National Pride: Some 88% of Israel's Jews
are proud to be Israeli, and 95% of them are willing to fight for their country, according to the patriotism survey, which was conducted just a few days after the IDF's three-week offensive
in Gaza concluded.
The figures among the country's Arab population were significantly lower and indicated a growing chasm between the two sectors.
According to the poll, which is conducted annually, the sense of patriotism among Israel's Jews has clearly increased compared with 2008 and has almost reached the level recorded prior to the Second Lebanon War
The number of Israelis who consider themselves patriotic has grown from 61% to 71%; 88% of the country's Jews said they were "proud" or "very proud" to be Israeli, as opposed to only 81% who felt the same way last year. Some 72% of the Jewish respondents said they believe Israel is "better than most other countries," compared with 61% in 2008.
A similar trend was noted regarding two of the country's national symbols – waving the Israeli flag on Independence Day and observing the moment of silence for fallen IDF soldiers on Remembrance Day. The importance of raising the flag has risen from 82% to 88%, while the importance of the moment of silence climbed to 95%.
The data further showed that 79% of Israel's Jews attach importance to purchasing products that were made in Israel, and 81% said they would encourage their children to live in Israel. Both of these figures were similar to those recorded in 2008.
An examination of the "sacrifice" category showed a significant rise in Jews' willingness to fight for their country – from 84% last year to 95%. Asked how the recent war in Gaza affected their view of Israeli society's resilience, 71% said it had strengthened the resilience level, while only two percent said the conflict had a negative effect on the public's toughness.
The patriotism survey was conducted by Prof. Ephraim Yaar of Tel Aviv University and Mano Geva, CEO of Midgam Research and Consulting. The data will be presented in the upcoming Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya's Institute for Policy and Strategy conference. The survey examined the "state of Israeli patriotism" according to four benchmarks: national pride, symbolism, innateness and sacrifice. The vast differences noted between the responses of Jewish and Arab interviewees has prompted Yaar and Geva to present their results separately.
The survey showed that the level of patriotism among Israel's Arabs has decreased, while their identification with their Arab and Palestinians roots has increased.
The number of Arab respondents who are proud to be Israeli dropped from 53% last year to 45%; only 25% of Israel's Arabs attach importance to Remembrance Day, compared with 45% last year, and the eagerness among the Arab public to fight for the country has dropped to 20%.
However, a sharp increase was recorded in the number of Arabs who said they would encourage their children to live in Israel (from 56 to 81%).