Poll: Lebanon war was 'breaking point' for Arab Israeli patriotism
By YANIV SALAMA-SCHEER
The recent war in Lebanon had a negative effect on Israeli Arab patriotism, according to a polls conducted by Professor Effi Ya'ar and Efrat Peleg of Tel Aviv University's Owens Bridging and Conflict Resolution Program.
Eighty-five percent of Israeli Arabs view their primary patriotic identity as "Arab", followed by 52% whose primary patriotic identity is "Palestinian," and 32% whose primary patriotic identity is "Israeli."
The vast majority of respondents said that they are not proud to be Israeli, and their emotional attachment to the Israel was decreasing. Alos, according to the poll, only 45% of Israeli Arabs intend to encourage their children to stay in Israel.
The poll highlighted the growing gap between Israeli Jewish and Israeli Arab patriotism.
While an overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews said that they would be willing to fight for their country, the percentage of Arabs who said they would be willing to fight decreased from 42% before the Lebanon war to 26.5%.
The summer's war led to a decline in Israeli Arabs' emotional connection to Israel, the poll showed, with respondents asked to rate their connection to the state on a scale of 1-100. The average "mark" given was 38.
While, according to the poll, Israeli Arabs have lost belief in the government, security forces, and media garnering marks of 28, 34, and 40, respectively. The fact that the Arab participants' marks for these institutions decreased less noticeably than did the Jewish participants' could be explained by the fact that the Arab sector's faith in the government, the army, and the media was less strong even before the war.
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