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Survey: Israeli Jews back Arab emigration

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than half of Israeli Jews support encouraging Arabs to leave Israel, according to a new survey.

Some 53 percent of Israeli Jews and 77 percent of immigrants to Israel support the emigration idea, according to the Israel Democracy Institute’s 2009 survey marking 20 years of immigration from the former Soviet Union. The annual survey has been taken since 2003.

Only 27 percent of respondents objected to the statement that there should be “a Jewish majority in decisions relating to the fate of the country. Six years ago, 38 percent objected to the statement. The figures indicate relatively broad support for decreasing the political rights of Israel’s Arab minority.

Some 54 percent of Jews and Arabs surveyed agreed that “only citizens who are loyal to the state are entitled to benefit from civil rights,” including 67 percent of immigrants. Thirty-eight percent of Israeli Jews believed that Jewish citizens should have more rights than non-Jewish citizens.

Some 68 percent of native Israeli Jews feel that the Jewishness of most immigrants from the FSU is dubious, while 69 percent are opposed to members of their family marrying non-Jewish Israelis of Russian origin.

In the 31-40 age group, parents of children up to the age of 18, 80 percent of veteran Israelis are certain that they want to bring up their children in Israel, compared to only 28 percent of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Some 92 percent of the veterans have some degree of desire to see their “children or grandchildren live in Israel,” as compared to 74 percent of immigrants.

Among immigrants from the FSU, only 48 percent up to the age of 40 are certain that they want to live in Israel.

The March survey of 1,191 Israeli adults interviewed in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

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