SECTION NINE

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COLUMN SEVENTY-EIGHT, NOVEMBER 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

PRELIMINARY POLL RESULTS:
MOST ISRAELI 'TRIANGLE' ARABS REJECT INTIFADA

Two years after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada and the violent events within the Green Line, the Institute for Peace Research at Givat Haviva conducted a poll amongst a representative sample of Arab residents in the Triangle Region. The poll examined their positions regarding the intifada, the participation of Arab residents in it, their definition of the State and of their individual identity, as well as their opinions regarding methods of improving the relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, their willingness to participate in joint activities and their intentions to vote or not vote in the coming elections.

The following are the major findings arising from the survey:

Close to two-thirds are interested in the cessation of the intifada, while 15% prefer that it continue.

More than 80% support the proposal that the intifada will be conducted with no violence on either side.

Approximately two-thirds believe that the role of Arabs in Israel in the intifada is in providing financial and moral support to their brothers in the territories, or in bringing political pressure within Israel towards a solution to the conflict. Almost 20% stated that Arab citizens do not need or are unable to play any role in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

More than 68% of Triangle residents reject the proposal to annex their villages to a future Palestinian state. 18% of them would be ready for this, and to relinquish their Israeli citizenship (as compared with approximately 30% who answered this way in the poll which was conducted some eighteen months ago). 44% of those who are ready for annexation to the Palestinian state explain this by saying that they are Palestinians and 38% say that the reason is 'the existence of manifestations of racism against Arabs in Israel." The explanations of those who are opposed to the proposal are: "I have become used to living in Israel? (37%), 'the true meaning of the proposal is ceding the homeland? (27.7%) and the economic situation in Israel is better (16.7%).

A large majority of the respondents (more than 70%) recommends holding joint social, economic and political activities between Arabs and Jews, as a way to improve relations between them. About two-thirds would be willing to participate in such activity.

The functioning of the current government towards the Arabs in Israel receives a negative grade--- approximately three-quarters noted that it is very bad or bad, 20% described it as mediocre and about 4% said it is good.

Fewer than half of the respondents have already decided to participate in the next elections for the Knesset. 29% have decided not to participate and the rest have not yet formed an opinion on the question.

As to the definition of their identity: one-third define their national identity as "Palestinians or Arab citizens in Israel," one-third use various combinations of "Arab? and "Palestinian," and 22% "Israeli Arab."

How would the Arabs of the Triangle Region wish to see the national character of the State of Israel? A decisive majority---80.5%---would like it to be "a state for all its citizens," Jews and Arabs, and 12% accept its continued existence as a "democratic Jewish state." This, as opposed to their definition of the state as it is today: only 15% believe it is indeed a state for all its citizens, 7% define it as "bi-national? and moir? than 75% say that it is 'the state of the Jewish People? (59%) or a "Jewish-democratic state? (15%). 

More than a third of the respondents described themselves as 'religious," more than half as 'traditional," and 12% as 'secular."

The survey was conducted by Yafa Research Institute Ltd., Nazareth, between 10-12 September (before the most recent wave of terror attacks inside Israel and the siege on the Mukata), amongst the adult population over the age of 18. The survey was conducted by telephone in Arabic. The survey was among 509 interviewees, with a margin of error of 4%.

Full results will be published in a special survey within a few weeks.  ##

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