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April 15, 2013 8:51 am

Poll: 92% of Jewish Israelis Proud to be Israeli

avatar by Zach Pontz

Underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the scars each side carries from a traumatic past. Photo: MathKnight and Zachi Evenor

A new poll commissioned by Israeli daily Israel Hayom shows that almost 92% of respondents said they were very proud or somewhat proud to be Israeli.

74.6% of Israel’s Jewish population is “very proud” to be Israeli; this figure represents a 5 percentage point increase compared with a similar poll last year, a difference that is statistically significant (the sampling error is +/- 4.5%). The younger generation is the proudest, with 90.5% of those between 18 to 24 saying they are “very proud” to be Israeli.

The poll shows that the proportion of those who are not proud of being Israeli has also gone up, from 5.1% to 6.2%.

Haredi respondents comprised the largest proportion of those who said they were not proud to be Israeli (21.1% said they were “not proud at all,” 9.5% said they were “not too proud”). This sentiment extends to the haredim’s responses on the question of whether Israel is a good place to live. Some 44.1% of haredi respondents said Israel is not a good place to live, compared with 20.1% of secular respondents who said so.

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However, despite reservations with expressing their pride, an overwhelming majority of ultra-Orthodox Jews — 91% — said they prefer living in Israel than anywhere else.

Israelis are also more in favor of living in Israel than moving abroad. 81.3% say they prefer living in Israel, while 8.9% say they would rather live elsewhere. Secular Jews have the highest proportion of respondents who want to live abroad (12%).

The ratio of optimistic vs. pessimistic Israelis is virtually one to one, although the latter group is slightly larger: 19.7% said they were more optimistic this year than they were last year, compared with 20.1% who said they were less so. Some 57.5% of respondents said they were just as optimistic as they were last year.

When asked, “What troubles you most?” 21.5% of those participating in the survey said “personal security.” The second-most worrisome development, as far as Israeli Jews are concerned, is rising global anti-Semitism. Some 16.1% of Israelis cited that problem as their chief concern, compared to 12.1% last year.

Number three on the list is the economy (15.7%), followed by car accidents (15%). Surprisingly, the Iranian nuclear program and the situation on Israel’s borders are a distant 5th and 6th, respectively.

The survey was conducted by New Wave Research and polled 500 Israelis 18 or older.

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