Anti-Arab racism in Israel

Eli Ungar-Sargon writes in The Electronic Intifada about a survey of Jewish Israeli racism and the video above:

We began our survey in February 2011 and completed it in early March. On the Israeli side, we interviewed a total of 250 Jewish Israelis in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Jerusalem and Beersheba. For this part of the survey I conducted the interviews myself from behind the camera in Hebrew. On the Palestinian side, we interviewed a total of 250 Palestinians in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron. (Despite multiple attempts, we were unable to procure permission to enter the Gaza Strip.) Here, we collaborated with local journalist Mohammad Jaradat who, using my questions, conducted the interviews in Arabic.

The questions we asked pertained to a number of sensitive political topics and the idea was to get people to talk long enough to detect if there was any racism at play in their answers. In sociological terms, we were engaged in qualitative analysis, but unlike typical qualitative interviews, we spent minutes, not hours with our subjects. Our survey is not exhaustive and our method was very simple. We went to public places and asked people to talk to us on camera. In designing the questions, I set out to distinguish actual racism from conflict-based animosity. That is, to allow for the possibility that Israelis might exhibit animosity towards Palestinians without being racist and to allow the same on the Palestinian side in reverse.

The very first question we asked of Jewish Israelis was the extremely broad “What do you think about Arabs?” It is only reasonable to expect that people who harbor anti-Arab sentiment would mask their feelings when answering such a direct question on camera. Most people responded to this question with some variation of “They are people,” although we were surprised that a sizable minority used the opportunity to launch into anti-Arab diatribes.

One of the most disturbing trends that we noticed was the strong correlation between age and anti-Arab sentiment. The majority of Israeli teenagers that we spoke to expressed unabashed and open racism towards Arabs. Statements like “I hate them,” or “they should all be killed” were common in this age group.

When looking over the data, we divided the respondents into three groups: those who were neutral about Arabs; those who were positive about them; and those who expressed negative attitudes. Amongst the responses, 60 percent were neutral, 25 percent negative and 15 percent positive.

Read the entire piece here.

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Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 32 comments... read them below or add one }

    • DBG says:

      What were the responses from the Palestinians (I haven’t had an opportunity to watch the video yet, but Horowitz doesn’t mention their response in his response.

    • Cliff says:

      It’s good that you equate widespread racism among the majority of Israeli Jewish society toward Palestinian Arabs – with terrorism.

      I agree. Although, the terrorism carried out by Palestinians is a fraction, the terror carried out by the IDF and the settlers is institutional and promoted by the racist society you live in.

      • DBG says:

        Cliff you nail your talking points every time, good job. But have you tried anything more original?

        • why try to be “more original” when the important simple truths do not sink into your thick skull? we repeat ourselves with cogent and fact based points, from our own minds, while YOU supply the twisted talking points.

          i love the evasion though… for lack of a substantive canned response, misdirection in the fallback (personal attacks, antisemitism charges, look at the other “worse” countries, look what america did to the native americans….. blah blah blah)

        • Mndwss says:

          More original than the hasbara version of truth?

          If no logic is original. Then Zionsts must be the most original people on the planet.

          Or Chosen as they like to be referred to.

          If you mix oil and water, then pigs will fly. (?)

          And pigs are flying.

          Sooner or later pigs must take a dump.

          And people in Gaza is defenseless.

          They have no umbrellas.

          Would an umbrella help when the rainy day is called Cast Lead II?

          Shit hits Gaza.

          Gaza needs a big fan.

        • Dan Crowther says:


          I got something “original” for ya – a coca cola. Go have a coke and a smile.
          We like facts around here, and sometimes they cant really be “original” because facts have this thing wherein they remain facts. Ya know?

          For example: your a zio-troll fascist. Now, if I said that tomorrow, it wouldnt be original anymore, but it would still be a fact. capiche?

        • Shingo says:

          You only have to be original when you’re lying DBG. Facts are always going to be boring and unoriginal.

    • Sumud says:

      Anti-Palestinian killings (plural) in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories:

      Some of the violence, deaths and injuries in Palestine this week include…

      …in addition to all those documented in Seham and Kate’s previous daily news roundups of Israel/Palestine. Why don’t you check some out? You might begin to understand why the world has had enough of Israeli terrorism, and why BDS is spreading so fast.

      BTW longliveisrael, Phil has already mentioned the mysterious Eliat occurences in this article.

      Back to the topic of the article, how do you feel about the phrase “death to arabs”? Twenty-one percent of Israeli jewish schoolchildren think it is an acceptable statement, and 46% don’t want equality for Palestinian Israelis (ie. they want apartheid). I presume you aren’t a child. Got kids? What do they think?

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      LLI, sad that some non-soldiers were hit, but what do the Israels expect, when they put civilians on buses where soldiers are, and let them travel in war zones??

      If the don’t want to get them killed, they shouldn’t put the soldiers among the civilians, using them a human shields. Regrettable, but the Israelis are morally responsible for those deaths.

      • DBG says:

        Woody, so do you also believe there were no innocents killed during caste lead? How is it different, other than here a car was targeted with a family in it, no soldiers.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          DGB, the Israelis murdered many innocents in Gaza. As for these car folks, obviously if they were reservists or active military, then they are legitimate targets. If they are truly innocent (i.e., support the rights of the Palestinians), then you can simply apply to the attackers whatever excuse the Israelis apply to excuse themselves when they murder innocent people.

      • Eilat is a war zone? Sure, according to those who claim that all Israelis are legitimate targets anywhere.

        But a better question to ask, especially in light of outlining Israelis attitude to Arabs. How does this act benefit the Palestinians?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          The maybe you should be asking if this act was done by Palestinians, definitively. Or more relevant, whether it was done by Fatah or Hamas.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Eilat is a war zone? Sure, according to those who claim that all Israelis are legitimate targets anywhere.”

          Why not, if Israelis think Gaza is, then why not Eliat? And Israeli military are legitimate targets anywhere. They declared war on the Palestinian people, after all.

        • DBG says:

          Chaos, you know the Palestinians consist of much more than just Fatah and Hamas, yes? The PRC was responsible, there was intelligence on this, this is why their leadership was decimated.

        • Shingo says:

          The PRC was responsible, there was intelligence on this, this is why their leadership was decimated.

          Then why did the IDF deny the PRC had anything to so with the attack?

          What intelligence is there, apart from the claim the attackers used Kalashnikov rifles?

    • nmi says:

      Military strike on IDF.

  1. Kathleen says:

    Great. Will we be hearing the other questions asked of Palestinians? Any way to watch all of the interviews?

    Did you ask about one or two state solution?

    Some reasonable and some radical responses.

  2. Kathleen says:

    ok going to the full article. thanks

  3. Chu says:

    Some of their comments exposes their insular cocoon.
    They believe they’ve returned to the homeland only to be threatened again with extinction from the Arabs. They miss the fact that they stole the territory from the Arabs and currently occupy much of the land militarily.

    Why do they all feel so victimized?

    While, there are a lot of celebratory holidays in the Jewish calendar, there are many that reflect upon a point in history where Jews were victims. Do these holidays cause problems for Israelis and the Diaspora, and does it fuel an ideology where Israeli’s are inevitably the victims in any situation? They seem to lack the self reflection of what their colonial project has created.

    • RoHa says:

      “there are a lot of celebratory holidays in the Jewish calendar, there are many that reflect upon a point in history where Jews were victims.”

      What depresses me is that there are some that seem to celebrate the mass slaughter of Gentiles.

      • eljay says:

        >> What depresses me is that there are some that seem to celebrate the mass slaughter of Gentiles.

        What one must keep in mind is that:
        - condemning the mass slaughter of Gentiles, rather than celebrating it, would be an “historical litmus test” since the slaughter happened before Jews living today were born; and, anyway,
        - the mass slaughter of Gentiles is “currently not necessary”.

        • eljay says:

          >> What one must keep in mind …

          Silly me, I forgot to include this bit of wisdom: One cannot consistently say that “the mass slaughter of Gentiles is never necessary”.

  4. Les says:

    If you want to take their property, racism is just one of many justifications. It worked in America when the very first white settlers, who were far from rich, decided to claim Indian land as theirs, god given at that.

  5. seafoid says:

    Brainwashed and living in a Hebrew bubble. Very little thinking going on in Israel. Just the way the oligarchs like it.

  6. nmi says:

    46% of Israelis are anti-Arab?!?

    Sorry. I don’t believe a word of that.

    It’s about 98%.

    I don’t even think 95% would be a reasonable estimate..too low.

  7. First, did anyone actually watch the video? You have a couple of kids voice racist opinions so you extrapolate that on the whole population? Most everyone else clearly stated that “Arabs are human just like us”

    Udi Aloni is the one you ask if there is anti-semitism among Palestinians? That’s like asking Ahmenidjad if there are gays in Iran and if the Bahai are well treated there.

    Where is the commentary on the interviews on the Palestinian side?

    • Cliff says:

      It’s a work in progress and we only have the Israeli side ATM. Chill out, stop being lazy, and look at the YT page.

      And you might want to corroborate the findings in this docuvideo when it’s finished with published studies.

      One documentary isn’t enough for an argument.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Okay, so Israel and Iran are both theocratic-leaning oppressive regimes. We get that, you really don’t have to keep beating that point into the ground.