Thursday, March 11, 2010

48% of Israeli highschoolers oppose equal rights for Palestinians / 56% would deny Palestinians the right to run for political office in Israel

Dear friends,
a recent poll conducted by the Israel War and Peace Index revealed that 57% of Israeli's thought that "national security" was more important that human rights (see: Israeli news website, YNET,7340,L-3851567,00.html).

Today's Haaretz has reported that in another poll, half of Israel's high school students do not believe Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship should be entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel. This percentage when broken down further revealed 82% of religious Jewish students held this view, compared to 39% of "secular" Jewish students (the poll surveyed both Jewish and Palestinian Arab students).

The poll went onto reveal that 56% of students believed that Palestinian with Israeli citizenship should be denied the right to run for Parliamentary office in Israel - with the further break down being similar to the above responses.

According to a YNET article on the same poll (which lists the 48% as 46%), 21% also think that "Death to Arabs" is a legitimate expression (with 45% of religous Jews agreeing with this and 16% of secular Jews). YNET also notes that 1 out of 6 Israeli students do not want to study with Eithopian Jewish students or Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

According to one Israeli academic quoted in the Haaretz article: "There is a combination of fundamentalism, nationalism, and racism in the worldview of religious youth"

in solidarity, Kim


March 11, 2010

Poll: Half of Israeli high schoolers oppose equal rights for Arabs
By Or Kashti

Nearly half of Israel's high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel, according to the results of a new survey released yesterday. The same poll revealed that more than half the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset.

The survey, which was administered to teenagers at various Israeli high schools, also found that close to half of all respondents - 48 percent - said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Nearly one-third - 31 percent - said they would refuse military service beyond the Green Line.

The complete results of the poll will be presented today during an academic discussion hosted jointly by Tel Aviv University's School of Education and the Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel. The symposium will focus on various aspects of civic education in the country.

"Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values," said Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, one of the conference organizers.

The poll was commissioned last month by Maagar Mochot, an Israeli research institution, under the supervision of Prof. Yitzhak Katz. It took a sampling of 536 Jewish and Arab respondents between the ages of 15-18.

The survey sought to gauge youth attitudes toward the State of Israel; their perspective on new immigrants and the state's Arab citizens; and their political stances.

The results paint a picture of youth leaning toward political philosophies that fall outside the mainstream.

In response to the question of whether Arab citizens should be granted rights equal to that of Jews, 49.5 percent answered in the negative. The issue highlighted the deep fault lines separating religious and secular youths, with 82 percent of religious students saying they opposed equal rights for Arabs while just 39 percent of secular students echoed that sentiment.

The secular-religious gap was also present when students were faced with the question of whether Arabs should be eligible to run for office in the Knesset. While 82 percent of those with religious tendencies answered in the negative, 47 percent of secular teens agreed. In total, 56 percent said Arabs should be denied this right altogether.

The survey also delved into the issue of military service and following orders that are deemed politically divisive.

While an overwhelming majority (91 percent) expressed a desire to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces, 48 percent said they would not obey an order to evacuate outposts and settlements in the West Bank.

Here, too, researchers note the religious nexus. Of those who would refuse evacuation orders, 81 percent categorize themselves as religious as opposed to 36 percent who are secular.

"This poll shows findings which place a huge warning signal in light of the strengthening trends of extremist views among the youth," said an Education Ministry official.

The survey, which also revealed that a relatively high number of youth plan on voting and that democracy is still the preferred system of government, indicates "a gap between the consensus on formal democracy and the principles of essential democracy, which forbid the denial of rights to the Arab population," the official said.

"The differences in positions between secular and religious youth, which are only growing sharper from a demographic standpoint, need to be of concern to all of us because this will be the face of the state in another 20-30 years," said Bar-Tal. "There is a combination of fundamentalism, nationalism, and racism in the worldview of religious youth."


11 March, 2010

Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don't want equality for Arabs,7340,L-3861161,00.html
Some 81% of religious students said they would refuse to evacuate settlements, versus 36% of secular counterparts. Every second student is opposed to granting right to vote to Arabs, and 32% don't want Arab friends

Yaheli Moran Zelikovich
Published: 03.11.10, 10:42 / Israel News

Racism and refusal to evacuate alongside support for a democratic system of government – these are the jumbled sentiment of Israel's high school students, according to a recent poll.

They support a democratic form of government, but more than half of them believe that Arabs should not be allowed to vote in Knesset elections. One out of every six students would not want to study in the same class with an Ethiopian or an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, and 21% of them think that "Death to Arabs" is a legitimate expression.

Nearly every second student would refuse orders to evacuate settlements. They mostly prefer Shimon Peres as prime minister over Ehud Barak and Avigdor Lieberman.

The students were asked questions regarding their viewpoints on the IDF and insubordination. Some 91% of secular high school students said they want to enlist in the IDF, versus 77% of religious students. Eighty-one percent of the religious students said they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the West Bank, versus 36% of secular students. Overall, 43% of the students polled said they would refuse orders.

The teens were asked about the rights of Arab Israelis. Here, too, there was a gap in the opinions of religious and secular students. While 82% of religious students responded that they don't believe Arabs should be granted equal rights as Jews, 36% percent of seculars responded that they do not believe in equal rights for Arabs and Jews. Overall, 46% students believe there should not be equality between Jewish and Arab citizens of the State of Israel.

The poll showed that many students believe the phrase "Death to Arabs" is racist, and, therefore, not legitimate. Forty-five percent of religious students and 16% of secular students, however, believe it is a legitimate statement.

Some 82% of the religious students believe Arab Israelis should not be allowed to vote in Knesset elections, versus 47% of seculars. Overall, 56% of the high school students polled believe Arabs should not be allowed to vote.

Students were asked if they would be willing to have an Arab friend who is the same sex and age as they are. Out of the religious students polled, 81% said they would not be willing, versus 23% of secular students who would not want to have an Arab friend. Overall, 32% of students said they would not want to have an Arab friend.

'Don't want immigrants in our class'

The poll showed that secular high school students tend to be more willing to accept immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. When asked if they would want Ethiopian students to study in the same class as them, 16% of secular students and 23% of religious students answered in the negative.

When asked about their willingness to study with a classmate from the former Soviet Union, 12% of secular students answered that they would not, versus 32% of religious students.

Regarding their opinions on the character of Israel's government, the students were asked which type of government they would prefer. Eighty percent chose democracy; 16% chose dictatorship; and 4% responded that they did not know.

Seventy-five percent of Jewish students, versus 64% of Arab students think Israel is considered a democratic country. Some 20% of Arab students responded that they believe it is legitimate to forcefully oppose government policies to which they are opposed – about two times the percentage of Jewish students who believe so.

In the political sphere, the teenagers (38%) responded that there preferred prime minister is Benjamin Netanyahu. Next in line were Tzipi Livni with 24%, Shimon Peres – 19%, Avigdor Lieberman – 13%, and Ehud Barak – 6%.

The survey was conducted by the Maagar Mochot research institute on 536 youth between the ages of 15 and 18 from the Jewish and Arab sectors on the topic of today's youth and the face of tomorrow's Israel.

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