Israeli Arabs protest following October Riots
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Lebanon war changed perceptions
According to a survey conducted by Prof. Ephraim Yaar, Head of the Evens Program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University, and Efrat Peleg, the second Lebanon war caused a significant drop in the patriotism Arab citizens felt for Israel.
The survey’s findings would be presented at the Institute for Policy and Strategy Herzelia Conference which would begin Sunday.
The survey showed that its Israeli Arab respondents rated their Arab patriotism at 86 percent, their Palestinian patriotism at 61 percent, and their Israeli patriotism at 38 percent.
The survey also showed that participants were not proud of being Israeli, and that their emotional affinity to the country was diminishing. Only 45 percent of the Israeli Arab participants said they would encourage their children to remain living in Israel.
War weakened patriotism
About eight hundred Israeli citizens, both Jewish and Arab, participated in the survey. The main conclusion reached through the survey’s findings was that the second Lebanon war had the opposite effect on Israel’s Jewish citizens than it did on Israel’s Arab citizens.
In contrast to the Jewish population, who found the resilience of the home front impressive, the Israeli Arab population did not.
In addition, the survey revealed an even larger gap in perception of the war when comparing the Jewish and Arab population in Haifa and the North.
The survey showed that Jews in Haifa and the North became more emotionally attached to Israel following the war, whereas the emotional attachment to Israel diminished amongst the Arab population in the same cities.
The willingness of Israel’s citizens to enlist in a time of need was also surveyed. The findings showed that the percentage of Israeli Arabs wiling to enlist in the army decreased significantly following the second Lebanon war.
In 2006, 42 percent of the Arab population was prepared to fight for Israel, whereas only 26.5 percent was willing to do so in 2007.
However, despite the decrease, the survey’s conductors emphasized that there was still a significant minority amongst the Arab public that would enlist.