A new Haifa University poll shows only 41 percent of Israel’s Arab citizens – who constitute 1.4 million of the nation’s 7 million population – recognize its right to exist as a Jewish democratic state. A further 59 percent do not.
Additionally, 40.5 percent of Arab Israelis believe the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis and their allies never happened.
Haifa Professor Sami Samocha, who conducted the survey, has been monitoring Arab-Jewish relations for 35 years.
The poll underscores the fears of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, who also acted as the nation’s first defense minister, 1948-1963, and mandated military rule over the Israeli Arab population. He worried the Israeli Arabs would one day create a fifth column and join forces with surrounding Arab nations that were at war with Israel.
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After Ben Gurion’s retirement, Israeli military rule over the Israeli Arabs was lifted in 1966, over his objections.
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