By Roee Nahmias, Ynet – 27 March 2010
Recent poll reveals steep rise in racist views against Arabs in Israel; many participants feel hatred, fear when overhearing Arabic, 75 percent don’t approve of shared apartment buildings
Over half of the Jewish population in Israel believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to national treason, according to a recent survey by the Geocartography Institute.
The survey, which was conducted for the Center Against Racism, also found that over 75 percent of participants did not approve of apartment buildings being shared between Arabs and Jews. Sixty percent of participants said they would not allow an Arab to visit their home.
Five hundred Jewish men and women participated in the poll, which was published Tuesday.
According to the survey, racism against Arabs in Israel has seen a sharp rise since a similar survey was conducted two years ago.
In 2006, 247 racist acts against Arabs were reported, as opposed to 225 one year prior.
About 40 percent of participants agreed that “Arabs should have their right to vote for Knesset revoked”. The number was 55 percent lower in the previous survey. Also, over half of the participants agreed that Israel should encourage its Arab citizens to immigrate from the country.
Over half of the participants said they would not want to work under the direct management of an Arab, and 55 percent said “Arabs and Jews should be separated at entertainment sites”.
‘Arab culture inferior’
Participants were asked what they felt when they overheard someone speaking Arabic. Thirty-one percent said they felt hatred, while 50 percent said they felt fear.
Over 56 percent of participants said they believed that Israel’s Arab citizens posed both a security and a demographic threat to the country.
When asked what they thought of Arab culture, over 37 percent replied, “The Arab culture is inferior.”
“The Center Against Racism has set itself a goal to monitor all racial incidents against Arab citizens, and to fight racism as much as possible under the law through public action,” the center’s annual report said.
Bachar Ouda, the center’s director, said the survey’s findings were worrisome, and urged the government to intervene in the situation.
“We call on the education minister to take the gloves off and deal with the issue seriously, because it is dangerous to coexistence. We call on the state prosecutions office, and the attorney general to take action,” Ouda said.