Israel’s Jews, Arabs prefer to live in separate neighborhoods – survey

A majority of Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis feel comfortable living in Israel as “who they are,” but do not think they should live together in the same neighborhoods, a new survey finds.

The Jewish People Policy Institute, or JPPI, on Wednesday releases its second annual Pluralism Index.

The index, according to JPPI president Avinoam Bar-Yosef, “shows once again that the greatest success of the Jewish state is the integration of Diaspora Jews, from more than 90 different countries, in one thriving society. They wish to live together, form families together, and build a common future.”

“The fact that many Arabs living in the Jewish state define their primary identity as Israeli and feel comfortable and at home in Israel is very encouraging. Having said that, there is still much to be done to ensure full equality,” Bar Yosef says in a statement.

The index also finds that a majority of Jews do think it is wise for secular and religious Jews to live together, but not for secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews to do so. It is the self-identified most secular groups that most object to the idea of living together.

Meanwhile, a significant majority of Muslim Arabs and the vast majority, or more than 90 percent, of Christian Arabs in Israel do not think it is wise for their respective groups to live together, according to the index.

“What is worrying is that what we see here is that in Israel, basically the majority is happy, but they are not ready to live together. So you have a few groups that feel at home here but separately,” Bar-Yosef tells JTA.

— JTA

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