'53% of Israelis say Arabs should be encouraged to leave'

Israel Democracy Institute poll shows only 51% think Arabs, Jews deserve equal rights; Israel ranked least-stable democracy in the world.

November 30, 2010 11:38
2 minute read.
Shimon Peres accepts the 2010 Israeli Democracy Ra

peres democracy poll 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The Israel Democracy Institute released the results of its Israeli Democracy Ranking and poll on Tuesday, revealing that 53 percent of Jewish Israelis say the government should encourage Arabs to emigrate from Israel, and only 51% believe Jews and Arabs should have equal rights.

The poll showed that the more religious respondents were, the less they believed Arabs should have equal rights, with 33.5% of secular Jews opposing rights for Arabs, as opposed to 51% of traditional Jews, 65% of religious Jews, and 72% of haredim. In addition, 86% of Jewish Israelis believe that important decisions should be made by a Jewish majority.

The institute's findings were presented to President Shimon Peres, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Justice Yaakov Neeman and High Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch.

Nearly half (46%) of Jewish Israelis polled said that they would not want to live near Arabs, and 39% would be opposed to living near foreign workers or people with mental illness. One-fourth would not want to live near a homosexual couple, and 23% opposed having haredi neighbors.

Arabs had different preferences, with 70% opposing living near gays, 67% against haredi neighbors and 65% against former settlers. About half (46%) would not want to be neighbors with foreign workers.

The Israel Democracy Institute polled Jewish and Arab Israelis as to their views on and satisfaction from democracy in Israel. The survey showed that most Israelis said Israel should remain a democracy, while claiming that democracy in Israel is weak and inefficient.

More than half (55%) of Israelis support the statement "Israel's situation would be much better if Israel considered the rules of democracy less, and focused more on keeping law and order."

Most (60%) Israelis advocated a more concentrated government, with strong leaders that "solve problems efficiently." In addition, 59% prefer rule by experts who make decisions based on professional opinions, and not because of politics.

Israelis are also disappointed by the lack of influence their opinions have on government policy.

As in last year, 81% of Israelis have faith in the IDF.

In a ranking of democracies around the world, separate from the poll, Israel was rated least stable.

Israel received this low score due to major socioeconomic gaps, which have not improved since previous years. There is also less gender equality in Israel then there was in the past.

Israel's democratic rating is the same as last year's, placing it with new democracies in Eastern Europe and South America.

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