Another incident has added to the realities of increasing religionisation of the public space in Israel. Recently, an initiative taken by a MK of Meretz has failed to establish a parliamentary bloc. The initiative aim at promoting secular culture and identity in Israel in the face of the incessant religionisation campaign within the Israeli education system.


Failure was mainly attributed to reluctant parties that view themselves as the spearhead of secularism, but have not supported the initiative. These included the Zionist Camp, Yisrael Beitenu [Israel Our Home], and Yesh Atid [There is a Future].

This incident raises a question about the number of Jews who defined themselves as secular. According to many public opinion polls conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research between 1994 and 2014, a conclusion that researchers came to was that the discourse which used to divide the Israeli society into religious and secular was not built on a solid foundation. Researchers stressed that there was an extension within the community of individuals, who remained true to religious duties, and even among those who were not fully committed to these duties. There was not a sharp dichotomy between both groups.

Beyond doubt, the problem which emerges from this data is not merely a result of religiosity, but of using the religionisation machine to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians and to attempt to convert it into a religious one, as is demonstrated in many instances.

The Israeli scene Supplement is issued in cooperation with The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The content of the supplement does not necessarily reflect the position of The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Friday, May 27, 2022


The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.