Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Disturbing Poll, err...Disturbing Results

The next generation, our hope for ending the occupation, and for ending years of strife? Hardly. A recent poll published by Haaretz contains harrowing and disheartening results:
Nearly half of Israel's high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel, according to the results of a new survey released yesterday. The same poll revealed that more than half the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset.

The survey, which was administered to teenagers at various Israeli high schools, also found that close to half of all respondents - 48 percent - said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories.
There was also an unfortunate, but not terribly surprising, divide between religious and secular high school students:
In response to the question of whether Arab citizens should be granted rights equal to that of Jews, 49.5 percent answered in the negative. The issue highlighted the deep fault lines separating religious and secular youths, with 82 percent of religious students saying they opposed equal rights for Arabs while just 39 percent of secular students echoed that sentiment.

The secular-religious gap was also present when students were faced with the question of whether Arabs should be eligible to run for office in the Knesset. While 82 percent of those with religious tendencies answered in the negative, 47 percent of secular teens agreed. In total, 56 percent said Arabs should be denied this right altogether.
And no depressing poll would be complete without a nice shot-in-the-arm for all the militaristic nationalists out there:
...an overwhelming majority (91 percent) expressed a desire to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.

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