And what do the Arabs know about Jabotinsky?

Special survey examines public knowledge of Revisionist movement leader.

Mordechai Sones,

Ze'ev Jabotinsky
Ze'ev Jabotinsky
Knesset website

The Jabotinsky Institute conducted a survey today in Israeli society seeking to examine public knowledge of the character and activities of the man, the founder of the Revisionist movement, and one of the leaders of the Zionist movement.

The survey, conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute for the Jabotinsky Institute, surveys Jews and Arabs, and among other things examines the public's knowledge of who Ze'ev Jabotinsky was.

Eight percent of the adult Jewish population answered "a Zionist leader, journalist, and intellectual." Seven percent answered "founder of Beitar Jerusalem," while 4 percent thought he was the first mayor of Tel Aviv (incorrectly - it was Meir Dizengoff) and only 5 percent did not know the answer.

Among Jewish youth 65 percent answered the question correctly, 13 percent did not know the answer, 10 percent answered "the first mayor of Tel Aviv" and 8 percent answered "a minister in the first Israeli government."

Other interesting findings emerge from the survey conducted among the Arab population in Israel. On the question of who Ze'ev Jabotinsky was, 44% answered "a Zionist leader, a journalist, and a spiritual person," 12% mentioned other answers, and 44% said they did not know.

On the question of whether Ze'ev Jabotinsky was in favor of or against coexistence between Arabs and Jews, 52% said they did not know. 28% stated that he was in favor of co-existence, and 20% said he opposed it.

Jabotinsky Institute Director Gideon Mitchnik summed up the situation revealed in the survey: "Ahead of the day of Jabotinsky's passing we initiated a survey by the Rafi Smith Institute among youth, graduates, and the Arab sector. The trigger for this was the ignorance and very worrying lack of knowledge we encounter almost daily in youth, soldiers, and others. The rationale was for the survey to reinforce what we experience and through the survey itself generate comprehensive discussion about the education system and the manner of imparting Zionism.

"To our disappointment and joy simultaneously, the survey results were different from what we encounter and even are involved in: According to the survey the majority, both adults and youth, seem to know something about Jabotinsky. We have many challenges and a long way to try to bring Jabotinsky to the people in creative and relevant ways while adapting the message to suit every audience."

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