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February 6, 2013 10:19 am
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82.9% of Israeli Teenagers Identify as Zionist, New Poll Finds

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Theodor Herzl leaning over the balcony of the Hotel Les Trois Rois.

82.9% of Israeli teenagers define themselves as Zionist, while only 15.8% define themselves as non-Zionist, according to a new MarketWatch poll conducted for the Zionist Council of Israel.

An equal number, 82.9%, of respondents knew the words of the national anthem, Hatikva, perfectly. While 9.9% knew large parts of the anthem, and 1.1% said they knew none of the anthem’s words.

The poll was conducted to mark the National Youth Zionist Congress that was held this week. Some 300 Israeli Jewish teens between the ages of 15 to 18 responded to a number of questions about Israel and Zionism.

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The study showed that while the large majority of Israeli teenagers have a fervent belief in the state of Israel, they don’t necessarily have as good an understanding of the history of the state.

More than half, 53.5%, didn’t know what the Oslo Accords were. 70.8% of ultra-Orthodox respondents didn’t know versus the 48.2% of secular respondents who didn’t. Some 28.7% did not know the significance of the date Nov. 29, 1947 (the passage of the U.N. partition plan).

“The poll’s findings prove that Zionism is alive and kicking and perhaps more relevant today than ever before,” Yaakov Hagoel, the head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Activities in Israel and Countering anti-Semitism, said. “There is no doubt that Israeli youth are connected to Zionism and the land of Israel, but there is also a need to strengthen and deepen knowledge about the history of Zionism and the State of Israel, particularly in the ultra-Orthodox sector, where there are significant gaps in understanding the foundations of Zionism and the recent history of the State of Israel.”

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  • Yoel Nitzarim

    As Israel matures and develops into a more unified country in terms of service in the Israel Defense Forces and a greater intermingling of the diverse elements of ethnic communities along with the religious communities, people will feel more comfortable with their diverse backgrounds. It is primarily a matter of discovering the common humanity shared by every aspect and segment of the entire society. Education will also play a major role in integration of what now seem like disparate groups of people. We are a stiff-necked people whose very continued existence has always been contingent upon our oneness as a nation whose backbone rests firmly on our culture, tradition, customs, and mores as a people, our connection to the Word, and our ability to adapt to the exigencies interfacing with quotidian living.

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