Most Israeli Jews Would Support Apartheid Regime in Israel
Survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, exposes
anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a majority of
By Gideon Levy
October 23, 2012 "Harretz"
-- Most of the
Jewish public in Israel supports the establishment of an
apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank.
A majority also explicitly favors discrimination against the
state's Arab citizens, a survey shows.
The survey, conducted by Dialog on the eve of Rosh Hashanah,
exposes anti-Arab, ultra-nationalist views espoused by a
majority of Israeli Jews. The survey was commissioned by the
Yisraela Goldblum Fund and is based on a sample of 503
The questions were written by a group of academia-based peace
and civil rights activists. Dialog is headed by Tel Aviv
University Prof. Camil Fuchs.
The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference
for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government
ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to
treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent don't
want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent
don't want their children in the same class with Arab children.
A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs
from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent
objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if
Israel annexes the West Bank.
A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for
Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter - 24
percent - believe separate roads are "a good situation" and 50
percent believe they are "a necessary situation."
Almost half - 47 percent - want part of Israel's Arab population
to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority and 36 percent
support transferring some of the Arab towns from Israel to the
PA, in exchange for keeping some of the West Bank settlements.
Although the territories have not been annexed, most of the
Jewish public (58 percent ) already believes Israel practices
apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 percent think such a system is
not in force here. Over a third (38 percent ) of the Jewish
public wants Israel to annex the territories with settlements on
them, while 48 percent object.
The survey distinguishes among the various communities in
Israeli society - secular, observant, religious, ultra-Orthodox
and former Soviet immigrants. The ultra-Orthodox, in contrast to
those who described themselves as religious or observant, hold
the most extreme positions against the Palestinians. An
overwhelming majority (83 percent ) of Haredim are in favor of
segregated roads and 71 percent are in favor of transfer.
The ultra-Orthodox are also the most anti-Arab group - 70
percent of them support legally barring Israeli Arabs from
voting, 82 percent support preferential treatment from the state
toward Jews, and 95 percent are in favor of discrimination
against Arabs in admission to workplaces.
The group classifying itself as religious is the second most
anti-Arab. New immigrants from former Soviet states are closer
in their views of the Palestinians to secular Israelis, and are
far less radical than the religious and Haredi groups. However,
the number of people who answered "don't know" in the "Russian"
community was higher than in any other.
The Russians register the highest rate of satisfaction with life
in Israel (77 percent ) and the secular Israelis the lowest -
only 63 percent. On average, 69 percent of Israelis are
satisfied with life in Israel.
Secular Israelis appear to be the least racist - 68 percent of
them would not mind having Arab neighbors in their apartment
building, 73 percent would not mind Arab students in their
children's class and 50 percent believe Arabs should not be
discriminated against in admission to workplaces.
The survey indicates that a third to half of Jewish Israelis
want to live in a state that practices formal, open
discrimination against its Arab citizens. An even larger
majority wants to live in an apartheid state if Israel annexes
The survey conductors say perhaps the term "apartheid" was not
clear enough to some interviewees. However, the interviewees did
not object strongly to describing Israel's character as
"apartheid" already today, without annexing the territories.
Only 31 percent objected to calling Israel an "apartheid state"
and said "there's no apartheid at all."
In contrast, 39 percent believe apartheid is practiced "in a few
fields"; 19 percent believe "there's apartheid in many fields"
and 11 percent do not know.
The "Russians," as the survey calls them, display the most
objection to classifying their new country as an apartheid
state. A third of them - 35 percent - believe Israel practices
no apartheid at all, compared to 28 percent of the secular and
ultra-Orthodox communities, 27 percent of the religious and 30
percent of the observant Jews who hold that view. Altogether, 58
percent of all the groups believe Israel practices apartheid "in
a few fields" or "in many fields," while 11 percent don't know.
Finally, the interviewees were asked whether "a famous American
author [who] is boycotting Israel, claiming it practices
apartheid" should be boycotted or invited to Israel. About half
(48 percent ) said she should be invited to Israel, 28 percent
suggest no response and only 15 percent call to boycott her.
© Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved
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