Over 66% of Jewish Israelis Agree with Rabbi’s Controversial Statement

Yitzhak Yosef, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel. (File)

The majority (66.5 per cent) of Israel’s Jewish public agree that “it is a commandment to kill a terrorist who comes at you with a knife”, according to the latest Peace Index published by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University.

Respondents were asked if they agreed with the above statement, made in early March by the Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.

If divided by level of religiosity, the results showed that 94 per cent of ultra-Orthodox, 89.5 per cent of religious, 68 per cent of religious-traditional, 72 per cent of nonreligious traditional and 52 per cent of secular Jews agreed with Rabbi Yosef’s comment.

The poll also showed that Israel’s Jewish population was divided on the question of whether to fight terror effectively one can ignore human and civil rights. A total of 49 per cent agree that it is permissible to do so and 46 per cent do not agree.

Among those who define themselves as right-wing, 61 per cent thinks one can ignore human and civil rights under conditions of fighting terror.


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