Majority of Arab Israelis Want Arab Parties in Coalition Government, Majority of Jewish Israelis Amenable Three-Quarters of Arab Israelis Believe Arab Leadership Should Deal With Daily Problems, Not Palestinian Issue
Majority of Arab Israelis Want Arab Parties in Coalition Government, Majority of Jewish Israelis Amenable
Three-Quarters of Arab Israelis Believe Arab Leadership Should Deal With Daily Problems, Not Palestinian Issue
Tuesday, 25 June 2013, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker St., Jerusalem - An extensive survey, conducted by Prof. Sammy Smooha of Haifa University, finds that over the last 10 years Arab Israelis have become more extreme in their attitudes to the state and its Jewish majority while Jewish Israelis have maintained their position or become more amicable to the Arab minority.
On Sunday 30.06.2013 from 14:00 to 19:00, IDI - in cooperation with the University of Haifa and the Jewish-Arab Center - will host a symposium to discuss these and other noteworthy findings of the 2012 Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel.
Additional findings of the 2013 Index:
The Israeli Arab Perspective
- Israel's Right to Exist: 25% of Israel's Arab citizens deny Israel's right to exist as a state.
- The "Nakba": 82% accuse Jews of the Nakba, and 48% have participated in Nakba commemoration events.
- Reconciling with Jewish Israel: 61% reconcile themselves to Israel as a state whose language is Hebrew, 60% with Saturday as the day of rest, 56% with a Jewish majority, and 53% with an Israeli-Hebrew culture. Despite this, 70% believe that it is not justified that Israel maintains a Jewish majority.
- Jewish and Democratic: 48% would vote in a public referendum for a constitution that "defines Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and guarantees full citizenship rights to Arabs," a sharp drop from 71% in 2006.
- Desire for Integration: 42% are in favor of living in Jewish neighborhoods, and 37% want their children to attend Jewish high schools.
- Relations with the Majority: 78% fear grave violation of their basic rights, and 68% fear population transfer. 62% feel that it is impossible to trust most Jews, and 56% feel estranged and rejected.
- Government Treatment of Minorities: 71% feel that the government treats them as second-class citizens or as hostile citizens who do not deserve equality.
- Affiliation to Israel: 55% would prefer to live in Israel than in any other country in the world. Yet, 12% feel that Israeli citizenship, as compared to religious affiliation or Palestinian peoplehood, is their most important identity.
- Arab Leadership: A majority think that the Arab national leadership institutions truly represent Arab citizens: the Arab High Follow-up Committee (63%), the Arab political parties (62%), and the Committee of Arab Local Councils (55%). However, 76% believe that they should deal more with solving daily problems and less with Israel's dispute with the Palestinians, 63% think they do not serve the Arab population in advancing solutions to its problems, and 61% believe they do not serve the Arab population in protesting against the state and its policies.
- Arab Parties in Government: 73% want Arab political parties to join coalition governments.
- Third Intifada: 59% believe that "it is justified that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip start a third Intifada if the political stalemate continues." 58% agree that "it is justified that Arab citizens in Israel begin an Intifada of their own if their situation does not improve significantly."
The Israeli Jewish Perspective
- Israel's Right to Exist: 92% of Jewish Israelis believe that Israel has the right to exist as a state catering to the needs of Jews in the country and around the world.
- Minority Rights: 75% believe that Arabs have the right to live in the state as a minority with full citizenship rights. 58% agree that the state has to allow Arabs to self-administer their religious, cultural, and educational institutions.
- Desire for Integration: 55% accept Arab students in Jewish schools, and 46% accept Arab citizens as neighbors.
- Relations with the Arab Minority: 69% believe that an Arab citizen who defines himself as a "a Palestinian Arab in Israel" cannot be loyal to the state and its laws, 65% fear Arabs endangering the state because of their struggle to change its Jewish character, and 52% fear the high Arab birthrate. 58% avoid Arab areas in Israel out of fear or rejection. 28% favor denying Arabs the right to vote in Knesset elections.
- Government Treatment of Minorities: 31% feel that the government treats Arab Israelis as second-class citizens or as hostile citizens who do not deserve equality.
- Arab Parties in Government: 53% accept Arab political parties in government coalitions.
- West vs. ME: 65% prefer that Israel be integrated into the West rather than the Middle East.
Participants in the conference will include:
- Admiral Ami Ayalon, former Director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet)
- Prof. Tamar Hermann, Academic Director of IDI's Center for Surveys
- Dr. Nabil Khattab, Head of the Arab-Jewish Relations Project at IDI
- Muhammad Darawsha, Co-Executive Director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives
More information about the symposium and additional findings of the Index may be found online. The conference will be held in Hebrew; English interviews may be scheduled upon request. The event will be broadcast live on the IDI website and will be available later on the IDI YouTube channel.
To RSVP for the event or for more information, contact:
Director of International Communications