Israeli youth expresses opinion on Jewish nationalism

The Jerusalem Post has reported that Jewish nationalism has emerged as the most important objective for Israel’s youth.

Research featured in a new book by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, published last week, has explored the attitudes and beliefs of some 1,600 young people, both Arabs and Jews, living in Israel.

Among the questions addressed to the 1600 teens or young adults, was a series relating directly to the rule of law and governance.

Asked to rate what was important and unimportant in terms of running the country, democracy came in only third place, with 14.3 percent seeing it as essential to the state; while 26% of Jewish respondents said that Jewish nationality was the most important factor.

The majority of Jewish youths questioned by the poll also emphasized the need for a strong leadership, over the rule of law.

The study also probed opinions and values regarding the treatment of minorities in Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.

The results showed that close to half of Israel’s Jewish youth were supportive of the notion of revoking the basic political rights for the country’s Arab population.

Asked whether they believed the statement “Most Arabs do not accept Israel’s right to exist and would destroy us if they could,” close to half said: “highly likely.”

The majority of Arab teens and youths said they did not feel in any way part of Israeli society.

Only 18% of a 15-18 age group, and 19% among 21-24 yearolds, felt otherwise.

On the question of whether Jews and Arabs could live side by side in the same neighborhoods, both communities said it was not desirable or not important.

But most of the youths surveyed said they supported peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but rejected compromises, preferring the existing situation.

The book, “Israeli Youth: Identity Paradoxes,” which will be published in English in May, contains comparisons to previous studies on Israeli youth.

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