Seventy-seven percent of the State of Israel's Arab citizens would rather live in the Jewish state than in any other country in the world, according to a new study titled "Coexistence in Israel".
The survey was conducted by the John Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with the assistance of researchers from Haifa University.
The study was aimed at examining the relations between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens on the State's 60th anniversary, and included 1,721 respondents.
The findings also revealed that a great majority of Israel's citizens (73% of the Jews and 94% of the Arabs) want to live in a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities.
The study went on to show that 68% of Jewish citizens support teaching conversational Arabic in Jewish schools to help bring Arab and Jewish citizens together, and 69% believe contributing to coexistence is a personal responsibility.
Sixty-six percent of Jewish citizens and 84% of Arab citizens believe the Israeli government investments should begin now, and not wait until the end of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The project's lead researcher, Professor Todd L. Pittinsky, research director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership (CPL), said in a press release, "These data support what we’ve found in our allophilia research around the world—evidence of interest, comfort, and affection among some, even in communities in conflict."
Pittinsky notes that much media coverage focuses on the divisions between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, and not enough on the sincere and concerted efforts to coexist peacefully.
Adi Eldar, chairman of the Israel Local Authorities Union, noted that "the survey strengthens our demand from the government for a budgetary equality between the Jewish and Arab sectors.
"Regional peace will come from the wide public and from the council heads. The Israel Local Authorities Union initiates a large number of projects in favor of both populations, with the hopes that this will create an infrastructure which will help solve the regional conflict," he added.