Study: Galilee Arabs fearful, alienated

Study Galilee Arabs fee

Results of a year-long study into Jewish-Arab coexistence in the Galilee published on Tuesday indicated that tensions between the communities are running high. Over the last year, 40 high ranking Jewish and Arab Israeli officials in the Galilee, including heads of local authorities, were asked about their perception of coexistence in the region. One of the those who conducted the survey, Mr. Awada Baker, told Army Radio that the picture painted by the results of the study was dire and quite a distance from true coexistence. According to Baker, "feelings of pessimism, alienation, suspicion, fear, and a lack of trust between the different communities," were clearly identified. Baker called on the government to intervene quickly. "If meaningful changes are not implemented by the government with regards to the Arab population, the writing is on the wall," he warned. Another charged issue is that of a mixed Jewish-Arab community currently being established in the Galilee. According to the study, the Arabs perceive this community as another "settlement", whereas Jews see the mixed community as undermining a Jewish presence in the Galilee. However, the study did have some positive findings. Arabs and Jews in the Galilee reportedly support cooperation in the fields of education, business development and environment.