Israeli Arab MKs: “liberate Jerusalem”
WASHINGTON — A new poll by leading researchers in Israel reveal that over a quarter of Israel’s Arab citizens believe the Holocaust did not happen, and surprisingly the figure was even higher (33%) among high school and college graduates. Nearly half of all Israeli Arabs believe the attacks by Hezbollah on Israelis to be justified and nearly nine out of ten believe that Israel bombing Hezbollah in response to these attacks to be a war crime.
The poll, conducted by sociologist Dr. Sami Smooha, professor and dean of Social Sciences at the University of Haifa, used interviews from 721 Israeli Arabs and 702 Israeli Jews. The margin of error was 3.7%.
48% of the Israeli Arabs polled said they believe that Hezbollah’s rocket attacks on towns in northern Israel during that war were justified.
89% said they view Israel’s bombing of Hezbollah positions in Lebanon as a war crime.
Only 44% view Hezbollah’s nearly 4,000 rockets attacks on Israel as crimes.
28% of Israeli Arabs did not believe the Holocaust happened.
76% described Zionism as racist.
63% of Israeli Jews said they avoid entering Israeli-Arab towns and cities.
68 % of Israeli Jews percent fear the possibility of civil unrest among Israeli Arabs.
- Perhaps the most striking statistic referenced the cause of the recent war: Half of Israeli Arab respondents stated that Hezbollah’s kidnapping of Israelis soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in a cross-border raid was justified. The unprovoked incident sparked the 2006 conflict.
In a statement released with the poll’s publication, Smooha expressed surprise at the results.
“One would have expected more pro-Israeli results among Israeli Arabs due to the uniqueness of the most recent war: a war with no involvement of the Palestinians, a war in which the lives and belongings of Israelis were endangered, a war against an Islamic fundamentalist group that most of them don’t support,” Smooha said.
In related news, Israei Arab Member of Knesset (MK) Ibrahim Sarsour of Ual-Ta’al, called for “Muslims and Arabs” to “liberate Jerusalem.” Speaking in Ramallah on Sunday, March 18, at the “Jerusalem First” conference, the lawmaker emphasized the importance of Jerusalem to Islam, and called on participants to “act together to become a torrent on the road to liberation.” Sarsour declared, “Just as the Muslims once liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders, so must we today believe that we can liberate Jerusalem. It is not an impossible dream,” he said.
Israeli Arab MK Muhammad Barakei of the Hadash Party also spoke and accused Israel of trying to “empty Jerusalem of its Palestinian inhabitants.” Calling Jerusalem a “national issue, not just a religious issue,” he called on Palestinians to take cohesive, immediate action to “reclaim the city.”
Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) responded: “With these polls and these recent statements by Israeli Arab Knesset Members, one is forced to question the loyalty of Israeli Arabs to the State of Israel. Serious consideration should be given to recent ministerial and Knesset member calls for all Israeli Arab citizens to sign a loyalty oath to the Jewish State of Israel. Especially considering Israel’s precarious security situation, it cannot tolerate a potential ‘fifth column’ operating there.”
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The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.