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A new survey conducted by the Center for Jewish Impact with the Geocartography Knowledge Group on Israel-Jewish diaspora relations shows that nearly 82% of Israelis view Israel as the safest place for Jews and that Aliyah should be encouraged. Most Israelis also believe that the Law of Return should remain unchanged despite recent calls to amend it. However, 66.5% of Israelis believe that diaspora Jews should not be involved in Israeli affairs.

 

A new survey conducted by the Center for Jewish Impact and Geocartography Knowledge Group in the last week of December 2022, sheds light on Jewish Israeli perceptions of the relationship between Israel and the Jewish diaspora. Despite Israel's security situation, Israelis perceive antisemitism as a worse threat, as 81.8% believe that the safest place for Jews is Israel and therefore Aliyah should be encouraged. A longitudinal comparison of this question shows a significant increase in this belief (76.2% in 2020).

58.8% of respondents agreed that the diaspora acts as Israel's first line of defense against elements hostile to the country. However, despite the importance of the diaspora expressed by this finding, 66.4% of Israelis believe the Jewish diaspora does not have a right to be involved in Israeli affairs since they don't live in Israel. This calls into question the relationship dynamics between Israel and the diaspora, as the latter is expected to defend Israel, but is excluded from intervening in Israeli affairs, which often affect them directly and indirectly.

The politically charged issue of amending the Grandchild Clause in Israel's Law of Return was also addressed in the survey, and 61.4% of Israelis have expressed concern that changing it will jeopardize the relationship between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. This believe was significantly weaker among male and orthodox to ultraorthodox respondents.

Furthermore, respondents were asked to assess the impact of the new Israeli government on the relationship between Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora, and whether it will tighten or alienate as a result. The survey found that 48% were certain the relationship will grow distant, with the belief stronger among high income and secular individuals, 23.6% were certain the relationship will grow closer, and 28.4% believed the relationship will remain unchanged, a belief stronger among the orthodox-ultraorthodox population.

Robert Singer, Chairman, Center for Jewish Impact: "This survey offers a valuable perspective on the complex dynamics between Israel and the Jewish diaspora and underscores the importance of strengthening this relationship. The rise of global antisemitism has only heightened the belief that Israel is the safest place for Jews, and therefore, Israel should facilitate Aliyah and not hinder it by amending the Law of Return. The diaspora acts as a first line of defense for Israel abroad and is our ambassador. Therefore, as Israel approaches a critical Junction, and International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is imperative to take action to increase the safety of diaspora Jews worldwide and invest more in developing a reciprocal relationship to strengthen our bond.

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Survey Basics

  • Goal: To discern the relationship between Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora

  • Methodology: Online survey, 5 questions, 3 we asked in 2020 and in this current survey to allow for a longitudinal analysis

  • Population: 500 Men and Women, internet users, 18 and older, who are a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel

  • Error range: The maximal statistical error range is 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level

  • Date: Last week of December 2022

 

Key Findings

  • Most Israelis believes that Israel is the safest place for Jews and therefore diaspora Jews should make Aliyah. This was especially prevalent among men compared to women, and low among secular compared to religious respondents. Additionally, the percentage of those who hold this belief has increased compared to the previous survey period (2020)

  • Like the previous research, two-thirds of the public believe that diaspora Jews are not entitled to intervene in Israeli affairs since they don't live in Israel.

  • Half of respondents see diaspora Jews as the first line of defense abroad against anti-Israel efforts, like the previous survey period.

  • Additionally, two thirds believe that changing the Law of Return (removing the Grandson clause, which permits third degree descendants of Jews to make Aliyah even if they are not halachically Jewish) could jeopardize the relationship between Israel and the Jewish diaspora, with this belief being stronger among women and significantly weaker among orthodox-haredi respondents.

  • As to the perception of the influence of the Israeli government on the relationship between Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora, half of respondents believe that this government will create more alienation, a belief stronger among high income and secular individuals, while a large percentage of the religious and Haredi respondents believe that the new government won't affect these relations.

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Results

Perceptions of Aliyah to Israel – longitudinal comparison

- Question: To what extent to you agree with the statement that the safest place of Jews is Israel, despite the security situation, and therefore Jews should make Aliya to Israel?

 

- Analysis: The vast majority of the Israeli public believes that Israel is the safest place for Jews and therefore Diaspora Jews should immigrate to Israel, with the belief growing stronger compared to the previous survey period at a statistically significant difference.

The rate of agreement is stronger as age increases (91% among older respondents) and lower among secular respondents (73%)

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Perception of the right of the Jewish Diaspora to be involved in Israeli affairs – longitudinal comparison

- Question: To what extent do you agree of disagree with the claim that the Jewish diaspora does not have a right to be involved in Israeli affairs since they don't live in Israel?

 

- Analysis: two-thirds of the public believes that the Jewish diaspora is not entitled to be involved in Israeli affairs since they don't live in Israel. There's no change from the previous survey period.

Consistent belief

The perception of the Jewish diaspora as Israel's first line of defense abroad against hostile elements – longitudinal comparison

- Question: Do you think the Jewish diaspora is Israel's first line of defense abroad against elements hostile to Israel?

 

- Analysis: Like the previous survey period, slightly more than half of the public believes that the Jewish diaspora is Israel's first line of defense against elements hostile to Israel, yet this belief is uncertain.

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The impact of the changing the clause in Israel's Law of Return on the relationship between Israel and the diaspora – analysis by gender and religiosity

 - Question: The Law of Return is a basic law that grants Israeli citizenship to every Jew and their descendants up to the third generation. Lately, there have been calls to cancel the grandson clause completely, so only halachic Jews can receive citizenship by law, not covering second and third generation descendants automatically. Do you believe changing the Law of Return can jeopardize the relationship between the State of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora?

 

 

 

- Analysis: two thirds of the public is certain that changing the clause in the Law of return could jeopardize the relationship between Israel and the Jewish diaspora. This belief is stronger among women and significantly weaker among orthodox-haredi respondents

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The impact of the new Israeli government on the relationship with the Jewish diaspora – analysis by level of income and religiosity

- Question: Do you think the new Israeli government will tighten or alienate the relations between Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora?

- Analysis: Approximately half of the public believes the new Israeli government will contribute to the alienation between Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora, with the belief stronger amongst secular and high-income respondents. A large percentage of orthodox-haredi respondents believe the new government won't affect the relationship.  

To read more about this survey in the media: 

The Jerusalem Post 

KAN (hebrew)

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