More and More Israelis want Clear Religion – State Demarcation
The portion of the Israeli public that wants to see religion and state clearly separated is already a clear majority and continues to grow rapidly according to a new Religion & State Index released by Hiddush, a non-governmental organization that advocates the separation. According to the polling, those who favor a split between religion and government grew from 56% to 68% during the past five years. The new data also demonstrates a basic shift in the religious outlook of Israelis, many of whom are not religiously observant but previously would nevertheless opt for the more traditional approach to Jewish lifestyle events. Regarding marriages, whereas 68% said in 2015 that they would wed under Orthodox auspices, in 2017 that number has shrunk to 50%. Another clear indicator, civil marriage is catching on as well, with those advocating for it rose a dramatic 11% — to 30% — during that same time. Another growing trend is the growing public acceptance of supervision of kosher restaurants by organizations other than the office of the Chief Rabbinate. The results of the Hiddush data provides important insight into political issues, providing for instance, a tangible show of public support for and against the Conversion Bill, which also has implications for relations between Israel and the American Jewish community.