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More about that poll we mentioned on the site earlier today:

Ardent supporters of Israel never tire of telling us that Israel is the only "democracy" in the Middle East. If a poll released yesterday is any indication, Israeli high school kids want to see their country be more like the rest of the Middle East.

Discussing a survey of 536 Jewish and Arab respondents between the ages of 15-18, Ha’aretz reports,

"Nearly half [49.5%] of Israel’s high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel…. The same poll revealed that more than half [56%] of the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset."

Reading the results, Professor Daniel Bar-Tel of the Tel Aviv University’s School of Education concludes that "Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values." 

While "39 percent of secular students" opposed granting Arab citizens equal rights to Jews, an incredible "82 percent of religious students" were opposed. So much for the moderating influence of religious practice.

An equal percentage of religious students, 82 percent, opposed letting Arabs "run for office in the Knesset." Secular students split with 47 percent agreeing that there should be no Arab representation.

While the ADL and other Jewish organizations in the West consider graffiti such as "Death to the Jews" to be serious manifestations of anti-Semitism, "50% of the Jewish youngsters who defined themselves as religious [in the poll] said they believe the “Death to Arabs” slogan was legitimate."

According to the Jerusalem Post, "the survey further showed that nearly 70% of Arab youngsters living in Israel defined themselves as being ‘Palestinian patriots,’ and that 20% don’t feel a part of the country."

Military discipline also takes a blow, as "48 percent said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories," even though 91 percent "expressed a desire to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces."

Not all is lost: "31 percent said they would refuse military service beyond the Green Line," implying there is still a residue of opposition to the occupation.

Had one of us said the following, Alan Dershowitz would be on our asses within seconds, but Professor Bar-Tel observes

"The differences in positions between secular and religious youth, which are only growing sharper from a demographic standpoint, need to be of concern to all of us because this will be the face of the state in another 20-30 years.There is a combination of fundamentalism, nationalism, and racism in the worldview of religious youth."

Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.

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