Photo Credit: Kobi Richter / TPS
Arabs rally near the Lions Gate outside Temple Mount. Jerusalem, July 25, 2017.

by Mara Vigevani

Some 60 percent of Arab citizens of Israel have positive attitudes toward the state and its institutions while 37 percent hold a view that is unfavorable to Israel, according to a public opinion survey conducted in August for the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation at Tel Aviv University’s Dayan Center.

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The poll was released Wednesday at a conference at Tel Aviv University on “citizenship identity and political participation among the Arab population.” It surveyed 876 citizens of Israel and 125 residents of eastern Jerusalem who hold permanent Israeli residency but not citizenship, with a margin of error of 2.25 percent.

Arik Rudnitzky, a project manager at the Konrad Adenauer Program, said the conclusion of the research is that Israeli Arabs feel generally good in Israel, but added that “attitudes toward the institutions of the State of Israel are very critical.”

Rudnitzky noted that half of those surveyed did not view the Knesset as a positive institution and only 35 percent viewed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu positively.

On the flip side, he noted, most of those surveyed said they would feel very proud if a relative would be elected as a Knesset member.

“This actually indicates that the Israeli Arabs view positively the participation in political life in Israel,” Rudnitzky said, who added that pressing issues for Israel’s Arabs are neighborhood crime, violence and personal security (22 percent) ahead of racism (20 percent) and economy and employment (15 percent). Only 13 percent noted the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as their top concern ( 19 percent in 2015).

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