Tony Greenstein | 07 June 2015 | Post Views:

As Israeli society moves to the Right, so Israeli Jewish teenagers assimilate the values of a ‘Jewish’ state.  There are only 5 mixed Jewish-Arab high schools in Israel and they are private. Jews and Arabs live in different towns and neighbourhoods.  Jews serve in the army of occupation in the West Bank and of course they are the beneficiaries of being the herrenvolk of the Jewish state.

Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, addresses Israeli classroom.  Yesh Atid is ‘centrist’ but Lapid says he wouldn’t be comfortable if his son were to marry an Arab

Unlike the early period of the Israeli state, when ‘left-wing’ ideology was formally in the ascendent yet the practice was to exclude, expel and massacre the indigenous population, today the ideology has come into line with the practice. 

One of the few mixed Jewish Arab families in Israel – the social and political pressures are enormous

There was no better example of this hypocrisy than Mapam, the ‘Marxist’ Zionists.  In early November 1948, Eliezer Peri, the editor of Mapam’s newspaper Al Hamishmar, received a letter describing a massacre at al-Dawayima.  Benny Morris estimates that there were ‘hundreds’ of dead. [Survival of the Fittest, Ha’aretz 8.1.04.  see also Welcome To al-Dawayima, District of Hebron] Agriculture Minister, Aharon Cisling referred to a letter he had received about the atrocities from Eliezer Kaplan declaring: ‘I couldn’t sleep all night . . . This is something that determines the character of the nation . . . Jews too have committed Nazi acts.’ [The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem Revisited, p.488., Benny Morris, Cambridge University Press, 2004]  Cisling agreed that publicIy Israel must admit nothing; but the matter must be thoroughly investigated.  ‘The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks.  There was not a house without dead’, wrote Kaplan, the Jewish Agency [JA] Treasurer and later Minister of Finance [Morris, p.470]

The Political Committee was briefed on 11 November 1948 by the recently ousted Chief of Staff of the Haganah, Yisrael Galili, about the killing of civilians during Operations Yoav and Hiram. Aharon Cohen led a call for an independent inquiry. [Falsifying the Record: A Fresh Look at Zionist Documentation of 1948, Benny Morris Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3. (Spring, 1995), pp. 44-62]  The problem was that the commanders of these operations were senior Mapam members, Yitzhak Sadeh and Moshe Carmel.  Fortunately for Mapam, Ben-Gurion was opposed to any investigations of atrocities committed by the Israeli military.

Settlers scrawl ‘death to the Arabs’ on Palestinian ambulance

Today ideology and practice has come into line.  The collectivist ideology that underlay the original colonisation of land, a necessity in the circumstances (private enterprise colonies are not particularly efficient!) and the creation of Kibbutzim as the most efficient means of colonisation, have now become anachronous.  Today the kibbutzim are self-contained units, mainly the employers of cheap labour and collective capitalists.
3 Arabs lynched in Jerusalem by ‘death to the Arabs’ mob

The election of Likud governments since 1977, the throwing open of Israel to the free market and the dismantlement and selling off of the Histadrut enterprises has been part of the ideological swing to the Right.  The only ideology left today is the ideology of the Jewish state, which is inherently anti-Arab.  Arabs are the other in the Jewish state, the ones who are demonised and caricatured (in Israeli education textbooks the Arab terrorist is invariably the bad guy).

Death to the Arabs slogans on gravestones in Bethlehem’s Christian cemetry

It is therefore no wonder that half Israel’s Jewish students oppose equal rights for Arabs. That is the consequence of a Jewish state which privileges one section of the community at the expense of another.

Tony Greenstein

Only 9% of adolescents consider themselves left-wing; 45% say they wouldn’t study in a class with Arabs

Avi Lewis and Gedalyah Reback June 3, 2015, 

Screenshot of Beitar football mob attacking Arabs at Malha shopping mall – Police charged no one

Jewish Israeli teens are becoming increasingly polarized in their political beliefs, with more than half identifying as politically right-wing and less than 30 percent willing to condemn attacks against Arabs, according to a poll published Tuesday.

Without a sense of irony – Hebron

Four hundred teens between the ages of 12 and 18 were canvassed for the survey across a spectrum of religious, national and political backgrounds, including Jews and Arabs, NRG reported.

Death to the Arabs slogans on Arab house

According to the poll, 52% of Israeli adolescents define themselves as right-wing, 30% see themselves as centrist, and only 9% consider themselves left-wing.

When asked about Israel’s Jewish and democratic character, 41% of Jewish students responded that the state’s Jewish character is more important than its democratic one, while 25% answered the opposite.

Death to the Arabs on Jaffa mosque

Among Arab students, 96% responded they believe Israel should be democratic first and Jewish second.

‘price tag’ is when Israeli terrorists bomb or attack Palestinians in ‘revenge’ attacks

Divisions between Jews and Arabs were evident throughout the survey. Forty-five percent of Jewish teens said they were not prepared to sit in the same classroom with Arab classmates, while 39% of Arab students said the same of their Jewish peers.

Israeli students in school – not an Arab in sight

Thirty-five percent of Jewish students and 27% of Arabs also said they have never interacted with peers from the other group, while 20% of traditional and secular Jewish-Israeli teens have never held a conversation with an ultra-Orthodox peer.

Posted on “The People of Israel Demand Vengeance” Facebook page. The sign reads: “Hating Arabs is not racism; it’s morality!”

While 76% of secular Israelis were willing to live in the same apartment building as Arabs, only 37% of religious Jews and 11% of ultra-Orthodox teens said the same. Sixty-eight percent of Arab adolescents said they were willing to have Jewish neighbors.

The lesson that Israelis have learnt from ‘holocaust awareness

Many Arab and Haredi respondents reflected their anxieties about their place in society, with 40% of Arab teens saying they were concerned about their sector’s place in Israeli society, while about a third of Haredi teens responded the same.

Israeli soldiers in Gaza with anti-Arab death slogans

In an alarming trend, only 28% of Jewish respondents said they condemned so-called price tag attacks associated with religious, far-right Jewish groups, with students from a traditional home surprisingly more likely to decry those attacks than their secular peers.

Such incidents of violence or vandalism target Palestinians or Israeli security forces and are asserted to be payback for actions against the settlement enterprise.

The normal death to the Arabs painted on gate in Hebron

Of the students who identified as right-wing, 48% condoned or said they understood the rationale behind such attacks.

The logic of a Jewish state

The support for price tag attacks seem to run contrary to the widespread condemnation for the activity that has been voiced by senior Israeli officials from across the political spectrum.

The survey also examined teens’ willingness to express their political opinions, with an overwhelming 84% noting they avoid airing their views online. Among those who did express themselves, a third reported being harassed for their beliefs on the net.

The results were presented at a confab (Hebrew) on the state of education in Israel on Tuesday, featuring President Reuven Rivlin among other speakers. Co-sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Open University, the conference examined public education trends and changing demographics in the Jewish state.

The poll was conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute. A margin of error was not provided.
“At a time when we are witnessing increased instances of intolerance, racism, discrimination and violence, education must play a key role in shaping Israeli society as democratic, open and enlightened,” said Professor Kobi Metzer, the president of the Open University.

“[It’s an equality] that should be conferred upon members of various groups regardless of their label or status,” Metzer said.

A survey released Tuesday showed 35 percent of Jewish Israeli youth had never spoken with an Arab youth. The survey also showed that 27% of Arab Israelis reported never having spoken with a Jewish youth and 18% of Jewish Israeli youth reported never having spoken with an ultra-Orthodox youth.

For the survey, 400 Jewish and Arab Israelis from the ages of 12 to 18 from all sectors – traditional, religious, secular, and ultra-Orthodox, took part, showing trends of intolerance towards each other.

More findings from the survey showed that 41% of Jewish youth think that Israel should be more Jewish than democratic versus only some 25% who think that Israel should be more democratic than Jewish.

Interestingly, the majority of Arab youth in the survey reported feeling part of Israeli society in some way, with approximately 40% of them stating they feel part of Israeli society “to a large or very large extent”. Over a third of ultra-Orthodox youth said they feel part of Israeli society only “to a certain extent” or less.

Approximately 52% of Jewish youth in the survey defined themselves as right-wing, 30% as center, and only 9% as left-wing.

Some 11% of the Jewish youth stated that they had been physically or verbally injured or excommunicated for speaking out on politics in the classroom. The majority of those who claimed to be affected identified as left wing.

Half of the respondents stated that they don’t think teachers should express their personal political opinions in class.

Referring to the acts of vandalism known as “price tag attacks”, which generally target Arabs, often with messages of hate, only 28% of Jewish youth outright condemn price tag attacks. Surprising to some, more traditional youth condemned the acts than secular youth. Approximately 22% stated they had never heard of price tag.

Nearly half of religious youth, and a quarter of the total Jewish youth questioned, stated they “understand but do not justify” the attacks.

Some 45% of the Jewish youth are not willing to learn in a mixed class with Arabs, while only approximately 39% of Arab youth are not willing to learn in a mixed class with Jews.

Prof. Kobi Metzer, President of the Open University of Israel, said of the findings, “At a time when we are witnessing an increase in instances of intolerance, racism, discrimination, and violence, education must play a key role in shaping Israeli society as a democratic, open and enlightened, society, in which the equal treatment of different sectors in society does not fade away in the face of sectorial labeling.” 

The survey, conducted by the Rafi Smith polling institute, was done in preparation for the Dov Lautman Conference on Educational Policy, a two-day conference held in partnership by The Lautman Foundation and the Israel Democracy Institute and hosted by the Open University of Israel. It opened Tuesday morning with discussions on the decline of democratic values in Israel, the lack of tolerance for the other and for different political opinions, and more. 

Poll: Half of Israeli high schoolers oppose equal rights for Arabs

Nearly half of Israeli teens surveyed say they would refuse to evacuate West Bank settlements

Or Kashti Mar. 11, 2010

Nearly half of Israel’s high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel, according to the results of a new survey released yesterday. The same poll revealed that more than half the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset.

The survey, which was administered to teenagers at various Israeli high schools, also found that close to half of all respondents – 48 percent – said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Nearly one-third – 31 percent – said they would refuse military service beyond the Green Line.

The complete results of the poll will be presented today during an academic discussion hosted jointly by Tel Aviv University’s School of Education and the Citizens’ Empowerment Center in Israel. The symposium will focus on various aspects of civic education in the country.

“Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values,” said Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, one of the conference organizers.

The poll was commissioned last month by Maagar Mochot, an Israeli research institution, under the supervision of Prof. Yitzhak Katz. It took a sampling of 536 Jewish and Arab respondents between the ages of 15-18.

The survey sought to gauge youth attitudes toward the State of Israel; their perspective on new immigrants and the state’s Arab citizens; and their political stances.

The results paint a picture of youth leaning toward political philosophies that fall outside the mainstream.

In response to the question of whether Arab citizens should be granted rights equal to that of Jews, 49.5 percent answered in the negative. The issue highlighted the deep fault lines separating religious and secular youths, with 82 percent of religious students saying they opposed equal rights for Arabs while just 39 percent of secular students echoed that sentiment.

The secular-religious gap was also present when students were faced with the question of whether Arabs should be eligible to run for office in the Knesset. While 82 percent of those with religious tendencies answered in the negative, 47 percent of secular teens agreed. In total, 56 percent said Arabs should be denied this right altogether.

The survey also delved into the issue of military service and following orders that are deemed politically divisive.

While an overwhelming majority (91 percent) expressed a desire to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces, 48 percent said they would not obey an order to evacuate outposts and settlements in the West Bank.

Here, too, researchers note the religious nexus. Of those who would refuse evacuation orders, 81 percent categorize themselves as religious as opposed to 36 percent who are secular.

“This poll shows findings which place a huge warning signal in light of the strengthening trends of extremist views among the youth,” said an Education Ministry official.

The survey, which also revealed that a relatively high number of youth plan on voting and that democracy is still the preferred system of government, indicates “a gap between the consensus on formal democracy and the principles of essential democracy, which forbid the denial of rights to the Arab population,” the official said.

“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,” said Bar-Tal. “There is a combination of fundamentalism, nationalism, and racism in the worldview of religious youth.” 

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Tony Greenstein

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