Leaders of the Arab population in Israel responded to a recent poll in Israel showing increasing levels of racism and hatred against Arabs residents in Israel, and said that racism in Israel moved from the streets to the government benches.
The poll was conducted by the Center for Combating Racism in Israel, it showed that the majority of the Israelis do not want Arab neighbours.
The poll showed strong anti-Arab attitudes among the Israeli Jews; among the highlights of the poll, it was revealed that half of the Israeli Jews do not want Arabs in Israel, and 40% said that Israel should encourage the Arab emigration.
“You don’t have to pay the price of being racist”, Arab Member of Knesset (MK) Ahmad Tibi stated, “You can always explain it by claiming that it is a security need”.
Also, Arab MK Mohammad Baraka, Chairman of Hadash Party, said that these are direct results of the Israeli government policies throughout the years, these are direct results of inciting against Arabs and encouraging extremist Jewish groups.
“This poll is a clear indication of the level of hatred and racism towards Arab residents of Israel”, Baraka said, “This racism is led by all Israeli governments, and extended by occupation which created Kahanism, Olmertism and Netanyahuism”.
Arab MK, Talab Al Sane’ said that the results of this poll are a “stain on democracy, moral bankruptcy, and a complete failure of the Israeli educational system”.
“This is a worrying phenomenon that places questions on the Zionist movement”, Al Sane’ stated, “"The mosquitoes of this racism apparently grew in the swamp of incitement against the Arab public, as well as the occupation and the settlements. This is definite proof occupation corrupts."
He added that if a similar poll was released in France Jews would claim that France is an anti-Semitic country, and would also initiate media mania on the issue.
“But, since its happening here, at their homes, they remain quiet”, Al Sane’ added, “this is a two-fold failure; they are racist, and they aren’t attempting to address their own racism.
Chairman of the Israeli-Arab Supreme Monitoring Committee, Shawqi Khateeb, said that he was not surprised by the results of the poll.
“These results stem from the Israeli apartheid policy and the walls between Arab and Jewish populations, I always warned against these walls”, he stated, “I warned against the de-legitimization of the Arab public and leaders”.
Khateeb added that the Arab leaders always said that the Arab population in Israel want to live with the Israelis, “but the Jewish public did not want to deal with this issue”.
“The establishment, the public and the education establishment must take the matter into their own hands”. Khateeb stated, “When a fascist party runs the elections like that of Avigdor Lieberman and Baruch Marzel, what is left to say in this matter”.
“The results of this poll should concern all those who criticize the Arab public; they have to criticize the population, the Israeli population has to take a look at itself”. Khateeb added.
Meanwhile, the Musawa “Equality” Center or Arab Citizens of Israel said that it was not surprised by the findings of the poll.
“These results are translations for what is happening everyday in Israel”, Abeer Qobty, coordinator of the Musawa Center reported, “We continuously receive reports of these acts of racism, whoever thinks that he hates an Arab and that it’s okay, he can hit and kill this Arab, and it will be okay for him to do so”.
Qobty added that that racism does not have limits, and that today it is against Arabs and then it will be against anyone else.
“Thats why every Arab citizen is responsible to fight this racism, the battle is not over the fate of the Arab public, we have the vision to set up specialized centers to counter racism”, Qobty said, “These centers should be made up of Arab and Jewish organizations that are active among various groups. The Jews have to vote against racism in the coming elections".
Meanwhile, the Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel (Sikkuy) said that the poll findings show worrying dimensions of racism ever since the Intifada started in October 2000”.
National Jewish Front leader Baruch Marzel welcomed the poll results and said that the Israeli public is “fed up from the illusions of peace and coexistence”. He believes that more and more people in Israel are starting to realize that the Front views are right.
Following are some of the poll findings;
46% of the Jews do not accept Arabs among them, 50% said they accept.
41% of the Jews approve separation between Jews and Arabs in recreation centers and areas, 53% reject the separation.
63% said that the Arabs are security and demographic threat to Israel, 31% oppose this view. Most of the Jews who said that are religious, immigrants and people who have low income.
40% said that Israel should encourage its Arab residents to leave the country; 52% oppose.
34% said that the Arab culture is lower than the Jewish culture; 57% said they don’t believe so.
50% of the polled said that they feel afraid and uncomfortable when they heat the Arabic language; 18% said that they don’t hate Arabs.