YNet: Oops. We mean that 51% of Israelis are secular

Are you a bit suspicious of academic institute studies that release highly charged statistics? You ought to be considering the correction issued by Asher Arrian the directory of the Guttman Center. First they led us to believe that magically Israel had morphed into a religious society. It has been from day one a secular society that had made accommodations for a religious minority. Now they say, "Yeah, that is what we meant." Can you recall what Mark Twain said? "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Let there be no doubt. Israel is a secular Jewish State. And we are proud of it.
Study: 51% of Israelis secular

Three months after indicating only 20% of Israelis are secular, Israel Democracy Institute reports new data stating 50% of Israelis are secular, 30% are traditional and 19% Orthodox or haredi
Kobi Nahshoni

Its previous study caused bonafide uproar. Religious Jews rejoiced, secular Jews were offended, and even Yair Lapid was called in to assure secular Jews that “they are not vanishing just yet”. Now, however, it appears that this was truly much ado about nothing.

Three months ago, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) released its annual Democracy Index, which revealed a marked decline in the number of Israelis that define themselves as secular, and had indicated that only 20% of the Israeli population can be regarded as secular in its religious beliefs.

This represented a new “low” for Israel’s secular population, which had seemingly declined from 41% in 1973 to 20% in 2007.

On Sunday, however, the IDI’s Guttman Institute released new survey data revealing very different figures, and indicating that Israel’s secular Jews constitute roughly half of the country’s population. The discrepancy between the two studies, researchers maintained, was due in large part to a misinterpretation of earlier survey data.

A message on the IDI’s website stated that “The 2008 Israel Democracy Index uncovered the following breakdown of Israel’s population: 51% of Israelis are secular, 30% traditional, 10% Orthodox, and 9% haredi. We are sorry for any misunderstanding stemming from earlier data which might have conveyed the wrong impression.

The Guttman institute also maintained that its newly released data is virtually identical to survey data obtained from the Central Bureau of Statistics, which indicated that 44% of Israelis are secular, 25% are traditional but not religious, 14% are traditional and religious, 10% are Orthodox and 7% are haredi.

The institutes newly released survey data is based upon a representative sample of 1106 Israelis. The completed Israel Democracy Index will be released in May, but the center decided to release some preliminary data earlier in order to correct their earlier blunder....more

1 comment:

Abe Bird said...

It is very hard to define "secular" in Israel. How do you call an Israeli that drives his car on Shabbat but eats Kosher, fasts and attends synagogue at least once a year in Yom Kippur, circumcises his sons and his wife lights candles in Shabbat eve?