Did the good folks at Israel’s Army Radio station not think to ask Arab citizens themselves whether they think they deserve full and equal rights?
Israel’s Army Radio conducted a poll of Jewish citizens of Israel and asked them whether Arab citizens of Israel should have equal rights.
No, this is not the start of a joke.
Yes, over 20 percent of Israel’s citizens are Arab.
No, not a single one of those Arab citizens were asked whether they themselves think they should have equal rights. (Or whether Jews should, for that matter.)
The Jewish respondents in the poll were asked whether they support full, equal rights for Arab citizens of the state.
Forty-five percent said “no.”
Six percent said “it depends.”
Another six percent said they “don’t know.”
Forty-three percent of the Jewish-only respondents said they do support full equal rights for Arabs citizens of Israel. (See the poll results in Hebrew.)
The poll did not specify what type of rights it was referring to.
Yes, Israel’s army runs a radio station, of which around a quarter of adult Jewish — yes, only Jews again — Israelis listen to every six months. Yes, the army runs another radio station that just under 30 percent of Jewish adults in Israel listen to.
The poll also asked Jewish Israelis whether they think members of Knesset, Israel’s parliament, are more concerned with the public’s interest than they are about political interests.
Twenty-one percent said they agreed; 76 percent disagreed.
Another 84 percent of the Jewish-only respondents said that the Knesset and its political parties represent them and their values.
Over 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arab, but only 13 percent of Knesset members are Arab (16 MKs). Arab citizens were not asked whether they think the Knesset is concerned with their interests or whether it represents them or their values.
Likewise, roughly 50 percent of Israeli citizens are women, but only 23 percent of Knesset members are women. The pollsters did not ask whether women feel the Knesset is concerned with their interests or if it represents them and their values.
During Israeli general elections last year media polls regularly excluded Arab candidates and voters from their surveys. In general, it not at all uncommon to exclude entire ethnic groups from political public opinion surveys.
The Army Radio survey polled 503 Hebrew-speaking Jews over the age of 18. It was not clear what the margin of error was, or whether the questions were posed in person, by phone or by internet.
Correction: The original headline mistakenly stated that 46 percent of those polled oppose equal rights for Arabs. Due to a typo, it should have been 45 percent.