Poll Shows Israeli-Arab Holocaust Denial, Support for Hizbullah

A new Haifa University study reveals an alarming trend of Holocaust denial and sympathy with Hizbullah among the Arab citizens of Israel.

Ezra HaLevi ,

Israeli Arabs
Israeli Arabs

A new Haifa University study reveals an alarming trend of Holocaust denial, sympathy with Hizbullah and belief that they will one day be transferred out of Israel among the Arab citizens of Israel.

The survey, conducted by the university’s Dean of Social Studies Sammy Smooha, found that more than a quarter of Israel's Arab citizens believe the Holocaust never happened. The poll found that 28 percent shared that belief, and that the percentage actually rose the more educated those asked were. Of college and high-school grads, one third (33 percent) believe the Holocaust to be fiction.

Although tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs were forced into bomb shelters during the war against Hizbullah, nearly half (48 percent) believe that Hizbullah’s shelling of Israel’s northern residents was justified. The same figure believe the kidnapping of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser was justified and 90 percent consider Israel’s bombing of Lebanon to have constituted war crimes.

Smooha, not known to be sympathetic to the right-wing, said he was surprised by the survey’s results. “One would expect Israeli Arabs to be more pro-Israel due to the unique situation in the last war. The war did not involve the Palestinians and the Hizbullah rockets endangered their lives and property too. The aggressor was a fundamentalist Islamic organization that most Israeli Arabs do not support.”

The study found that 63 percent of Israeli Jews are afraid to enter or drive through Arab towns of cities, while the same percentage of Israeli Arabs believe Israel may transfer authority over their villages to the Palestinian Authority. 60 percent fear that they will be transferred out of Israel en masse.

76 percent of Arabs believe that Zionism is racist and 68 percent of Israeli Jews fear an Israeli-Arab wave of violence.

The poll involved 721 Arabs and 702 Jews, with a margin of error of 3.7%.

Student Group Invited Arab Students to Yad VaShem

Zionist student group “Im Tirtzu” (“If you will it”) is planning a trip to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem for Arab students at Haifa University. The trip, scheduled for Wednesday, will be entirely funded by the grassroots group.

Group leaders decided to organize the trip in response to the results of the survey.

Members of Im Tirtzu expressed confidence that the museum visit would cause Muslim students who previously denied the Holocaust to see that they were mistaken. “After seeing physical evidence which proves that the Holocaust happened, the students will realize they were lied to,” organizers said.