Arab Israelis say police favor Jews

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

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

A study set for release Thursday portrays the complicated viewIsraeli Arabs have of the police and its role in patrolling theircommunities.

According to the paper, which was compiled by the Abraham FundInitiatives, some 77 percent of Israeli Arabs believe the police givepreferential treatment to Jews, while some 60% say they are not wilingto give up the protection offered by the police presence in theircommunity.

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

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

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

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