Leftists protest in Tel Aviv
Leftists protest in Tel Aviv Flash 90

A new research conducted by Midgam for the Pnima magazaine investigated the social divides in Israeli society in 2017.

The researchers studied interactions on social media, conducted polls, and interviewed people to find out how the different sectors of Israeli society see each other and how they understand social and national issues.

The largest divide in Israeli society (42%) is between leftists and rightists, and what unites the most Israelis (62%) are external existential threats to Israel's existence.

Pnima explained, "Even though we're not surprised by the poll's results, the estrangement is still deep and hatred has become one of the most prominent features of Israeli society. This study reveals how much hatred is a result of sectors not interacting with each other, and how much Israelis believe the demonization and stigmas they hear about others.

"Politicians build their careers by using words like: leftist, haredi, settlers, and Arabs - and they see this as a legitimate way to gain seats. Even though politicians use hatred to further their agendas, hatred is a universal problem which requires us to think deeply about how to solve it."

To view the full study (Hebrew), click here.

  • Here are some of the study's findings:
  • 60% of Jews believe haredim taking advantage of the State of Israel
  • 22.5% of Jews believe leftists are dangerous
  • 43.3% of Jews believe Tel Aviv residents lord themselves over the rest of the country
  • 42.8% of Jews believe Arabs are dangerous
  • 35.2% of haredim believe leftists cannot be trusted
  • 24.3% of Jews believe Ethiopian immigrants are primitive

The study also found that hatred is a result of a lack of familiarity with the sector in question. Many Israelis believe stereotypes and demonization.

Midgam also found that two-third of Arab and Jewish respondents believe it is important to get to know other sectors of Israeli society.

  • 33.6% of Jews do not personally know any haredim
  • 38.5% of Jews do not personally know anyone who lives in Judea and Samaria
  • 41.1% of Jews do not personally know any Muslims
  • 50% of Jews do not personally know any Ethiopians
  • 51.1% of Arabs do not personally know any rightists

The study also found that most Israelis base their opinions on opposition to something, instead of support of something. It also found that Israelis see leaders, especially politicians, as a dividing force in Israeli society and as benefiting from the hatred and divisiveness, sometimes going so far as to create divides and fan hatred.

However, the deepest divides in Israeli society are also the easiest to bridge. These include the divide between haredi and secular society, between leftists and rightists, and between leftists and residents of Judea and Samaria.

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