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Poll shows large swaths of Israeli youth hate Arabs, back revoking citizenship

Nearly half of religious, quarter of secular express such sentiments; feelings strongest among ultra-Orthodox; half of Arab Israeli youth hold negative stereotypes about Haredim

Illustrative: Israeli supporters of the two Jewish suspected in the arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents, demonstrate outside of a Lod court, on June 19, 2018. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)
Illustrative: Israeli supporters of the two Jewish suspected in the arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents, demonstrate outside of a Lod court, on June 19, 2018. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)

In a poll published this week, nearly half of ultra-Orthodox and national religious Israeli youth expressed hatred toward Arabs and noted support for stripping them of their citizenship, a sentiment shared by 23 percent of secular youth.

The Thursday poll from the Hebrew University’s aChord Center was conducted among 1,100 respondents between the ages of 16 and 18.

Of those polled, 66% of Haredim, 42% of religious nationalists and 24% of secular Israelis expressed feelings of fear and hatred toward Arabs, which make up some 20% of the population.

Forty-nine percent of all religious Israelis and 23% of secular Israelis indicated support for stripping Arab Israelis of their citizenship, the poll showed.

Given that people often avoid admitting their hatred toward another group when responding to polls, the aChord study noted that the high rates “may show that expressing hatred is considered acceptable,” Haaretz reported.

Among Arab Israelis, the numbers were much lower, with 12% expressing hatred toward secular Israelis and 22% expressed hate toward national religious and ultra-Orthodox Israelis. Nine percent expressed support for stripping secular Israelis of their citizenship, 13% expressed support for doing the same for national religious Israelis and 19% supported stripping ultra-Orthodox Israelis of their citizenship.

Among secular Israelis, 23% expressed hatred toward ultra-Orthodox Israelis — a figure that was higher than previous years, likely due to the public’s frustration with the Haredi sector over a perceived refusal to comply with coronavirus health regulations. The percentage of secular Israelis who expressed hatred toward national religious citizens was much lower, at 9%.

Negative attitudes were felt strongest between Arab and Haredi citizens, but they were still a slight improvement from aChord’s 2018-2019 survey.

Secular Jews and Arab Israelis were the most willing to meet one other, while religious nationalists were the least willing to meet Arab citizens, the poll showed.

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