Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Tuesday that a poll sponsored by the Center for the Campaign Against Racism, in Israel, revealed that half of the Jewish population in the country believes that Israel should encourage Arab emigration.

Haaretz stated that the poll, conducted by the Geocartography Institute, was presented on Tuesday and showed a significant increase in the number of Israeli Jews who support Arab emigration out of Israel when compared to a similar poll conducted last year.

When addressing the Jewish “reaction when hearing the Arabic language in the street”, the poll found that some 50% of the polled Jews said that they “become fearful when they hear Arabic language spoken in the street”, 43% said they become uncomfortable, while 30% said that they feel hatred.

In contrast, last year only 17.5 percent said they feel hatred when hear spoken Arabic. Baher Odeh, director of the center, said that Israel “must wake up” in the light of the findings, and should utilize its judicial and education systems to combat the rise of racism in Israel, Haaretz reported.

He added that Israel defines itself as a Jewish State, and that this fact is considered discrimination against the Arabs. “Jews in Israel interpret this definition as superiority to them”, Odeh stated, “They interpret it as giving them more rights than the Arab citizens of Israel”. He added that the recent war in Lebanon caused deterioration in the Arab-Israeli relations inside Israel and generated opposing views.

Also, Odeh added that the entry of Avigdor Lieberman, from Yisrael Beitinu party, to the government coalition also caused a rise of anti-Arab statements. Lieberman is known for his anti-Arab views, and repeatedly called for expelling the Arabs from Israel and for expelling the Palestinians to Jordan and other Arab states. Moreover, Odeh said that the Israeli policies of expropriating Arab lands and destroying homes contributes to the issue.