Half of Israeli Arabs justify Hizbullah kidnapping - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Prof Smooha: Alarming findings Photo: Avigail Uzi
Prof Smooha: Alarming findings Photo: Avigail Uzi
Ehud Goldwasser Reproduction Photo
Ehud Goldwasser Reproduction Photo
Eldad Regev Reproduction photo: Hagai Aharon
Eldad Regev Reproduction photo: Hagai Aharon

Half of Israeli Arabs justify Hizbullah kidnapping

Prof Sammy Smooha from Haifa University finds surprising support for Shiite organization among Israeli Arabs. 'The Katyusha rockets endangered them too,' he says

Ahiya Raved
Published: 03.18.07, 20:42 / Israel News

Almost 50 percent of Israeli Arabs justify Hizbullah's kidnapping of soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, and 90 percent regard the IDF bombings in Lebanon during the last war as war crimes.


Moreover, the vast majority of Israeli Arabs continues to express anti-Israeli views, showed a survey conducted by Haifa University's Dean of Social Studies Sammy Smooha: Some 48 percent justify the launching of rockets at Israel by Hizbullah during the last war. Only 44 percent thought it was a war crime.

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Among Israeli Arabs, 18.7 percent thought that Israel's engaging in war was warranted, compared to 69.7 percent of Jewish Israelis.


The only similarity between Jewish and Arab Israelis was that a large percentage on both sides (60 percent of Arabs and 63.6 percent among Jews) believed that the war caused them to doubt Israel's capabilities.


The findings of the survey, which is scheduled to be presented at the first Haifa Conference for Social Responsibility, surprised Professor Smooha: "One would expect Israeli Arabs to be more pro-Israel due to the unique situation in the last war.


"The war did not involve the Palestinians and the Hizbullah rockets endangered their lives and property too. The aggressor was a fundamentalist Islamic organization that most Israeli Arabs do not support," he added.


"Hizbullah, a Shiite movement, is supported by a fundamentalist Shiite non-Arab country (Iran) that the Arabs are not keen on. During the war, the attacker also violated the sovereignty of an Arab country (Lebanon) and caused major damages to it," he explained.


Troops' families don't lose hope 

Meanwhile, the families of the kidnapped soldiers continue the fight for their release. On Friday, Rishon Lezion hosted a rally for the soldiers. The families appealed to the government to work harder to release their sons.


Miki Goldwasser read out a letter to her son: "Udi, I was asked to write about how parents feel when they are informed that their dear son has been kidnapped by a cold and cruel enemy. An enemy who appears to be more and more malicious as the days go by: the terror of silence, their refusal to release information, not even the slightest detail...


"Udi, What are you going through? What is happening to you? Exactly six months ago your father and I were sitting on the porch of our small rented house in Durban, South Africa.


"You were supposed to come to stay with us with Karnit, your wife, on your way to India. We had the most beautiful view. So serene… And then thunder strikes. Everything shatters in a second"


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