Arabs protest Israel in Jerusalem (archive)
Arabs protest Israel in Jerusalem (archive)Israel news photo: Flash 90

Over 40% of Israeli Jews believe that IDF soldiers have no right to throw Jews out of their homes in the context of a government withdrawal, such as the 2005 disengagement, a poll released Sunday showed.

According to the annual poll by the Israeli Democracy Institute on the state of democracy in Israel, 42% of Israeli Jews said that IDF soldiers should not be used to evict Jews from their homes in the event of a handover of land by the state to the Palestinian Authority – and that they should disobey such orders – while 58% said they must not disobey such an order. In addition, the poll showed, 63% of Jews said that leftist soldiers did not have the right to refuse to serve in Judea and Samaria, while 31.4% said they did.

The poll also showed an increasing acceptance by Jews of Israeli Arabs. In this year's poll, 43.8% said they would support a government effort to encourage Arabs to emigrate from Israel, a large drop from the last time the question was asked in 2010, when 50.7% said they encouraged such efforts.

On the other hand, many Israeli Jews did not want Arabs in their neighborhood, with 47.6% saying they did not want them as neighbors. However, Israeli Arabs were nearly as insular when it came to Jews; 41.9% said they did not want Jews as neighbors. Less desirable than Arabs for Jews were foreign workers; 56.9% of Israeli Jews said they would not want them for neighbors. Among Arabs, the least desirable neighbors are gay couples; 46.% said they would not tolerate them as neighbors.

Among Jews, the large majority believe that questions of national importance such as withdrawal from lands (66.7%) and economic issues (59.6%), must be in the hands of Jews. Among Arabs, the numbers were far smaller, with most saying that the decisions should be everyone's.

One thing everyone could agree on was political corruption, the poll showed; both Arabs and Jews (68.8% of both groups) said that in their opinion, politicians were out to benefit themselves, and not the public. With that, the Institute said, politicians had risen significantly in the eyes of Israelis; in the 2012 poll, 78% said that politicians were out for themselves.