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Photo: Avi Levy
Haifa University (archive photo)
Photo: Avi Levy
Youth believe Arabs dirty, uneducated
Recent poll reveals 75 percent of Jewish students believe Arabs uneducated, uncivilized, unclean. Similar stereotypes found amongst Arab students toward Jews, but in lower percentages
A Haifa University survey investigating Arabs and Jews' views on one another reveals disturbing results.

 

The poll showed that 75 percent of Jewish students believe that Arabs are uneducated people, are uncivilized and are unclean.

 

On the other hand 25 percent of the Arab youth believe that Jews are the uneducated ones, while 57 percent of the Arab's believe Jews are unclean.

 

Over a third of the Jewish students taking part in the survey confirmed that they are afraid of Arabs.

 

The poll was conducted by Dr. Haggai Kupermintz, Dr. Yigal Rosen and Harbi Hasaisi of Haifa University's Center for Research on Peace Education.

 

The data was presented at a bi-lingual conference held in Haifa. The study, titled "Perception of 'the Other' amongst Jewish and Arab Youth in Israel" included 1,600 students studying in 22 high schools around the country.

 

"We have found a serious expression of stereotypical thinking on the Jewish students' part regarding the Arab youth," said Dr. Kupermintz, who pointed out that 69 percent of the Jewish students think that Arabs are not smart.

 

Willingness to meet with Jewish students

"These students come in with firm stereotypical baggage regarding the other, and in this case, this is the Arabs," said Kupermintz.

 

According to the survey, the Arab youth views the Jewish society with fewer reservations: 27 percent of the Arab students believe Jews are uneducated, while 40 percent say they are uncivilized, and 47 percent believe they are not smart.

 

"We were not surprised with the outcome of the research," Kupermintz told Ynet.

 

"Anyone who is familiar with the field knows that these warped perceptions exist, but these findings are at the most severe extreme of a disturbing phenomenon. Also, up until now, I don’t think such a high level amongst the Jewish students' population – over a third – who admit that are afraid of Arabs, has ever been recorded."

 

Kupermintz further stated that the survey was conducted in October 2004, and that if it was to be held today, he believes the results would be much more extreme.

 

He also added that, contrary to stereotypes, the Arab public in Israel shows more willingness of integration in the Jewish sector, than Jews do in the Arab sector.

 

Data from the survey also showed that 75 percent of Jewish students feel Arabs are violent, as opposed to 64 percent of Arab students.

 

Over 50 percent of Arab students showed understanding towards the feelings of the Jewish students.

 

75 percent of Arab students showed willingness to meet with Jewish students as opposed to less than 50 percent willingness amongst Jewish students.

 

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