77% of Israeli Arabs prefer Israel

Published: 2 August 2008
Briefing Number 219

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A recent opinion poll of 1721 Israeli Jews and Arabs, conducted on behalf of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, produced the following findings (reported in Haaretz newspaper, and news agencies, on 23 June 2008):-

•  77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country in the world

•  69% of Israeli Jews believe that contributing to coexistence with the Arabs is a “personal responsibility”

•  68% of Israeli Jews support the teaching of conversational Arabic in Jewish schools to help bring Arab and Jewish citizens together

•  73% of Israeli Jews want Israel to be a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and mutual responsibilities (and so do 94% of Israel Arabs)

Key message: We hear much about Israeli Arabs' resentment, and their feelings of discrimination. Without question, Israel faces major challenges of coexistence and integration. But beyond the headlines, Israeli society clearly has qualities which appeal to its Arab citizens. The Harvard survey refutes the claim that Israel is an ‘apartheid state'. It also highlights the resilience of Israeli society, and its values. Despite ongoing conflict in the region, a large majority of Israel 's citizens wish to reach out to Israel 's Arab population.

See also: The collection of Briefings under ‘Israeli society in the midst of conflict', under All Beyond Images Briefings. And the area on the Beyond Images homepage called ‘ Israel 's Democratic and Humanitarian Values'.