Poll: Israeli Arabs Not Thrilled With Bennett Government

Israeli police seen on the streets of Lod, where shuls, cars and shops were damaged by Arab rioters, May 12. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Israeli Arab sector is less than thrilled with the performance thus far of the Bennett-Lapid government, a new political survey conducted by the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation in the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University reveals.

Respondents also rated the governments’ attempts to contain rampant crime in the Arab sector very low (2.13 on a scale of 1-5).

How does the Arab public in Israel view the Ra’am Party joining the coalition? A total of 40.5% said they thought that the move by Ra’am would inspire more Arab voter turnout in the next election, whereas 22.7% said they thought it would lead to decreased voter turnout.

When asked if they would vote in Knesset elections if they were held now, nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of respondents said they would vote, compared to 32.9% who said they would not vote.

A large majority of respondents (71.4%) said they supported the reformation of the Joint Arab List ticket, which until the last election included the parties Hadash, Ta’al, Balad and Ra’am. Only 23.7% said that they did not support the idea of reforming the list.

Slightly more than half (51%) of respondents said they do not expect the current coalition to last four years, compared to 29.1% who said they expected the government to last its elected four-year term.

On a scale of 1-5, the average grade respondents gave the government was 2.37. When asked how much faith they had in the government’s plans to fight crime in Arab communities, the grade was also low: 2.13 on a scale of 1-5. Their grade for the government’s five-year plan to invest in the Arab sector was similarly low: 2.29.

More than half (56.2%) of respondents said that Ra’am should ask for a ministerial or deputy-minister position in the Cabinet, and not be satisfied with coalition membership.

Slightly more than half (51.8%) of respondents said that the wave of rioting and attacks in mixed cities that erupted during Operation Guardian of the Wall against Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip in May of this year had caused severe damage to relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel.

When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 23.7% of respondents said they believed the ideal solution would be a two-state plan based on Israel’s 1967 borders, whereas another 26% said they thought the best solution to the conflict would be a single Jewish-Palestinian state. Interestingly, 37.9% said they foresaw no solution in the near future and expected the situation to remain as it is.

When asked if they believed that the Abraham Accords normalizing ties between Israel and Arab states would help stabilize the Middle East, 63.2% of respondents said that they did not expect the accords to do anything to promote a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, but 55.8% said they believed that the accords were a “positive development” for Israel’s Arab citizens.

According to Dr. Arik Rodnitzky, “The new survey illustrates the changes taking place in Arab society, which on one hand wants to increase the rate of integration into Israeli society and be a major player in the coalition and the government, and on the other expresses a lack of trust in the government and its abilities to change the reality and take care of Arab citizens’ well-being.”

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