While Israelis want coexistence, few are willing to live next to Arabs

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By allmepadmin / December 27 2017

While a majority of Israeli Jews and Arabs support coexistence in the region, a recent study by the Center for a Shared Society at ALLMEP member Givat Haviva found that only a small fraction of Jews are willing to actually live next door to Arabs.

The study findings show that, while 63.7% of Jews and 84.3% of Arabs support the notion of coexistence, only 13% of Jewish Israelis said that they would like to have an Arab as neighbor.

Furthermore, the study revealed that only about 50% of Jewish respondents visited an Arab neighborhood in the past year and only a few more of them want their children to learn Arabic. This starkly contrasts the Arab numbers, which show that over 90% of them visited a Jewish neighborhood in the past year and 84.2% are interested in having their children learn Hebrew at an early age.

The numbers did align, however, on two key topics: education and politicians. Both Arabs and Israelis agree that education is essential in advancing the notion of coexistence and, 83% of the total respondents stated that political parties promote the idea of coexistence to “a small extent, or not at all.”

The Executive Director of Givat Haviva, Yaniv Sagee stated that “These figures show a clear picture that there is great openness – and even expectation – among Arab and Jewish society for the establishment of a joint party that will work to consolidate coexistence in Israel.”

The findings also indicate an amount of confusion among the public. While there seems to be a willingness to cooperate, there are reservations regarding social integration and land use and allotment.

The study’s full findings and further recommendations were presented at the Knesset Advocacy Group for the Advancement of Shared Living between Jews and Arabs in December.

Based on the findings of this study, director of planning, equality, and coexistence at Givat Haviva, Mohammed Darawshe said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post:

The study shows that the need for change should be based on strengthening successful models of a common society, exposing them to the public, and on the need for leadership that will lead the public – who over the years has stopped dreaming and believing in a common society, mainly as a result of the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While Israelis want coexistence, few are willing to live next to Arabs

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