While significant shares of Israeli Arabs and Jews are optimistic about the prospect of a two-state solution, those who would live in this new independent state – the Arabs currently in the Palestinian territories – are less optimistic about it.
They come in several basic styles, with some more favored by particular Jewish subgroups than others.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Israel’s largest wave of Jewish immigrants arrived from Russia and other former Soviet republics. These Soviet Jews brought a secular mindset to Israel, and more than two decades later, Jews who were born in the former Soviet Union continue to be noticeably less religious than Israeli Jews overall.
Israeli Druze make up roughly 2% of the country’s population and live mostly in the northern regions of the Galilee, Carmel and the Golan Heights. Their tradition dates back to the 11th century and incorporates elements of Islam, Hinduism and even classical Greek philosophy.
Nearly all Jews in the United States and Israel say they are proud to be Jewish, and strong majorities in both countries say they feel a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people. But the two Jewish communities do not always agree about what it means to be Jewish.
The two largest organized Jewish denominations in America – Reform and Conservative Judaism – together have about five times as many U.S. members as the historically much older, more strictly observant Orthodox community. But the Reform and Conservative movements have a far smaller footprint in Israel.
Public optimism among Israeli Arabs and Jews that a two-state solution is possible may be receding in Israel.
There are only about 6 million Jews living in Israel, but there are major religious, social and political chasms that divide them.
Key takeaways from Pew Research Center's comprehensive study of religion in Israel, where there are major divisions not only between Jews and Arabs, but also within the major subgroups of Israeli Jews.
A historic event within global Christianity is set to take place Friday as Pope Francis meets Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba – the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches since the Orthodox tradition broke away from Catholicism nearly 1,000 years ago.