Bintel Blog

Plenty of Israelis Support Right-Wing Insubordination, Poll Shows

By Nathan Jeffay

So, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the settler rabbi who was encouraging soldiers to disobey orders to dismantle outposts, appears to have backed down. But according to a surprising new poll, there are plenty of Israelis who think that insubordination in the army is okay.


Jewish Israelis were asked if they deny the right of right-wing soldiers the option of refusing to participate in evacuating Jewish settlements in the territories. Some 29% of respondents agree to soldiers taking this route; 63% were against. There was also strong support for left-wing soldiers refusing to serve in the territories, with 18% of respondents supporting them and 77% coming out against. 



The really fascinating thing about this poll, a monthly Tel Aviv University “War and Peace Index,” is that it shows support for left-wingers refusing to serve in the territories is strong among a group that rarely shows much sympathy for the left — Haredim. With 32% of respondents this community endorsing this “right,” support was higher here than among the religious (31%), the traditional (20%) and the secular (12%). In fact, given that most left-wingers refusing to serve in the territories are secular, all these statistics are surprising. 



So what is going on here? The breakdown of support for subordination by right-wing soldiers may offer a clue. Here the rates of support stand at 66% among the Haredim, 50% among the religious, 25% among the traditional, and 12% among the secular. What we seem to see is a surprising case of right-to-left solidarity, with the two groups most strongly in support of right-wing insubordination rallying behind left-wing insubordination in a bid to be consistent.

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