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Jews and Arabs Proud to be Israeli

The Times of Israel:

An increasing number of Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, have pride in their Israeli identity, according to an annual study on democracy (Israeli Democracy Institute Index 2014) in Israel released Sunday.

The Israel Democracy Institute said that 86 percent of Jewish citizens described themselves as “proud” or “quite proud” to be Israeli and over 78% said they felt a part of the state and its difficulties. By contrast, 65% of Arabs described themselves as proud to be Israeli, and 59% said they felt a part of the state. The 2014 results for national pride and belonging within the Arab community show a marked increase from last year: IDI’s 2013 index reported only 40% of Israeli Arabs said they felt proud to be citizens, and 28% said they felt a sense of belonging.

Over 73% of Israelis surveyed believed that corruption in Israel’s political leadership was either widespread or somewhat prevalent. When asked which state or government institutions they trusted most, 88% of Israeli Jews named the IDF, followed by the president (71%), and the Supreme Court (62%). Sixty percent of Israeli Arabs said the Supreme Court was the most trusted government or state institution, followed by the police (57%), the president (56%) and the IDF (51%).

Jews and Arabs reported similar levels of mistrust in the Knesset at 35% and 36%, respectively. For Israeli Jews, the Chief Rabbinate (29%) and the media (28%) followed as the least trusted institutions. Israeli Arabs reported the media (37%) and religious leaders (36%) as the least trusted institutions.

Thirty-seven percent of both Arab and Jewish respondents reported a lower than average family income and considered themselves to be “poor.” When asked about how they dealt with income disparities, 65% of Israel, Jewish and Arab, said that the current economic situation justified another round of social protests. For the most part, both Jews and Arabs reported a mistrust in economic institutions: 59% said they did not trust the Finance Ministry and 62% said they did not trust the banks. A substantial majority — 79% of all respondents — said they believed the major labor unions had too much power.

Approximately two-thirds (63%) of Jewish Israelis polled said they opposed discriminatory treatment of Arabs; however, a larger majority (74%) said that decisions on peace and security should be made by the Jewish majority.