Israel Hayom poll: 73% of Israeli Arabs feel a sense of belonging, 82% have no desire to live under Palestinian rule – 73% say Israeli-Palestinian conflict was about land, 19% cite religion – Separate poll shows more alienation among east Jerusalem Arabs.
By Baruch Ron, ISRAEL HAYOM
Some 73% of Israeli Arabs feel a sense of belonging and 60% are proud to be Israelis, according to a new poll commissioned by Israel Hayom and conducted by the New Wave Research Institute that was released Tuesday. The poll questioned 426 Arab Israelis aged 18 and up, and did not include the Druze community.
Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (65%) defined themselves as not religious, while 35% said they were religious. Some 46% identified as Israeli Arabs and 42% identified as Palestinian Arabs, while only 3% identified as Israelis.
Almost three-quarters of the respondents (73%) believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about land, while 19% believe it is about religion. The remaining respondents either did not know or declined to answer.
A total of 60% said they were “very proud” or “fairly proud” to be Israeli, while 37% said they were “not proud” to be Israeli.
Most Israeli Arabs also said they believed that Jews have historic and religious ties to Israel. Some 82% said they had no desire to live under Palestinian rule, while only 14% said they did. Some 4% said they did not know or refused to answer.
The poll also showed sweeping support for a right of return for Palestinian refugees, and slightly less than half of respondents said they supported Israel’s right to exist. Slightly more than half said they opposed Israel’s right to exist.
A resounding majority of Israeli Arabs said they have Jewish friends and are willing to send their children to school with Jewish children. However, most believe there is a great deal of anti-Arab incitement among Israeli Jewish society, while only a few said they believe there is a great deal of Arab incitement against Jews.
Asked about issues involving Israeli Arab society specifically, the issue of greatest concern to respondents was violence, followed by education, racism, and housing. When asked about national political issues, most respondents said they felt that the Supreme Arab Monitoring Committee and Arab MKs did not represent them.
A separate poll probed the positions of Arab residents of east Jerusalem, most of whom do not see themselves as Israeli Arabs. Some of them hold permanent resident status rather than citizenship.
On most issues, the stance of east Jerusalem Arabs was the opposite of Israeli Arabs. Most of the east Jerusalem residents polled said they do not feel like they belong to Israeli society and only half said they had Jewish friends.
Arabic speakers conducted the poll by telephone in September this year. Respondents were not informed that Israel Hayom was behind the poll, which has a margin of error of 4.7%.