Most do not feel that Arab MKs represent them

Poll: Arab Israelis see Al-Aqsa protection as key to end violence

64% of respondents in Channel 2 survey say Israeli clarification that it will uphold Temple Mount status quo would help calm situation

Arab Israelis, some holding Palestinian flags, take part in a large demonstration as part of a general strike organized to support the Palestinians on October 13, 2015 in the northern Arab-Israeli town of Sakhnin (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)
Arab Israelis, some holding Palestinian flags, take part in a large demonstration as part of a general strike organized to support the Palestinians on October 13, 2015 in the northern Arab-Israeli town of Sakhnin (AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ)

Almost two-thirds of Arab Israelis believe that in order to quell the ongoing surge of terrorism, the Israeli government must unequivocally assure Muslims that it will not change the status quo at the Temple Mount or harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a Channel 2 poll published Saturday found.

According to the survey, conducted by the Midgam Institute and Statnet, 64 percent of those polled said a clear message by Israel that it would protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque would be most effective in halting attacks, and 60% urged Israel to launch immediate talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Only 23% said they believe steps can be taken by the Palestinian Authority or the leaders of the Arab Israeli community in order to calm tensions. Nineteen percent said the Palestinians should “continue with their struggle,” though the poll was unclear on whether such a response amounted to a call for armed resistance, or civil disobedience.

The Palestinians claim Israel plans to change the status quo at the Temple Mount, which is holy to Jews and Muslims but where Jews are currently allowed to visit but not pray. Israel has repeatedly denied the accusation, which has been a key factor in the ongoing violence.

When asked whether they agreed with Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem’s recent accusations on live TV against Joint (Arab) List head Ayman Odeh as the latter was preparing for an interview by a Channel 2 news, 63% said they disagreed with the manner in which the criticisms were delivered. The poll did not address the content of Salem’s claims against Odeh, according to which the Joint List was causing harm to the possibility of coexistence between Jews and Arabs in the country.

More than half of those polled — 54% — said that they do not feel that Arab Knesset members represent them, while just 25% claimed Arab MKs represent them fairly, and only 16% say that they represent them to a large extent, Channel 2 reported.

The poll was conducted among 304 Arab Israelis with a margin of error of 5.6%.

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