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Monday, May 23, 2011
Results of 2010 Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel: 62.5% of Arabs believe the Jews will eventually leave Israel

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

62.5% of Arabs believe that “Jews in Israel are foreign settlers, do not fit
in, destined to leave the country for the Palestinians”

The late Rechavam Ze`evi was fond of saying that peace will only come
between Jews and Arabs when the the Arabs reach the conclusion that we are
not a passing presence - like the Crusaders. But since the Crusaders were
in Israel for hundreds of years before they were expelled, Ze'evi explained,
it will take hundreds of years for the Arabs to conclude that we are indeed
permanently here.]

Results of 2010 Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel: 62.5% of Arabs
believe the Jews will eventually leave Israel

Press Release
05/18/2011 [Translated from Hebrew by IMRA}

A decade of erosion in Co- existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel

Findings from the 2010 Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel, of Prof.
Sammy Smooha, indicates the 10 years of erosion in the close relationship
between Jews and Arabs. Professor Yitzhak Weissman, head of the Jewish -
Arab Center at Haifa University: "Nevertheless, there is among most of the
public a strong committment to living together - a surprising depth of
commitment in light of the events of recent years"

The findings of the 2010 Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel indicate a
continued distancing between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel and further
exacerbation of Arab positions. The survey, whose findings are being
released for the first time, is held every year by Prof. Sammy Smooha under
the sponsorship of the Jewish - Arab Center at Haifa University. The survey
examines the attitudes of Arabs and Jews towards each other and the state
and serves as a tool to detect trends in their attitudes over time.

Analysis of the surveys conducted in the first decade of the new millennium
show that it was a lost decade in relations between Arabs and Jews. A series
of internal and external developments led to increasing mutual alienation
with a consequent worsening of the Arab positions.

The findings of the index shows that the decline in public attitudes over
the past decade continued in 2010 and raise the question whether the current
decade will be another lost decade, says Prof. Sami Smooha. The percentage
of Arabs who deny the right of Israel to exist as a state was 20.5% in 1976,
6.8% in 1995 (second Rabin government), 11.2% in 2003 and 29.5% in 2010. The
percentage of Arabs who deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish-Zionist
state was 62.1% in 1985, 35.3% in 1995, 61.4% in 2003 and -66.4% in 2010.
The percentage of Arabs who agree that "Palestinian refugees will receive
appropriate compensation and be permitted only to return to the Palestinian
State" continuously decreased from 72.2% in 2003 to 40.0% in 2010. The
percentage of Arabs who support the use of violence to advance matters of
Arabs in Israel was 17.9% in 1976, 6% in 1995, 3.3% in 2003 and -. 11.5% in
2010.

Similar findings were also found among the Jews. 68.6% of Jews in 2010 felt
distanced from the Arab citizens, 39.3% were not willing to work under an
Arab, 67.9% reported avoiding entering Arab towns in Israel, 16.5% (15.9% in
1985) rejected revoked the right of existence of the Arab minority to live
in the country, 32.6% (24.1% in 1985) supported the denial of voting rights
of Arab citizens, and 51.9% of them were in favor of amking the Hadash Party
illegal.

A deep gap was found between Arabs and Jews in the collective memory. 62.5%
of Arabs believe that “Jews in Israel are foreign settlers, do not fit in,
destined to leave the country for the Palestinians” and 71.0% said that "
the Jews are the main culprits in the Nakba that happened to the
Palestinians in 1948." The percentage of Arabs who reported participation in
the events of the Nakba increased from 12.9% in 2003 to -36.1% in 2010.
Also, 37.8% of Arabs do not believe that "A Holocaust took place in which
millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis", a denial that is to be
interpreted as defiance and not as denial of the Holocaust or the lack of
knowledge.

Among Jews, a majority of 57.7% said they did not believe "a disaster
happened in 1948 (Nakba) to the Palestinian Arabs in that they lost the war
with the Jews, became refugees, their communities were destroyed and did not
establish their own state." This statement can be interpreted as imposing
guilt of the Nakba on the Palestinians rather than a denial that it
occurred. 68.1% of Jews opposed that the Arabs mark Nakba Day with public
events, and 66.8% said that the Palestinians are the mainly responsible for
the prolonged conflict with the Jews.

On the other hand, the picture emerging is complex. There is a strong
commitment of the Arab and the Jewish society to co - existence in the State
of Israel within the Green Line (with a Palestinian state established next
to it), with life carried on by the principles of democracy, loyalty to the
state and developing voluntary mutual relations. 63.7% of Arabs and 76.9% of
Jews agreed that "Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens should have equal rights
and equal duty of loyalty to the state" and 78.2% of Arabs and 90.1% of Jews
said that "Arab and Jewish citizens only have the right to change their
relationship via democratic and legal means". 62.3% of Arabs and 91.4% of
the Jews agree that they would "rather live in Israel than in any other
country in the world." Only 20.5% of Arabs say they are ready to move to a
Palestinian state, a statement of defiance of the minority that does not
indicate serious intent. Professor Yitzhak Weissman - Director The Jewish -
Arab Haifa University explains that "the factors that led to deterioration
are rooted in government policy and laws enacted recently in the Knesset and
the strengthening of the power of radical religious elements in both sides.
However, despite the erosion of the indices, it is surprising, given the
events of recent years, to find how strong there is a sense of obligation to
live together. "

"Despite the deep rift there is an agreement between most Jews and most
Arabs to live together in Israel," concludes Professor Smooha, "such that
there still exists a basis of a joint society. This basis was eroded since
the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and the collapse of the policy
change towards the Palestinian Arab minority that the Rabin government was
practicing." Professor Wiseman added: "it is the duty of government and
civilian organizations, such as the Jewish - Arab Center, to do their best
to foster bridges between Jews and Arabs."

The 2010 Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel Arab Relations Index is
based on a representative national survey of Arab citizens aged 18 and over
living in Israel, including Druze and Bedouins. Data were collected in 711
face to face interviews in Arabic. The Jewish survey is based on telephone
interviews in Hebrew and Russian with a representative national sample of
700 Jews aged 18 and over, including immigrants, anxious settlers. The
sampling error for each poll is 3.7%.

These findings and others will be discussed at the annual meeting of the
Index to be held at the University of Haifa on Sunday, May 22, 2011, between
the hours of 1:30 to 6:30 in the afternoon in the Senate

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