Survey says friendships and relationships in Israel are often confined to one’s own religion.
Jews constitute about 75% of Israel's population, followed by Muslims at 20%, and other minorities, including Christians and Druze, at 5%. The Jews themselves are divided into 4 major categories. Haredi (ultra-orthodox) at 8%, Dati (religious) at 10%, Masorti (traditional) at 23%, and Hiloni (secular) at 40%. All of them live in close proximity to each other in this small country, however, when it comes to marriage and other close relationships, they may very well be living on different planets.
The gap exists not only between the different religious people but also among the religious subgroups. For instance, not only do the Haredi Jews mostly have Jewish friends, but also Jews, who are mostly Haredi. This is as per a Pew Research Center survey. Pew Research Center is an organization based in Washington DC. It provides information/data on public opinion, social issues, and demographic trends affecting or shaping the U.S. and the world.In Israel, religious intermarriages and any kind of civil marriages are prohibited. The country, however, legally recognizes the civil marriages that take place outside the country. All marriages in Israel are conducted based on the respective religious laws and within the religious courts. However, it does not mean that in Israel there are no interfaith couples. It's just that you will find such couples are extremely rare, only 1% among Christians, Muslims and Druze, and 2% among the Jews, according to the Pew report.
The entire Jewish population remains solidly behind the idea that Israel is their homeland, and that the country is their safe haven from the rising anti-Semitism all over the world. They also share many traditions. However, when it comes to relationships, they prefer to remain in their own shells. This attitude is reflected in various public policy questions, including public transportation, military conscription, marriage, divorce, and so on.
Based on the Pew report, 95% of the Haredi and Hiloni Jews are married to partners from the same Jewish subgroup. Masorti Jews are pretty moderate in their religious observance, hence, you will be able to find more couples who belong to other Jewish subgroups. 97% of the Jews says that they are not comfortable with the idea of their children marrying a Muslim. 89% do not like the idea of their children marrying a Christian. 82% of the Muslims in Israel do not want to see their children marrying a Jew, 75%, marrying a Christian. Christians and Druze in Israel also oppose interfaith marriage as well.
- Pew Research Center –Religious groups in Israel keep to themselves when it comes to marriages and friendships
- Pew Research Center –Israel’s Religiously Divided Society