Nearly half of Israeli Jews want Arabs to be expelled from Israel and many have lost hope in a two-state solution to the Palestinian question, according to a survey.
The poll by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank, found that 48 percent of Israeli Jews support the idea of moving Arabs out of Israel, where they make up 19 percent of the population of 8.4 million.
Up to 71 percent of Jews who consider themselves ultra-Orthodox, religious or “traditional” and 36 percent of the secular community agree, Reuters reports.
President Reuven Rivlin called the findings a “wake-up call for Israeli society”.
The survey also addressed the role of religion in a modern-day democracy founded as a Jewish state, exposing wide gaps between Orthodox and non-religious Jewish respondents.
According to the poll, 89 percent of Israel’s secular Jews want democratic principles to outweigh Jewish ritual law when the two clash.
An identical percentage of ultra-Orthodox Jews take the opposite view.
In addition, about eight in 10 Arabs complained of heavy discrimination in Israeli society against Muslims, the largest religious minority, while 79 percent of Jews questioned said Jewish citizens deserved preferential treatment.
“It pains me to see the gap that exists in the public’s consciousness — religious and secular — between the notion of Israel as a Jewish state and as a democratic state,” Rivlin said in a statement after receiving the report.
“A further problem is the attitude towards Israel’s Arab citizens.”
About 9 percent of Jews identified themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 13 percent as religious, 29 percent as ‘traditional’ and 49 percent as secular.
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