JPPI Survey: Israeli Jews and Arabs Happy to Live in Israel, Just Not Together

The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) on Thursday released its second annual Pluralism Index, which finds that more than 90% of Jewish Israelis and almost 80% of Arab Israelis feel “comfortable” or “very comfortable” to be “who they are” in Israel. However, a significant majority of both Jews and Arabs do not think it is wise for them to live together.

According to the new survey, a majority of Jews do think it is wise for secular and religious Jews to live together, but not for secular and Haredi Jews. Interestingly, in both cases the “totally secular” group is most reluctant to encourage such mixing. JPPI also found that Jews with political and/or intra-Jewish ethnic differences recommend living in the same neighborhoods. Similarly, a significant majority of Muslim Arabs and more than 90% of Christian Arabs in Israel do not think it is wise for their respective groups to live together.

Among Jews, the sense of comfort is greater for those who define themselves further to the right on the political or religious spectrum. Among Arabs, the sense of comfort is greater for those who define their main identity as “Israeli” and is lower (but still high) among those who define their main identity as “Arab” or “Palestinian.”

Public perceptions of which sectors of Israeli society “contribute” more or less to the success of the country show that soldiers are perceived most positively, significantly more than any other group (the 2016 JPPI survey found the same result). The two groups whose children tend not to serve in the military, Muslim-Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews, are perceived as contributing least to the success of the country, and this year – having added some new groups to the questionnaire – they are joined by Bedouins.

Other interesting findings: Arab Israelis rank Israeli soldiers higher than most other groups. That they rank “settlers” at the bottom of the list. And, like Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs also take a dim view of the contribution of ultra-Orthodox Jews to Israel’s success.

The survey was conducted by Panels Politics using a sample of 1300 Israelis.