INSS: 47% of Israel’s Arab Population Has Felt a Decline In Jewish-Arab Relations Since October

After seven months of war, it is impossible to ignore the distress felt by Arab citizens of Israel, despite a broad desire to continue their routine lives

INSS: 47% of Israel’s Arab Population Has Felt a Decline In Jewish-Arab Relations Since October

IDF soldiers in Gaza. Photo: IDF website

Approximately 47% of the Arab population has felt a decline in relations between Jews and Arabs since the outbreak of the war. This, according to a new document published by INSS researchers Ephraim Lavie, Meir Elran, and Tomer Fadlon, which sheds light on sensitivities and potential dangers that might lead to a deterioration in the relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel as the Swords of Iron War has entered its 8th month.  

In the past seven months, since the start of the Swords of Iron War, the fears of many in the Israeli defense establishment about a major uprising of Israel’s Arab citizens have not materialized, and calm in the mixed Arab-Jewish cities has been maintained. Even the tense month of Ramadan, always a potential powder keg, came and went without any remarkable disturbance. And yet, as the war drags on with no end – or hope for a long-term solution – in sight – the risk for 

The document discusses at length the effect that the images of extensive destruction and humanitarian disaster in Gaza have on the Arab citizens of Israel, and how it may harm their identification with Israel’s efforts to dismantle Hamas. It also goes into the increasing sense of alienation from the State of Israel and its Jewish majority; the diminished sense of personal security; the deterioration in the economic situation; and the restrictions on freedom of expression.

The report also addresses the ongoing provocations and attacks by extreme nationalists – both Jewish and Arabs. “Far-right Jewish groups within Israel openly hold anti-Arab views. These individuals, fueled by the legitimacy given by some senior government officials, view Arab citizens as part of the ‘Palestinian enemy’ and are willing to engage in confrontations with them under the pretext of defending Jews,” the researchers write.  

45% of the Arab public is more concerned about social and national tensions within Israel than external security threats. Only 28% of the Arab public is more worried about external threats to the State of Israel than social and national tensions.

Read the full INSS document, “Between Restraint and Protest: Arab Society in Israel After Seven Months of War

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