That’s at least what a new survey suggests. Only 28 percent of respondents said they would support legislation banning the construction of minarets on Mosques built in Israel, according to the survey. Last November, almost 60 percent of voters in Switzerland approved a referendum legislating such a ban for their country.
Fourty-three percent of Jewish Israelis said they would “oppose” such legislation and 29 percent were undecided. The strongest opposition to banning minarets came from national-religious and Haredi Israelis, who opposed a minaret ban in Israel by 72 and 53 percent, respectively. According to the survey, 42 percent of secular Israelis reject and 29 percent would support a ban.
“When it comes to freedom of religion Israelis are apparently much more tolerant that their Swiss counterparts,” commented Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which conducted the survey with the Israeli Kevoon research company. “The fact that less than one-third of all Israelis support banning minarets indicates that from the Israeli point of view, there is room for respectful coexistence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs when it is based on religion and not politics.â€
Respondents were also asked if the Swiss legislation changed their opinion of Switzerland. Somewhat ironically, however, more Israelis said they now viewed the country more positively than negatively (25 and 19 percent, respectively).
Of course, Islam has an entirely different place in the Holy Land than in Helvetia, but it’s interesting nonetheless.