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Survey: Judea, Samaria and Gaza Arabs Reject Normalization

Public opinion survey reveals vast majority oppose joint activities with Israel.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 4/2/2014, 11:28 AM

Arab anti-Israel demonstrators (file)
Arab anti-Israel demonstrators (file)
Reuters

The vast majority of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza support a boycott of joint activities with Israelis, according to a recent public opinion survey conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD).

Seventy percent of the respondents opposed joint cultural and sports activities with Israelis, while 55% said they wouldn't agree to cooperate with Israel in the fields of science, environmental protection and health.

Despite the wide calls for a boycott on activities with Israel, 78% said they had not heard about the Ramallah-based Palestinian BDS National Committee. Of those who were aware of the organization, which leads boycotts to delegitimize Israel, only 51% (in Gaza, Judea and Samaria) were familiar with its activities.

Apparently the group, despite being based in Samaria, is more widely known in Gaza. Sixty percent of Gazans familiar with the committee knew of its activities, as opposed to only 45% of Arab residents of Judea and Samaria.

The survey was conducted in early March, and polled 1,200 residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, including various age ranges and both men and women. 

BDS Committee activities - slandering Israel for 'apartheid'

An example of the BDS National Committee's activities was its recent opposition to the June 4 Rolling Stones concert in Israel, which was confirmed in late March.

"Palestinian organizations urge the Rolling Stones to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel's violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people," stated Rafeef Ziadah of the Committee.

Ziadah claimed the band was "at the forefront of enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, but performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era."

The wrongful accusations of apartheid were disproved last September by Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the Parliament of South Africa and founder of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). Meshoe argued "anyone who knows what apartheid really is and still makes such a claim [about Israel] should be told to their faces that they are lying."

The reverend noted in South Africa basic rights, such as voting, were denied on the basis of race, whereas Arab citizens enjoy full rights in Israel. "Apartheid was very painful," Meshoe recalls, "anyone who claims Israel is an apartheid state is actually minimizing the pain of apartheid."