Survey: Most Israelis want Arabs out

Nearly two-thirds of Israelis want their government to encourage the country's Arab minority to emigrate, according to a new report.

    Nearly two-thirds of Israelis want Arabs to leave

    The 2006 Israeli Democracy Index found that 62% of respondents want the government to pursue policies in order to persuade the 1.3 million Arabs, who account for about one- fifth of the population, to leave Israel.


    Israel's Arab population consists of Palestinians and their offspring that were not expelled or did not leave their homes during the war following the creation of Israel in 1948.


    The survey, published by the Israel Democracy Institute, also highlighted the divisions between Israel's communities.


    Only 14% said that relations between Jews and Arabs were good, while 29% agreed that a Jewish majority was required on decisions that determine Israel's fate.


    Bad on corruption


    The report ranked Israel 20th in a corruption survey of 36 democracies, a fall of six places from its 2004 ranking.


    In 2006, Israel was placed between Estonia and Taiwan, with Finland and New Zealand tying in first place as the least corrupt.


    "That's really the troubling part that there are undercurrents of undemocratic attitudes"


    Asher Arian,
    author of the report

    Political parties and the Israeli parliament were among the least trusted public institutions in the country, while the army was the most, with 79% of respondents professing their faith in it.


    The survey of 2,004 Israelis - including Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel - found that trust in the police had slipped from 66% in 2004 to 44% today, equal to public confidence in the media.


    Growing support for settlers


    The report also showed growing support for Jewish settlers who resist police in the aftermath of last summer's Israeli pullout from the occupied Gaza Strip.


    Last year, 70% of respondents said it was wrong to refuse orders from the government to evacuate the Gaza settlers, but this year that number slipped to 58%.


    "I think it's clear that on a number of dimensions there is slippage and that is troubling," said Asher Arian, a professor of politics at Haifa University and author of the report.


    "That's really the troubling part that there are undercurrents of undemocratic attitudes."



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