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Poll: 45% of Israeli Jews don't think Arabs should have equal rights

Did the good folks at Israel’s Army Radio station not think to ask Arab citizens themselves whether they think they deserve full and equal rights?

A Palestinian citizen of Israel votes in the 2015 elections, March 17, 2015 Ramle, Israel. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian citizen of Israel votes in the 2015 elections, March 17, 2015 Ramle, Israel. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israel’s Army Radio conducted a poll of Jewish citizens of Israel and asked them whether Arab citizens of Israel should have equal rights.

No, this is not the start of a joke.

Yes, over 20 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arab.

No, not a single one of those Arab citizens were asked whether they themselves think they should have equal rights. (Or whether Jews should, for that matter.)

The Jewish respondents in the poll were asked whether they support full, equal rights for Arab citizens of the state.

Forty-five percent said “no.”

Six percent said “it depends.”

Another six percent said they “don’t know.”

Forty-three percent of the Jewish-only respondents said they do support full equal rights for Arabs citizens of Israel. (See the poll results in Hebrew.)

The poll did not specify what type of rights it was referring to.

Yes, Israel’s army runs a radio station, of which around a quarter of adult Jewish — yes, only Jews again — Israelis listen to every six months. Yes, the army runs another radio station that just under 30 percent of Jewish adults in Israel listen to.

The poll also asked Jewish Israelis whether they think members of Knesset, Israel’s parliament, are more concerned with the public’s interest than they are about political interests.

Twenty-one percent said they agreed; 76 percent disagreed.

Another 84 percent of the Jewish-only respondents said that the Knesset and its political parties represent them and their values.

Over 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arab, but only 13 percent of Knesset members are Arab (16 MKs). Arab citizens were not asked whether they think the Knesset is concerned with their interests or whether it represents them or their values.

Likewise, roughly 50 percent of Israeli citizens are women, but only 23 percent of Knesset members are women. The pollsters did not ask whether women feel the Knesset is concerned with their interests or if it represents them and their values.

During Israeli general elections last year media polls regularly excluded Arab candidates and voters from their surveys. In general, it not at all uncommon to exclude entire ethnic groups from political public opinion surveys.

The Army Radio survey polled 503 Hebrew-speaking Jews over the age of 18. It was not clear what the margin of error was, or whether the questions were posed in person, by phone or by internet.

Correction: The original headline mistakenly stated that 46 percent of those polled oppose equal rights for Arabs. Due to a typo, it should have been 45 percent.

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    1. Ben

      You proud Israeli silent and not so silent majority, is this “the idea of a Jewish nation state” you are always going on about with such complacency? (In the spirit of “Ok, granted the American Founders knew a thing or two about the tyranny of the majority and about separation of church and state, about the need for a constitution and checks and balances, but don’t worry, we can handle it, we are not like other human beings, we can be both ethnoreligious and democratic, it will be alright, what’s the problem?”):

      “46% of Israeli Jews don’t think Arabs should have equal rights.”

      And this “Jewish state” too? This too is the one you have such complacency about? This state with this record of tolerance, of protecting its minorities from discrimination and from the tyranny of its majority? Yeah?:


      “According to a press release from the abbey, the graffiti was found shortly after midnight Sunday morning and followed “loud chanting and music by Jewish right-wing radicals,” an almost-weekly occurrence in the neighborhood where the abbey is situated. The statement added that the abbey’s inhabitants had been promised security cameras by the police following a previous incident of vandalism at the site in 2013, but that so far none have been installed.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        100 years of war. Nobody is nice to their avowed enemies. The Arabs have fought tooth and nail to stop our nation state from coming to existence and when they failed, they resorted to brutal terror against us. So we are not nice to them either. Put it down to the human condition.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          I purposely combined two distinct examples of Israeli behavior. I anticipated your unloading on “the Arabs.” To expose the emptiness of your defense of a “Jewish nation state” one need only point to my other example. Please explain to me, Gustav, how the area’s Christians, generally, and those of Jerusalem’s Dormition Abbey and of the Galilee’s Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes in particular, have deserved (1) the treatment they receive at the hands of members of the Israeli majority, and (2) the lack of protection from that treatment they have experienced at the hands of “the nation state of the Jewish people.” Are these people your “avowed enemies” too? Who engage in “brutal terror”? Defacing their sacred spaces and terrorizing them is what we should put down to “the human condition”?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            What exactly was vicious in my posts against Arabs, Benny? I stated indisputable historical facts. Let me state those facts again…

            1. The Arabs fought tooth and nail to try and stop our nation state from coming to existence…

            2. After they failed, they fought a brutal terrorist war against us right from 1949 to this date. Note, 1949 was before 1967 which is the date when the occupation started. And that occupation came about because of yet another war of aggression initiated by the Arabs in 1967.

            Are you able to dispute any of the above facts, Benny? Because if not, then you automatically admit that what I said was factual, not vicious.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Actually, you failed to answer anything on any page here today, avoiding every difficult question by ignoring it entirely and throwing up an expansive thicket of far right assumptions as fact and then demanding I “dispute” that thicket. All of what you write is vicious and small minded in my opinion. And as we have already definitively established, Israel attacked Egypt in ’67 and that attack was calculated and not preemptive and Israel used the pretext to seize land it coveted but did not need. Your own generals and PM Begin admitted this. We have already covered this ground. The occupation was started, sustained and expanded to this day for one main reason: to seize land, and not for any genuine defense reason. To this day. Sorry. This is the truth. That +972 examines that truth in English not just Hebrew is the reason you shower it with ad hominem attacks.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            We have established no such thing.

            And you were the one who steadfastly refuse to answer my question…

            What would America have done if you guys would have been in our situation in 1967?

            …what if China would line up it’s troops say in Cuba and Mexico, start sabre rattling that it is about to end the evil Capitalist rule, mount guerilla raids into the USA from across those borders and block off an international water way like the Panama canal?

            …would you guys just stand by and take it on the chin? Of course not!

            Reply to Comment
          • Eduardo Cohen

            What would we have done in 1967? Well we probably wouldn’t have started the war.

            By the way, whenever you start a sentence with the words THE ARABS or THE JEWS or THE BLACKS or THE MUSLIMS, whatever you say after that — unless you’re going to say something like breath air or expel carbon dioxide or convert food into excrement– is going to be RACIST. So, for the record, there were many Arabs who were never participated in violence against Jews or Israelis and many others who would have welcomed an opportunity to show sympathy and hospitality for Jewish European refugees of the Holocaust if it didn’t involve the taking of their land. Even the most generous plan offered by the United Nations involved giving areas of land that were disproportionately larger than the size of the Jewish population. And also, the Zionists led by Ben-Gurion, Shamir, Begin etc had already armed themselves and planned the violent expulsion of Arab families from the land they identifies as Israel.There are some very good Jewish Israeli scholars who have documented these facts. But it always sickens me to see Jews, who remember the racist crimes carried out against Jews by Germany, expressing such ugly racism against Arabs. Jews SHOULD be the last people on Earth to embrace racism. Many of the indigenous Indian nations of North America fought tooth and nail to prevent other Europeans from stealing and taking over THEIR land. That resistance was appropriate and justified and didn’t justify the theft.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Oh and of course in 1947, the Arabs refused to accept the UN resolution of partitioning the British mandate into two states, one Arab one Jewish. They immediately after it’s announcement, they resorted to their usual tactic of violence. And they never stopped their violence ever since.

            Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        BEN:”the idea of a Jewish nation state”

        Yep. And we are not unique.

        England is a Christian nation state. So is Greece, the Vatican and many other formal Christian states.

        And that’s not all. There are many Muslim states as well. In fact, Hamas is proposing their shiny new state from the river to the sea as an Islamic state.

        And there are individuals in all those states who commit illegal things.

        But what does Benny do? He singles out the only the Jewish state and points to what a few individuals do wrong in order to prove his assertion that out of all those states only the Jewish state is wrong.

        Also, because Benny is such a racist. He forgets to mention why we insist on having a Jewish majority state. We insist on it because for too ling, racists like Benny were persecuting us when we were minorities amongst them. Old habits die hard. Now he turns his ire against the Jewish state which he singles out.

        Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ah ok, it must be right if Noam Sheizaf says so (NOT!)

            In theory at least, the only discrimination that non Jewish Israelis need to experience in the Jewish state of Israel is…

            1. Immigration rights.

            2. The national culture which encompasses things like national holidays, the official language etc. and even in those, the minorities can be given some quarter.

            In every other way, the minorities can have equal rights and opportunities especially if we would have real peace.

            You don’t think so Benny? Well then tell us why? Because of human nature and tyranny of the majority?

            …well then, if you are right (which you are not), then tell us why do you think we should agree to swap what we have to the alternative of an Arab majority who would oppress us instead?

            Moreover if an Arab minority would not be happy living in a Jewish country, they can do something about it. They could migrate to up to 22 Arab countries where they would be part of the majority.

            …but what would we do if the leftist experiment (gamble) that you want us to take would fail? What if the so called secular democratic state would turn into another Arab majority state and the Arab majority would oppress us? Where else could we go? After all there are no other Jewish states where we could practice the Jewish culture. Why should we give that up if you people object to Palestinian Arabs being a minority who feel that they cannot be proper Arabs in a Jewish state?

            Reply to Comment
    2. Felixio

      This Larry Singleton is one of the reasons why is so much antisemitism in the world.

      Reply to Comment