Questionnaire for the candidates

Hiddush to Labor Party candidates: Spell out your positions on issues

Hiddush sent the six candidates a questionnaire in which it asks them to specify their positions on a series of subjects: civil marriage, core curriculum studies, conversion, funding for yeshivas, and more. Hiddush: Labor’s positions on matters of religion and state will significantly affect its chances of recovery

Labor candidatesLabor candidates Photo:Yossi Zliger Flash90

Hiddush – For Freedom of Religion and Equality today sent a questionnaire to the six candidates for leading the Labor Party, asking them spell out their positions and proposals for action in a range of areas related to freedom of religion and equality in shouldering the civic burden. The object is to inform the primary election voters of these positions and provide them with another tool for deciding which candidate will get their vote. Among the issues listed: Forming a civil government that will be able to carry out a revolution in matters of religion and state; introducing civil marriage, conditioning school funding on their teaching the core curriculum, lengthening Daylight Savings Time, and more.

The head of Hiddush, Rabbi Uri Regev, and the vice president of research and information at Hiddush. Shahar Ilan, point out that, “the Religion and State Index studies that Hiddush conducts reveal consistently high support and caring among Labor voters for issues of religious freedom and equal burden sharing. We have no doubt that registered party voters will be very interested in the candidates’ positions.”

Regev and Ilan also say that without a doubt, “the party’s stance on issues of religion and state will significantly affect its chances of recovering, renewing itself, and becoming relevant to the target constituencies that might support it.”

The Hiddush Religion and State Index for 2010 found that 86% of Labor and Meretz voters favor recognition of all types of marriage (the merging of Labor and Meretz voters was done for statistical reasons, but the vast

consistently high support and caring among Labor voters for issues of religious freedom

majority of cases was of course that of Laborites and the results were categorical); 80% think that funding should be withheld from haredi schools that do not teach the core curriculum; 92% of Labor and Meretz voters support reducing the funding for yeshivas and large families to goad Haredi men to join the workforce.

In view of these clear-cut positions, Hiddush believes that the campaign the Labor candidates are waging ought to deal far more with issues of religion and state and ways to resolve them. The questionnaire asks the candidates to detail their stance and what they would be willing to do to implement that stance with regard to each of the following issues:

  1. Forming a civil government that will carry out a revolution in the realm of religion and state relations.
  2. Introducing civil marriage and divorce.
  3. Recognizing all types of conversion commonly practiced in the Jewish people.
  4. Making school funding conditional upon teaching the core curriculum.
  5. Restricting the number of students the state funds at yeshivas and the duration it funds the studies there (excepting an elite of gifted scholars), to prompt married yeshiva students to get jobs.
  6. Dramatically increasing benefits for those who perform military or civil national service, in preference to those who do not serve.
  7. Halting gender segregation for religious reasons in the public sphere.
  8. Extending Daylight Savings Time in accordance with the recommendations of professionals and without being influenced by religious considerations.
  9. Operating limited public transport on Shabbat.
  10. Eliminating the Religious Services Ministry.

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