tefillos in Public

A man dons his tallis ahead of tefillos on Yom Kippur at Dizengoff Square. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Recent polls conducted by Channel 12 and Kan News have revealed a significant level of support among Israelis for allowing gender-segregated tefillos in public areas. These findings come in the wake of a controversial incident during Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv, where clashes occurred over the use of temporary partitions to separate men and women during tefillos at Dizengoff Square.

According to Channel 12, 48% of Israelis support the idea of gender-segregated prayer in public spaces, with 42% opposing it. KAN’s results show 47% in favor and 34% against such prayer.

The Tel Aviv Municipality had previously banned the use of such partitions in public areas, a decision upheld by the High Court in the lead-up to Yom Kippur.

Additionally, the polls delved into the political landscape and examined potential election outcomes. KAN’s poll suggested that Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party would lead with the largest number of mandates, while Channel 12’s findings indicated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud would be in the lead.

According to KAN, National Unity would secure 30 seats, Likud would attain 27 seats, Yesh Atid would earn 18 seats, Shas would receive 10 seats, and the Religious Zionist party would garner nine seats. United Torah Judaism would claim seven seats, while Yisrael Beytenu, Ra’am, and Hadash-Ta’al would each secure five seats, with Meretz earning four seats. These numbers would leave the opposition with 62 seats and the coalition with 53 seats, considering that Hadash-Ta’al does not typically join coalitions.

Channel 12’s poll presented slightly different results, with Likud securing 28 seats, National Unity obtaining 27 seats, Yesh Atid earning 18 seats, Shas receiving 10 seats, and the Religious Zionist party gaining nine seats. United Torah Judaism would secure seven seats, while Yisrael Beytenu would earn six seats, and Ra’am, Hadash-Ta’al, and Meretz would each get five seats. This configuration would leave the opposition with 61 seats and the coalition with 54 seats, as Hadash-Ta’al generally does not join coalitions.

When respondents were asked about their preference for prime minister, KAN’s poll showed an even split, with 39% favoring Netanyahu and 39% favoring Gantz. In response to a similar question in N12’s poll, 37% said Netanyahu would be the better choice, while 35% favored Gantz. When presented with Yair Lapid as an option alongside Netanyahu, 39% said they preferred Netanyahu, while 29% favored Lapid.

Regarding the potential participation of Lapid and Gantz in a government with Netanyahu, should Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich leave due to the conditions of a future normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, 47% said they should not join the government, while 36% were in favor.

Channel 12 also inquired about the public’s perception of Netanyahu’s recent visit to the U.S., finding that 22% believed the visit went very well, 27% thought it went decently, 18% thought it went fairly badly, and 17% thought it went very badly.

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