Poll: Israeli voters don’t want ultra-Orthodox factions in next gov’t
The Israeli public 'wants to be freed from religious coercion, rather than perpetuate it'
Most Israeli voters don’t want a government that includes ultra-Orthodox factions such as Shas or United Torah Judaism (UTJ), according to a poll published by the Hiddush NGO.
The findings contrast recent indications that leaders in Israel’s current coalition intend to include UTJ or Shas in a future government as a bid for more allies in parliament.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White: New Hope (BWNH) party, said he is the only public figure that could “unite the house” because he has not been “vetoed” by ultra-Orthodox parties, The Jerusalem Post (The Post) reported.
Yet, a majority of Gantz’s voters oppose his plan, the poll conducted by Smith Research Institute for Hiddush found.
Over three-fourths – 79 percent – of BWNH voters said they are against the inclusion of ultra-Orthodox parties in the next coalition government.
An overwhelming 89 percent of Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid voters also disapprove of making concessions to ultra-Orthodox factions in a government.
The Likud voter base is the most divided on the issue, with 39 percent opposing a government with ultra-Orthodox parties, despite the likely case of Shas and UTJ being part of a Netanyahu-led government.
Hiddush CEO Ori Regev said the survey’s results conveyed that the Israeli public “wants to be freed from religious coercion, rather than perpetuate it", according to The Post.
Amid the widespread distaste of a government including ultra-Orthodox factions, the poll found that 64 percent of undecided voters, and 52 percent of all voters, said they were more likely to vote for a party that would commit itself to promote freedom of religion.