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New poll shows majority of Arab Israelis identify with State of Israel after Oct. 7

Illustrative - Arab-Israeli women sit at a cafe in central Jerusalem, January 4, 2022. (Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A new poll published this week by the Israel Democracy Institute shows Arab-Israeli citizens overwhelmingly identify with Israel and support civilian volunteer efforts, following the Oct. 7 invasion and attack on Israel.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (86.5%) supported the participation of Arab Israelis in civilian volunteer efforts during the current war, such as assisting evacuees from northern and southern Israel and providing medical assistance, according to the survey published on Tuesday

Two-thirds (65%) of Arab-Israelis responded that they feel “a part of the State of Israel and its problems.”

Just six months ago, in June, less than half of Israeli Arabs identified with Israel.

The Druze community identified the most with the Jewish state (80%), with Christians coming in second (73%) and Muslims third (62%).

Arab-Israelis living in the Negev region, in Israel's south, feel a stronger sense of belonging with 73% of the Arab population there, predominantly Bedouin, identifying with Israel compared to 64% in the Galilee region in northern Israel and 60% in central Israel.

In its report, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) explained: “This finding may be due to the fact that Negev residents are closest to the war in Gaza, and that Arab residents of Israel’s mixed cities are in close daily interaction with Jews.”

There was also a variation in the degree of identification with the state according to age. Some 76% of Arab Israelis in the age 55+ group, 68% in the 35-54 group, and 57% in the 18-34 group identify with the Jewish state.

Education also played a significant role with those Arab Israelis who did not finish high school feeling a stronger bond with Israel (75%) compared to those who finished high school (71%) and those with an academic education (54.5%).

Despite a greater identification with the Jewish state, relations between Jews and Israeli Arabs have some way to go. Of those polled, 78% said that their relations with Jewish Israelis have not changed since the Oct. 7 massacre, while 54% reported that they do not feel comfortable when entering Jewish or mixed localities for work or to run errands. In addition, 46% said they do not feel comfortable speaking Arabic on public transportation or other places with Jews they do not know. Some 71% of respondents claimed they do not feel they can express themselves freely on social media.

A majority of Israeli Arabs (56%) said that they agree with the statement made by Israel's Ra’am party leader Knesset Member Mansour Abbas, who said the Oct. 7 attacks do not reflect the values of Arab society and Islam.

The poll also showed that 58% of Israeli Arabs believe Hamas and Israel are equally responsible for the harm caused to civilians in Gaza. By comparison, only 16% said that Hamas is exclusively responsible and 14.5% said only Israel is exclusively responsible.

The poll was conducted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 among 538 men and women interviewed by telephone in Arabic.


The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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