Arab Israelis say police favor Jews

Study finds support for police recruitment in Arab sector, views of under-policing local communities.

January 21, 2010 10:01
1 minute read.
police hold e. jerusalem protester ap 298

police hold e. jerusalem. (photo credit: AP [file])

A study set for release Thursday portrays the complicated view Israeli Arabs have of the police and its role in patrolling their communities.

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According to the paper, which was compiled by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, some 77 percent of Israeli Arabs believe the police give preferential treatment to Jews, while some 60% say they are not wiling to give up the protection offered by the police presence in their community.

The study, which was compiled through a survey of over 1,000 Israeli Arabs, also states that 62% of Arab citizens support greater police recruitment in their community to help solve what residents view as shortcomings in community policing in their sector. In particular, they reported what they see as "under-policing," in that police show insufficient vigilance in responding to crime in their towns, in contrast to the "over-policing" of Arab citizens outside their communities when Jewish Israelis were effected.

The report, which used research carried out by two professors at the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, will be presented at the Jaffa Conference on Thursday, January 21, during a session entitled "Future relations between Jews and Arabs - Arab society and the police in Israel."

The study was carried out as part of a joint project between the Abraham Fund Initiatives and the Israeli police called the "Arab society-Police relations" initiative, founded as a result of the October 2000 riots and the Orr Commission Report, to foster better relation between the police and the Arab community.

Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu, co-director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, said Wednesday that police have made concerted efforts in recent years to improve relations with Israel's Arab community, adding "these efforts derive from a true understanding within the police leadership that the Arab minority deserves better policing services."

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