News / Middle East

    Survey: About Half of Israeli Jews Want to Expel Arabs

    FILE - Аn Orthodox Jew walks behind a Palestinian man on a street in the walled Old City of Jerusalem.
    FILE - Аn Orthodox Jew walks behind a Palestinian man on a street in the walled Old City of Jerusalem.
    Amanda Scott

    Nearly half of Israeli Jews say Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel according to a new survey.

    The poll, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, found that public opinion was divided on whether Israel can serve as a homeland for the country's Arab minority, which makes up just 18 percent of the country's more than 8 million residents.

    The survey says roughly 79 percent of Israeli Arabs say there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims in Israeli society. Jews hold the opposite opinion with 74 percent saying they do not see much discrimination against Muslims.

    At the same time, some 79 percent of Israeli Jews say Israel should give preferential treatment to Jews.

    An overwhelming number of Israelis (98 percent) agreed that all Jews should have the right to citizenship in Israel, a sentiment, Pew says, may be linked, in part to perceptions about anti-Semitism.

    Three-quarters of Israeli Jews think anti-Semitism is both common and increasing around the world.

    According to the survey, 40 percent of Israeli Jews are 'secular', 23 percent 'traditional', 10 percent 'religious', and 8 percent 'ultra-Orthodox'.

    When it comes to whether democratic principles or religious law should take priority, 89 percent of the country's ultra-Orthodox believe religious law should be given preference compared to an identical percentage of secular Israeli Jews who take the opposite opinion.

    "Most Jews across the religious spectrum agree in principle that Israel can be both a democracy and a Jewish state," the report  said. "But they are at odds about what should happen, in practice, if democratic decision-making collides with Jewish law."

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