Critics of Israel continually condemn its policies as evidence of a desire to oppress Arabs, but a recent poll reveals a deep seated undercurrent within Israel society for positive relations between Arab and Jewish citizens. A poll conducted by the Harvard School of Government shows that 77% os Israel Arabs would prefer living in Israel than any other country in the world. The poll indicates 73% of Jews and 94% of Arabs in Israel want a society “in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities.” Those conducting the survey were surprised at the high level of cooperation even though it was done at the 60th anniversary of the birth of Israel which witnessed widespread Arab boycott of ceremonies. Several Arab Knesset members attributed the boycott attitude as stemming from discrimination against Arabs in Israel.
Professor Todd Pittinsky, who helped conduct the survey said there was strong feeling among most Israel Jews for the teaching of speaking Arabic in all schools in order to help create bonds of friendship. He also noted: ‘People on the ground are running community centrs that enable cultural exchanges, in bilingual schools like the Hand in Hand” where young Jewish and Arabic people are coming together and trying to create new relationships.
It is unfortunate that these positive signs are never discussed in the media.