Two-thirds of Israelis favor deporting African migrants, poll finds

Two-thirds of the public (65.9%) support the plan, but there is a gap between Israeli Jews, 69% of whom back it, and Israeli Arabs, among whom only 50% are for deportation.

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February 7, 2018 15:41
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Israel's migrant deportation plays on Jewish 'moral compass' February 6, 2018 (Reuters)

Israel's migrant deportation plays on Jewish 'moral compass' February 6, 2018 (Reuters)

The majority of Israelis support the government’s plan to deport African migrants to a third country, according to the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s Peace Index poll released on Wednesday.

Two-thirds of the public (65.9%) support the plan, but there is a gap between Israeli Jews, 69% of whom back it, and Israeli Arabs, among whom only 50% are for deportation. There was also a large gap between right-wing support for the plan, which is 78%, centrist backing, 35%, and that of the Left, 25%.

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The gap narrowed when respondents were asked whether the authorities should speed up the process of reviewing requests for asylum by migrants from Sudan and Eritrea, and allow those whose applications are approved to stay in Israel. About half (49.8%) agreed, while 43.2% did not, and the rest didn’t know.

As for the argument that “Israel, as the state of the Jewish people, who, over the course of history, suffered from violence and persecution and sought asylum in different lands, should show more generosity toward other nations and allow the asylum-seekers to stay in Israel,” more than half (55.2%) disagreed.

The Peace Index also included questions about the US-Israel relationship.

Nearly three-fourths (72.2%) of Israelis said the US under President Donald Trump is more pro-Israel, 3.1% said it is more pro-Palestinian, and 14.4% said it is neutral.

These results dramatically differ from polls taken when Barack Obama was president. For example, in the May 2011 Peace Index, only 14% of Israelis said the US under Obama was more pro-Israel, 31% said it was more pro-Palestinian, and 46% said it was neutral.

Israelis are almost evenly split on the statement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts have improved Israel’s international standing recently; 45.9% agree, and 46.2% disagree.

The poll was conducted on January 30-31 by the Midgam Research Institute, among a representative sample of 600 Israeli adults, and the margin of error is 4.1%.


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