Hiddush survey presented to Knesset Subcommittee on Public Transport

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.

Egged Bus

73% of the adult Jewish Israeli public supports full or limited public transportation on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. 45% support public transportation "on a limited scale along central lines and at a lower frequency, perhaps with service taxis [instead of buses]," and 28% support "full-scale public transportation, such as during weekdays." Among supporters were 94% of the secular Jewish public, 75% of the traditional Jewish public, and 86% of immigrants from the former USSR.

The Hiddush survey was conducted by the Smith Polling Institute among 800 people as a representative sample of the adult Jewish Israeli population in July 2017.

These findings, their consistency, and the growing support over the years clearly indicate the need and the public's desire for a change in policy to introduce public transportation on Shabbat in Israel on a limited scale, on central routes and at reduced frequency. Moreover, public opinion shows that the boundary line on this issue is not between right and left, but between those who desire a Jewish and democratic state, recognize the public's right to free movement on Saturdays, and internalize the principle of 'live and let live' - and those who aspire to turn Israel into a halakhic state, enslaving the entire public to their religious worldview. The civil parties in the government coalition must represent their voters and the will of the overwhelming majority of the general public, and they must refuse to vote like marionettes manipulated by the ultra-Orthodox political parties. The time has come to respond to the public's will.

Hiddush has been studying the public's attitudes regarding the introduction of public transportation on Shabbat systematically since 2010. There has been a consistent rise in public support for public transportation - from 58% in 2010, to 63% in 2011, to 70% in 2014, and to 73% in 2016 and now again in 2017.



73% of Israeli Jews support the operation of public transportation on Shabbat - this includes 45% who support this on a limited scale and 28% who support this on a full scale. On the other hand 27% of Israeli Jews oppose this, including 19% who support the current situation (with almost no public transportation on Shabbat) and another 8% who want to do away with all public transportation on Shabbat entirely.

94% of secular Israeli Jews support public transportation on Shabbat, as do 75% of traditional Israeli Jews. 73% of Zionist Orthodox Israelis oppose this, including 51% that support maintaining the current situation and another 22% who support doing away with all public transportation on Shabbat. In the ultra-Orthodox sector, 95% are opposed, including 42% who support doing away with all public transportation on Shabbat, including that which is available today.

Among voters for the civil coalition parties, the majority support full or partial public transportation on Shabbat, including: 70% of Likud, 82% of Kulanu, 93% of Yisrael Beiteinu, and 55% of Jewish Home party voters. Among voters for the ultra-Orthodox political parties, 97% of Shas voters and 93% of United Torah Judaism voters oppose public transportation on Shabbat. Voters for the opposition parties strongly support the operation of public transportation on Shabbat, including: 97% of Zionist Union, 97% of Yesh Atid, and 100% of Meretz voters.



Among those with above-average income who do not need public transport on Shabbat due to the availability of private transportation, the 80% level of support for public transportation on Shabbat is higher than among those with average incomes (70%) and below average incomes (69%). It appears that support for the operation of public transportation on the Sabbath is considered both practical and fundamental to the population that needs it the least.

In all regions of the country, a majority supports public transport on Shabbat: in the Jerusalem area: 62%, in Tel Aviv and the Center: 72%, in Haifa and the North 72%, in the Beer Sheva area and the south: 73%, and 85% in the Sharon region.

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