Haaretz Poll: Vast Majority in Israel Oppose Intermarriage
In the wake of a nation-wide controversy sparked by the recent marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab, the Haaretz newspaper commissioned a comprehensive poll on attitudes toward intermarriage among the Israeli public.
The poll, conducted by the respected Dialog Institute, under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs, found that 75% of Jewish respondents would refuse to marry someone of a different religion.
In addition, 60% said they would object in principle to one of their relatives dating a non-Jew. More than 56% of these said they were "actively involved in preventing the intermarriage of a relative."
The poll also found that Jews were more opposed to intermarriage with Arab Christians and Arab Muslim than with non-Arab Christians, apparently due to the evidence that such marriages have a low chance of success.
In response to the results of the poll, Yad L'Achim said it was encouraging that even among the secular public a strong majority oppose intermarriage and view assimilation as an existential threat to the Jewish people.
However, the fact that 25% of the public doesn't have a problem with intermarriage signals the need for a serious, countrywide education campaign.
Yad L'Achim calls on the Israeli government to increase Jewish education in state schools so that young people come to understand the importance of marrying Jews and of Jewish continuity.
Officials note that many parents have turned to Yad L'Achim to express their concern over social gatherings with Arab youths that have been arranged by the Education Ministry. It is regrettable that instead of acting to prevent social gatherings that could lead to assimilation, the ministry is actually encouraging them, Yad L'Achim officials said, stressing that there are others ways to teach tolerance.