Friday, 10 September 2010

59% of Israeli teenagers are opposed to equal rights for Arabs

To those who say Zionism is not a form of racism and that the Israeli state is not racist, then there are a few questions that should be asked. Why is it that consistently in opinion polls we see a majority of those responding calling for the removal of democratic rights from Arab Israelis? In the latest poll, 59% of Israeli teenagers oppose equal rights for Arabs. In Britain, if you asked the same question of white kids only a small if not tiny minority would say the same about Black or Jewish people.

The reason of course is not hard to find. Israel is a Jewish state. Its very ethos is about increasing the numbers of Jews and decreasing that of non-Jews. All government statistics are broken down into Jewish and non-Jewish. The law is applied differentially to Arabs and Jews. Even more so in the Occupied Territories. There would be an uproar if a Jewish child was imprisoned, subject to sexual abuse and threatened with electric shock torture and dogs. Yet this has and continues to happen in respect of Palestinian kids, who are Israel’s untermenschen. We have Rabbis stating, on the authority of the holy Torah, that there is no sin involved in killing Palestinian children.

Racism in Israel is official. There are no Commissions for Racial Equality or anti-racist laws (the one brought in when neo-Nazi Rabbi Meir Kahane was a member of the Knesset specifically excluded racism sanctioned by religion – hence why he voted for it!). There isn’t even a pretence of the state opposing racism. When the debate about deporting child migrants took place a short time ago, Netanyahu specifically stated that one of the primary factors in the matter was the Zionist one, i.e. we cannot allow non-Jews to grow up in a Jewish state.

This blog has never hesitated to call these actions Nazi in the full sense of the term. The majority of Israelis have the same attitude to Arabs Israelis as the Nazis had towards Jews. In fact the proportion of anti-semitic Germans was never, ever as high as that in Israel in respect of Arabs. At its height, under democratic elections (I exclude the March 1933 elections where the Nazis gained 44% of the vote but the Communists were effectively banned) the Nazis never got more than 37% of the vote (July 1932) slipping back to 33% in November 1932.
This is not a random poll, one out of line with others. On the contrary it faithfully reflects previous polls. For example earlier this year I posted a similar story about Israeli high school kids. Likewise the article at the bottom, Survey: Israel yet to grasp concept of democracy
from May 2003, shows that Israeli high-school students are faithfully reflecting the ideas and attitudes of their elders.

This is yet another reason why partition, the creation of 2 states, will merely reinforce this already existing racism. A secular, unitary, democratic state of Palestine is the only solution that can work, as happened in South Africa.

Tony Greenstein

Haaretz 06.09.10

Study polling 500 teens aged 15 to 18 finds that most don't think Arabs enjoy equal rights in Israel, and most of those don't think Arabs deserve equal rights.

By Or Kashti

Sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 say that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that they should not have full equal rights, according to a special survey prepared for the "Education in the Digital Age" conference held in Haifa on Monday.

The survey also revealed that 96 percent of the respondents want Israel to be a Jewish and democratic state, but 27 percent believe that those who object should be tried in court, and 41 percent support stripping them of their citizenship.

In answer to a question if they would be willing to learn in a classroom with one or more students with special needs, 32 percent answered in the negative. When the question was asked regarding Arab students, 50 percent of respondents answered in the negative. In addition, 23 percent said that they wouldn't want gays or lesbians in their class.

The survey was conducted by Professor Camil Fuchs from the Statistics Department of Tel Aviv University, in cooperation with the company Sample Project. The poll included about 500 people between the ages of 15 and 18. The conference has been sponsored by "Reshet Shocken," in cooperation with Haifa City Council.

The poll also revealed that 40 percent of Jewish youth have never been a part of a youth group, and 45 percent have never volunteered in any capacity.

In regard to motivation to serve in the IDF, 83 percent said that they don't doubt that they will serve, but about half said that they have friends that do not plan on enlisting.

More than half of the survey's respondents, 59 percent, said that they did not want to serve in combat units of the army. In response to a question of whether they would refuse to serve in the territories, 24 percent said they would refuse, 47 percent said that they would not refuse, and the remainder had not yet decided.

16th May 2003

More than half the Jewish population of Israel - 53 percent - is opposed to full equal rights for Israeli Arabs, according to a survey conducted last month by the Israel Democracy Institute.
By Mazal Mualem

More than half the Jewish population of Israel - 53 percent - is opposed to full equal rights for Israeli Arabs, according to a survey conducted last month by the Israel Democracy Institute.

The general conclusion of the survey, which is dubbed the "Israeli Democracy Survey" and will be conducted every year, is that Israel is basically a democracy in form more than in substance, and that it has yet to internalize fully the concept of democracy.

In examining various indicators concerning the state of democracy in the country, the survey takes into consideration various polls and comparisons with other democracies, and also measures changes in Israeli society over time, using both existing data and research conducted for this specific purpose. The results of the survey - conducted among 1,208 adults representing all sectors of Israel's population - will be announced next Thursday at a conference at the President's Residence in Jerusalem.

The survey focused on institutions, human rights and stability, and social cohesiveness. Each of these three elements were measured according to several indicators; a total of 31 indicators relating to the state of democracy in Israel were used.

The current survey discovered the lowest support in the last 20 years for the assertion that democracy is the best form of governance: Only 77 percent of the respondents supported this premise - as compared to 90 percent in 1999. Israel is also one of the only four countries of the 32 listed in the study, in which most of the public believes that "strong leaders can do more for the country than debates or legislation."

Prof. Asher Arian and Prof. David Nachmias, who conducted the survey, say that Israeli democracy is particularly vulnerable today because of the occupation, the intifada and the war on terror. Consequently, Israel scores relatively low on human rights and freedom of the press, which they say should be a warning sign. On freedom of the press, Israel scored 70 out of 100 - the minimum requirement for the press to be considered free. One of the reasons attributed to the dip in Israel's rating in this area, from 72 points in the mid-1990s, is the attitude of the authorities toward the foreign press since the onset of the intifada. In this respect, Israel is ahead of only Romania, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and India.

Concerning discrimination against minorities, Israel scored 3 on a scale of 0-4, and thus belongs to the bottom third of the 28 countries covered in the survey. In human rights violations, Israel (including the territories) also scores very high, leading the list together with South Africa.

The only parameter in which Israel scored highest in a positive way regards the extent that political competition is open to everyone and enables governmental change. But the flipside of this achievement is frequent changes in the government and deep social rifts, reflecting instability and lack of social cohesiveness, according to the survey. Of 26 countries, only India beat Israel in terms of social gaps. Israel and Argentina share first place in the frequency of changes in governments - five in 10 years - and thus also share first place in terms of instability.

On the institutional front, Israel scored fairly well. It ranked sixth of 36 countries in terms of representativeness and political balance, but was only 22nd in terms of voter turnout, with a 68 percent turnout in 2003 elections as compared to 77 percent in 1996, for example. Distrust between individuals also ranked high compared to other countries.

A nonprofit organization, the Israel Democracy Institute aims to promote structural, political and economic reforms, to provide information and comparative research for the Knesset and government authorities, to serve as an advisory body for decision-makers and the general public, and to encourage public discourse about issues on the national agenda.

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