Daily Israel Report

Poll: Russian Immigrants Tougher on Arabs, Stronger on Yesha

A new survey reveals that a whopping 77 percent of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union support the transfer of Arabs out of the Jewish State.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 8/3/2009, 4:13 PM

(file)

A new survey conducted by Israel Democracy Institute reveals that a whopping 77 percent of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) support the transfer of Arabs out of the Jewish State.

The 2009 Democracy Index, carried out in March 2009 in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian languages, was given to President Shimon Peres on Monday.

While 53 percent of Israeli Jews support encouraging Arabs to emigrate from Israel,  an overshelming 77 percent of immigrants said they favor the idea, compared with 47 percent of veteran Israelis. Likewise, only 23 percent of immigrant Russians believe in including Arab parties in the government, compared with 33 percent of veteran Israelis.

In 2003, 38 percent of respondents objected to the idea that a Jewish majority should be required in decisions relating to the fate of Israel – in March, that figure plummeted to 27 percent.

A majority of Israelis agreed only loyal citizens should benefit from civil rights – 54 percent – with 43 percent of veteran Israelis hoping to extend more rights to Jewish citizens than to non-Jews.

In response to views on Arabs exposed in the survey, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Monday that Arab-Israelis are "integral" to the state.  President Peres said Jews should value coexistence with Arabs as a means of fulfilling the Torah obligation of being a "light unto the nations".

While 48 percent of veteran Israelis refuse the idea of destroying any Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as part of negotiations with Arabs, a heftier 64 percent of immigrants from the FSU feel strongly about maintaining those communities.

A desire to have children or grandchildren live in Israel was shared by both veterans and immigrants, though 92 percent of veterans expressed that desire, as opposed to 74 percent of immigrants.  Half of immigrants aged 18 to 30 said they wanted to live in the Jewish State, compared with 77 percent of veterans of that age.

In terms of the general Israeli populace, while half of Israelis feel they can have no impact on government policies, almost 80 percent stated they believe they have a sphere of influence within their personal lives, workplaces, and schools.