De kloof tussen verschillende groepen Joden in Israel, en tussen Joden en Arabieren, is groot, evenals het onderlinge wantrouwen. In westerse media en anti-Israel blogs wordt vaak selectief gewinkeld in dergelijke cijfers om aan te tonen hoe racistisch Israel is. Het gaat echter meer om wederzijds wantrouwen en vervreemding dan om racisme waarbij mensen puur op raskenmerken zoals huidskleur worden beoordeeld en minderwaardig geacht.
New poll exposes alienation among Israelis
70% of Jews fear driving through an Arab city; 81% of ultra-Orthodox oppose marriage to secular people
A first of its kind survey conducted by the Achva Academic College uses numbers to expose high levels of alienation between different groups within Israeli society. The "Alienation Index" compiled by the Rafi Smith research agency and released on Tuesday reveals just how little one sector knows, or cares to know, the others.
According to the poll, which surveyed 1,000 people, half of the Israeli public (secular or religious) claim they are not familiar with the way of life of the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel, and only 38% say they have an ultra-Orthodox friend.
Seventy-five percent of ultra-Orthodox Jews said they feel that the secular majority is bent on forcing the secular way of life on them. When asked whether they would consent to their children to get married with a secular person, 81% said they would oppose such a union.
The survey also examined whether the status quo of alienation between Jews was something that people wanted to change. But according to the results neither the secular Israelis, nor the ultra-Orthodox Israelis care to get to know each other better. In both cases, 70 percent of the respondents said they were not interested in getting better acquainted with the other.
When it comes to the Arab minority the division is even worse. Only 34% of Jewish respondents said they are familiar with the Arab way of life and only 27% said they have an Arab friend. More than 70 percent of those asked said they felt afraid to travel through an Arab city or town.
A majority of Jewish Israelis (61%) said they believe having an Arab move in next door would lower their property's value. An even larger majority (74%), however, said they would not object to their children learning in a mixed Jewish-Arab classroom.
Alean Al-Krenawi, the president of the Achva Academic College said "the 'Alienation Index' exposes the culture of fear that is characteristic of Israeli society. Prejudice and stereotypes that are derived from ignorance are the kindling that feed the flames of fear in our culture. Change must come from both the institutional level and the conscious level. I hope that future polls show an improved reality."