Poll: Israelis more tolerant of Islam than Swiss
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding survey finds less than one-third of all Israeli Jews support banning minarets. 'Results prove there is room for respectful coexistence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs when it is based on religion and not politics,' foundation's president Rabbi Schneier says, Ynet reported.
A survey conducted in recent days by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) through KEEVOON Research found that 43% of Israel's Jews would oppose legislation banning the construction of minarets on Mosques built in Israel while 28% would support a ban, with 29% undecided.
In November 2009, 57.5% of voters in Switzerland approved a referendum banning the construction of minarets on Mosques in their country.
The strongest opposition to banning minarets came from National Religious Israelis. Seventy-two percent of them opposed possible legislation in Israel, of whom 55% defined themselves as "strongly" opposed. Among ultra-Orthodox Jews opposition was 53%, compared to 42% of secular Israelis, and 36% of traditional Israelis. Only 16% of the National Religious would support banning minarets compared to 21% of ultra-Orthodox, 31% of traditional Jews and 29% of secular Jews, the poll showed.
"When it comes to freedom of religion Israelis are apparently much more tolerant that their Swiss counterparts," said Rabbi Marc Schneier, President of the US-based FFEU, "There is a definite correlation between religious observance and tolerance towards Islam. Israelis seem to put politics aside as opposition to banning minarets actually increases as we move further to the right on the political spectrum.
"The fact that less than one-third of all Israeli Jews support banning minarets indicates that from the Israeli point of view, there is room for respectful coexistence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs when it is based on religion and not politics," he said.