A student reads during a lesson at the Bnei David academy in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Eli.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Nearly half of Israeli Jewish parents say they do not want Arab teachers instructing their children in school, a new poll conducted in Israel showed.
According to the survey done by Ma'agar Mochot on behalf of the Gordon College of Education, the number is substantially higher among Jews who are more religiously observant.
The poll showed that 82 percent of religious Jews oppose having an Arab teach their kids.
The survey also found that one-third of parents say that if an Arab were to teach their children, they would prefer a Christian rather than a Muslim.
Israel Radio quoted the president of Gordon College, Prof. Yecheskel Taler, as saying that since the Israeli education system runs two separate streams for Jewish and Arab pupils, the integration of Arab teachers into Jewish classrooms could serve as a bridge between the two populations.
The figures are the latest manifestation of burgeoning racism in Israeli society.
In March, a study by the Pew Research Center showed that almost half of Jewish Israelis favor expelling Arab Israelis from the country.
As is the case with many other societal issues, they are deeply divided along levels of religiosity, the report showed.
The survey divided Israeli Jewish society into four large sub-sectors: secular, traditional, religious-Zionist and haredi (ultra-Orthodox), and also looked at religious and societal sentiment in the non-Jewish population. It was conducted by face-to-face interviews in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian among 5,601 Israeli adults 18 and older from October 2014 through May 2015.
Some 48 percent of Jewish Israelis polled agreed with the statement that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel,” though the percentage ranged from 54% to 71% for those defining themselves as ultra-Orthodox, religious or traditional; and only about 36% of the secular community felt that way.
Opinion on this also was split decisively on political lines, with 87% of the ideologically left opposing expulsion or transfer, 54% of centrists against it, 37% of centrist supporting transfer, and 72% of the ideologically right in favor.
The report pointed out, however, that its question had simply stated “Arabs” and not specified if they were citizens or not. It also noted that in response to a question from the University of Haifa’s Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in 2015, 32% of Israeli Jews agreed to some extent that “Arab citizens should leave the country and receive proper compensation,” with 64% opposed.Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.