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Study: Israeli Jews and Arabs want peace (Harvard University -- May 22, 2008)

[Comment: My summary is below together with the URL of the full source which is also in my blog here. PmR]
Study: Israeli Jews and Arabs want peace (Harvard University -- May 22, 2008)

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/05.22/08-peace.html

A new study released May 15 finds strong support for coexistence efforts among a majority of Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. The findings may buoy hopes for long-term peace in the region. “Coexistence in Israel: A National Study” provides a compelling snapshot of current relations between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel as the nation celebrates its 60th anniversary ... [Led by] Todd L. Pittinsky ... the study was conducted in Hebrew and Arabic, and included 1,721 adult citizens of Israel; researchers at the University of Haifa assisted.

Among the study’s findings:

  • A great majority of both Jewish citizens (73 percent) and Arab citizens (94 percent) want Israel to be a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities.
  • 68 percent of Jewish citizens support teaching conversational Arabic in Jewish schools to help bring Arab and Jewish citizens together.
  • 77 percent of Arab citizens would rather live in Israel than in any other country in the world.
  • More than two-thirds of Jewish citizens (69 percent) believe contributing to coexistence is a personal responsibility; a majority (58 percent) of Jewish citizens also support Cabinet-level action.
  • Arab citizens and Jewish citizens both underestimate their communities’ liking of the “other.”
  • Urgent action on coexistence in Israel is desired: 66 percent of Jewish citizens and 84 percent of Arab citizens believe that Israeli government investments should begin now, and not wait until the end of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
... Pittinsky notes that much media coverage focuses on the divisions between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, and not enough on the sincere and concerted efforts to coexist peacefully ... According to Alan Slifka, a philanthropist who has funded many grassroots coexistence projects in Israel, and whose foundation funded the study: “This report supports what we have long suspected — unity among Israel’s Jewish and Arab communities is not only attainable, but there is great public support for it.

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Thank you so much for posting this Paul. It's great to see a large organization with high visibility like Harvard take this on and publish this report. Finally, a counter narrative of what people feel on the ground! Thanks again.

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