Attention coalition negotiators: Survey finds 70% of seculars want new government to exclude haredi parties. 'Shas and UTJ have made the public hate them; Israelis want a civil revolution,' says Hiddush association CEO
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming his next coalition, a new survey reveals that 80% of Israeli Jews are in favor of a civil government with an agenda focusing on freedom of religion and an equal share of the burden.
The survey, commissioned by the Hiddush association for religious freedom and equality, was conducted by the Smith Institute among 500 respondents – a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel. The maximum sampling error was 4.5%.
Sixty-eight percent of Habayit Hayehudi voters were also in favor of such a government (26% said they were very supportive and 42% said they were pretty supportive of the idea).
In addition, even 39% of Shas voters voiced their support for a civil government.
According to Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev, the fact that an overwhelming majority among Likud Beiteinu voters supports a government that will advance freedom of religion and an equal share of the burden shows that "the era in which haredi parties were perceived as natural coalition partners is over."
Should Lapid push haredim out?
The survey respondents were also asked whether they believe Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid should push for a government excluding the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.
Fifty-four percent of the Jewish public said he should, while 46% said he should not. Among secular respondents, 70% supported a government without ultra-Orthodox parties, and 93% of haredim objected to the idea.
A breakdown of the results according to party voters reveals that 51% of Likud Beiteinu supporters think Yair Lapid should demand a government without haredi parties, while only 39% of Habayit Hayehudi voters are in favor of such a government.
Among voters of leftist-centrist parties, the percentage of those who responded affirmatively is higher: Yesh Atid voters – 76%, Labor voters – 72%, Hatnua voters – 75%, and Meretz voters – 83%.
UTJ to head Finance Committee?In previous Knessets, the chairman of the Finance Committee was mostly a representative of the United Torah Judaism faction. The survey's last question tried to find out whether the Jewish public is in favor or against continuing this tradition.
About two-thirds of the Jewish public (67%) were against giving the job to a UTJ lawmaker, and one-third were in favor. Eighty-eight percent of seculars were against the idea, while 97% of haredim were in favor.
Commenting on the survey results, Rabbi Regev said that "it proves unequivocally that the public favors a government which will lead a civil revolution and conduct comprehensive reforms that will advance freedom of religion and an equal share of the burden.
"That was the public's message in the elections by bringing Netanyahu and Lapid together, and that is its message in the survey as well.
"These parties should engage in self-examination and ask themselves why so many people want a civil government and expect Lapid to keep out of the government, and why such a large part of the public, including Likud voters, doesn't want to see UTJ head the Finance Committee."