'You can't have democracy just for Jews,' Rivlin said in wake of Pew poll

March 9, 2016 04:42

The president, political leaders and civil rights groups condemned as deeply worrying on Tuesday the results of the Pew Research Center report showing almost half of Israelis supporting the expulsion or transfer of Arabs from Israel.

President Reuven Rivlin said the study brings up troubling challenges that need to be dealt with immediately, after being presented with the report’s findings at the President’s Residence.

The landmark survey showed Israelis are divided societally, religiously and politically, with little societal interaction between the different sectors.

“This poll should be brought to the attention of the government and the nation’s decision makers,” Rivlin said. “It shows even more than before the need to deal with our internal issues.”

Rivlin called the finding that 48 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Arabs should be transferred out of Israel particularly troubling.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” he said, adding that it threatens the democratic character of Israel. “You can’t have democracy just for Jews.”

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