Majority of Israelis to mark Tisha B’Av

Some 22 percent of Israelis will fast on Tisha B’Av and another 52 percent will refrain from going out with friends, according to a new poll.

Tisha B’Av, which begins at sundown Monday and lasts for 25 hours, is a day of fasting and lamentation marking the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

Recreational spots are closed on Tisha B’Av according to law, which 18 percent of poll respondents called “religious coercion.”

The Ynet-Gesher poll surveyed 505 Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israelis. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

As Jewish tradition says that the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred, the poll asked which groups are the most hated in Israeli society. Fifty-four of respondents answered Arabs, 37 percent named the haredi Orthodox, 8 percent religious and 1 percent Tel Avivians.

Some 42 percent of respondents said they believed that the religious-secular issue is the worst source of tension in Israeli society, while 41 percent said it was the Jewish-Arab situation. Another 9 percent said the worst source of tension is between settlers and the rest of the country, while 8 percent said it was the tension between rich and poor.