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Australian Non-jewish Pupils Back Peace Process, Says Report

Non-Jewish students on Australia’s university campuses are generally supportive of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, according to a recent survey.

Of the 700 non-Jewish students interviewed, 59 percent were either supportive or strongly supportive of the process, while 21 percent had a negative or strongly negative attitude.

The survey, conducted by the Australian Union of Jewish Students and the Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs, also showed that only 5 percent of respondents “strongly” agreed with the proposition that the process would bring peace. Fully 32 percent simply agreed with the proposition and 35 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed.

When asked about support for Israel or the Arab world in the event of a conflict between the two, 61 percent refused to align themselves with either cause, 27 percent supported Israel and 12 percent supported the Arab world, the report said.

Benjy Rutland, one of the university Jewish student leaders, said the survey reflected a sense of indifference among students.

“Students today are apathetic towards anything not related to the Australian economy,” he said.

Bill Rubinstein, a professor who was the research consultant for the survey, said it provided evidence of “continuing strong basic support for Israel on campus.”

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