Poll: More Israeli Arabs Dump Palestinian Identity, Accept Jewish State

An Israeli news station has reported this morning on a poll conducted by Professor Sammy Smooha of Haifa University showing that the acceptance of Israel by Israeli Arabs increased markedly between 2012 and 2013.

Channel 10/Nana reported (Hebrew) that the poll’s surprising results bucked conventional wisdom:

The research shows that between 2012 and 2013 there was an increase in the percentage of Israeli Arabs recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, and Israel’s right to maintain a Jewish majority. Similarly, the percentage of Arabs who define themselves as “Israeli Arabs” without a Palestinian identity has increased.

Among the specific results reported were that the percentage of Israeli Arabs who accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state rose to 52.8% from 47.4% the year before. There was a more pronounced rise in the percentage of Israeli Arabs who believe that Israel can exist as a Jewish majority state to 43.1% up  from 29.6% a year earlier. The number of Israeli-Arabs who accept their identity as such without identifying as Palestinians increased from 32.5% in 2012 to 42.5% in 2013. In 2013, 63.5% of Israeli Arabs consider Israel to be a good place to live up from 58.5% in 2012.

The poll measuring attitudes in Jewish-Arab relations was conducted by Smooha, who won the Israel Prize for sociology in 2008, among 700 Jews and 700 Arabs, Druze and Bedouin.

[Photo: Concert of Arab and Jewish students from all over Israel in program sponsored by U.S. Embassy. U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv / Flickr]