A majority of young Israeli Jews between ages 15-24 define themselves as right-wing, and a growing number of them are religious, a study published Thursday said.
Sixty-seven percent of Jewish youth define themselves as right-wing (or center-right), while just 16% consider themselves to be left-wing in findings from a survey of Israeli youth by the Macro Center for Political Economics and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, cited Thursday in a Yedioth Ahronoth report.
In a similar survey by the two organizations 19 years ago, 50% of respondents classified themselves as secular compared to 9% who referred to themselves as ultra-Orthodox. Those numbers moved to 40% and 15%, respectively, in this year’s edition, demonstrating increased religious tendencies.
Seventy-four percent of Jewish youths indicated that the most pressing issue requiring the government’s attention was the cost of living, and not security issues posed by the Palestinians or Iran.
Respondents were also asked to identify the divide that most endangers Israeli society today — that between the left and right, religious and secular, rich and poor, Jews and Arabs or Ashkenazim and Mizrahim. The majority saw the dispute between Jews and Arabs as the most harmful, while the ethnic rift was indicated as the least worrisome.
But recognizing the divide does not necessarily indicate a broad desire among Jewish youth for coexistence with Israel’s Arabs citizens; an April 2016 poll found that nearly half (48%) of Jewish Israeli high school students believe Arabs should not have the right to vote.