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News ID: 2334
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 10:32 - 07 October 2013
A majority of Israeli Jews support the notion of Israel as a Jewish state, a new survey published Sunday said.
The Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute published an extensive survey on public opinion in Israel. Among the findings, the report said that 74.8 percent of Jews in Israel believe the state "can be both Jewish and democratic."

A third of Palestinians in Israel share this view, according to the survey.

Around 32 percent of Jews think the Jewish nature of Israel's state is more important, while 37 percent prefer the combination of Jewish and democratic.

Nearly 48 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Jewish citizens should have more rights than non-Jewish citizens, while in the overall sample 68 percent of respondents view the rift between Jews and Palestinians as the greatest source of friction in Israeli society, the survey said.

Around 43 percent of Israeli Jews support government policies to encourage Palestinians to emigrate from Israel, according to the study.

Although this number was slightly down from past years, it suggests support for policies of transfer of Palestinians from Israel, as right-wing parties have previously proposed.

Over 47 percent of Israeli Jews expressed an aversion to having a Palestinian family as neighbors, second only to foreign workers at 56.9 percent. Foreign workers in Israel are primarily of African and East Asian descent, and their presence has been a target of large protests in Israel in recent years. 

Only 28 percent of Palestinian-Israelis feel a sense of belonging to the Israeli state.

Sixty-one percent of both Jewish and Palestinian Israelis feel that they have "little or no ability to influence government decisions."

More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million including their descendants -- were forced into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948. 

Around 160,000 Palestinians were able to remain inside what became Israel in 1948. They now number around 1.36 million people along with their descendants, or about 20 percent of the country's population.

The survey did not include the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, nor did it include the 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who have been under an Israeli military blockade since 2007 and are considered to be occupied by Israel according to the United Nations, as Israel controls the Gaza Strip's airspace, territorial waters and movement of people and goods.
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