The majority of Israeli Jews agree that preferential treatment should be afforded to them over Arabs in Israel, with 79 percent reporting that they should be favored, according to a new study from the Washington-based Pew Research Center published Tuesday.
Nearly half of Jews in the country say that Arabs should be expelled or transferred out of Israel, though the wording of the survey does not distinguish between Palestinian Arabs living in the West Bank or Arab citizens of Israel. The survey found that 46 percent of Jewish Israelis favor Arabs’ expulsion, while 46 percent opposed them being exiled, and 6 percent did not know. Support of such a measure was highest among self-identified right-wing respondents, with 72 percent in favor, and least popular with left-wing Jewish Israelis where 87 percent said they were against expelling Arabs.
The survey also found fractured opinions on West Bank settlements. Roughly 42 percent of Jewish Israelis say the West Bank settlements provide security, but 30 percent said they were detrimental to security and 25 percent were indifferent. West Bank settlement support was highest among those who identified as right-wing at 62 percent, while 81 percent of left-wing respondents said that the settlements hurt security.
— John Reed (@JohninJerusalem) March 8, 2016
“These groups live in the same country, a small country, but it’s almost like they live in different worlds,” said Alan Cooperman, the center's director of religion research, told the New York Times. “All societies have various kinds of fractures and divisions, but the size of the fractures in Israel from a pollster’s point of view are jaw-dropping.”
When it comes to United States relations, three-quarters of Israeli Jewish respondents felt connected to American Jews, but more than half say the U.S. does provide enough support to Israel. The survey found that Israeli Jews overwhelmingly support Israel as a refuge for other Jews, and consider anti-Semitism to be increasing worldwide.
The poll surveyed 5,601 Israeli adults aged 18 and older in person from Oct. 2014 to May 2015. Most of those surveyed denitrified as political centrists. The survey also looked at the non-Jewish population.