Friday, October 26, 2012

Apartheid Israelis

"Many readers were surprised, as I was, to read a headline in The Weekend Australian: Living under the cloud of Israel's cruel apartheid. The headline did an injustice to the story, which only used the word apartheid in reporting the comments of one person who was interviewed. The editor of this august journal has confirmed to me that the headline was a mistake, the sort that creeps into newspapers where staff are always battling the pressure of deadlines. The Australian believes, and certainly I personally believe, the word apartheid has no application to Israel, which is a democracy in good standing, which extends basic rights to all its citizens, whatever their race or creed. Too often the misuse of such a word is designed to demonise Israel, wholly unjustly. In this case, it was just a mistake." (Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, writing in an addendum to his column EU piggies won't go to market, 10/5/12)*

A just-released Israeli survey based on a sample of 503 interviews, commissioned by the New Israel Fund's Yisraela Goldblum Fund and conducted by the Dialog organisation based at Tel Aviv University, has found that:

Most Israeli Jews support the establishment of an apartheid regime in Israel if it formally annexes the West Bank

74% of Israeli Jews favour separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.
69% object to giving Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.
38% want Israel to annex the Palestinian territories with settlements on them. (48% object)

A majority of Israeli Jews explicitly favours discrimination against Israel's Arab citizens:

59% of Israeli Jews want preference for Jews over Israeli Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries.
58% believe Israel practices apartheid against Arabs.
49% want the state to treat Jewish Israelis better than Arab Israelis.
47% want part of Israel's Arab population transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
42% don't want to live in the same building with Arab Israelis or have their children in the same class with Arab Israeli children.
36% support some transferring some Israeli Arab towns from Israel to the PA in exchange for keeping some West Bank settlements.
33% want a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset.

NB: Anti-Arab views were most extreme among ultra-Orthodox Jews, and least extreme among secular Israelis. Source: Israel's dark reality: majority support apartheid, according to new study, Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 23/10/12)

[*For the full story of the headline that got away, see my 11/5/12 post Magic Happens and the accompanying list of posts which relate to it. (It's as easy as clicking on the Israeli apartheid label below.) Needless to say this poll wasn't reported in The Australian. A report on it by Fairfax's Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard, however, appeared in both the Sydney Morning Herald (Poll finds Jewish Israeli support for segregation, 25/10/12) and The Age.]

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