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2020 Israel Religion & State Index

2020 Israel Religion & State Index

We are proud to present you with Hiddush’s twelfth annual Israel Religion & State Index. This Index is published during a turbulent time in Israel’s history, in which the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its severe impact upon the economy and society are interlaced with the strife-laden and unstable political system.


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79% Israelis oppose laws to legalize draft dodging by yeshiva students

79% Israelis oppose laws to legalize draft dodging by yeshiva students

A new survey reveals how strongly the Israeli public is opposed to the demand of the ultra-Orthodox parties to pass a new 'Basic Law: Torah study', as well as an amendment to the Defense Service Law to legalize the continued draft dodging of most yeshiva students.

Thanks to Hiddush - a serious loophole closed

Thanks to Hiddush - a serious loophole closed

Just this week, on Tuesday, following Hiddush's petition, the Knesset approved regulations that would, for the first time, put a halt to the mass phenomenon of false claims of religiosity aimed at receiving exemptions from military service. Thousands of young women are exempted from IDF service every year on the basis of false affidavits claiming that their religious lifestyles prevent them from serving in the army, even though they lead secular lives.

The Knesset's pending vote on the Convenience Store Bill

The Knesset's pending vote on the Convenience Store Bill

Hiddush sent all members of the Knesset the following report in advance of the Knesset vote on operating convenience stores on Shabbat in Israel. What does the public think of the Government's acquiescence to the ultra-Orthodox parties' demands to use legislative and policy channels in order to pass a law against operating local businesses on Shabbat?

72% of the Israeli public supports permitting work on Shabbat

72% of the Israeli public supports permitting work on Shabbat

72% of the public opposes the dictates of the ultra-Orthodox parties and supports permitting work on Shabbat

Thousands continue to receive IDF exemptions for false religious claims

Thousands continue to receive IDF exemptions for false religious claims

Six years after the enactment of the law to establish an administrative process for revoking thousands of women's falsely obtained exemptions for having religious beliefs that conflict with IDF service, the process of approving the regulations to prevent such women from dodging the draft has not occurred, despite the continued phony claims of religious values.

63% Israelis not aware that Jews can only divorce via Chief Rabbinate

63% Israelis not aware that Jews can only divorce via Chief Rabbinate

More than 700,000 Israeli citizens can not marry at all in Israel, but only 11% of the citizenry are aware of this. Sixty-three percent of the public is not aware that even couples who get married civilly abroad are required to get divorced via the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.

71% of Jewish Israelis favor allowing railway maintenance work on Shabbat

71% of Jewish Israelis favor allowing railway maintenance work on Shabbat

The public believes in the principle of 'live and let live,' and it wants to support freedom of religion and freedom from religion in Israel.

Hiddush in pursuit of legal justice

Hiddush in pursuit of legal justice

Hiddush just scored a victory in the Jerusalem District Court in a freedom-of-information case, involving a huge amount of governmental grant monies, exceeding one hundred million NIS, provided to mostly Orthodox religious outreach organizations by multiple governmental agencies

‘Game Of Chicken’ On Kotel Deal

‘Game Of Chicken’ On Kotel Deal

Despite high court’s deadline, few expect egalitarian prayer pact to be implemented anytime soon.

U.S. State Department releases International Religious Freedom Report

U.S. State Department releases International Religious Freedom Report

The US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, released last week, diplomatically pans the lack of progress by the Israeli government toward increased religious freedom.

73% Israeli Jews support the use of public transportation on Shabbat

73% Israeli Jews support the use of public transportation on Shabbat

At a Knesset hearing, Hiddush presented a recent public opinion survey measuring the extent of support among Israeli Jews for public transportation on Shabbat. According to the findings, 73% of the Jewish public supports partial or full availability of public transportation on Shabbat.

67% of Jewish Israelis support freedom of choice in marriage

67% of Jewish Israelis support freedom of choice in marriage

50% of the Jewish Israeli public prefers non-Orthodox marriage. A growing majority of the Jewish public is fed up with and rejects the Israeli government's position and wants Israel to join all other Western democracies in establishing marriage freedom.

Two-thirds Israelis oppose government Kotel and Conversion decisions

Two-thirds Israelis oppose government Kotel and Conversion decisions

These Hiddush survey findings prove how far the government has swerved away from the public will and the needs of the State of Israel. Instead, the government leaders act as puppets whose strings are being pulled by the anti-Zionist, ultra-Orthodox political parties.

Secular military funerals permitted for first time ever

Secular military funerals permitted for first time ever

Following Hiddush's demands: the IDF regulations regarding the burial of fallen soldiers have been changed. It is now possible to hold a military funeral without religious contents in a military cemetery and - secular military funerals in civil cemeteries.

Support for same-sex marriage/civil unions - record high of 79%!

Support for same-sex marriage/civil unions - record high of 79%!

47% of Zionist Orthodox Israelis and 65% of voters for the Zionist Orthodox Jewish Home party support the establishment of same-sex marriage or civil unions in Israel.

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