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Pew Polls and Arab MKs, by Evelyn Gordon (Evelyn Gordon via Mosaic)

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Mar. 10, 2016

Misleading reports about Israelis’ answers to a recent Pew survey have stated that a majority of Israeli Jews favor the expulsion of their country’s Arab population. After dissecting the problems with both the study itself and the way it has been represented, Evelyn Gordon suggests that many respondents answered “yes” to a question they took to be about the expulsion of particular Arabs under specific circumstances to express, in the words of one public-opinion expert, “alienation and disgust”:

But why would Israeli Jews want to do that? And why would they want to expel “some Arabs” to begin with? First, because they’re sick and tired of hearing Israeli Arab leaders openly support anti-Israel terror. And second, they’re sick and tired of ordinary Arabs—the ones who claim to support coexistence, and who I believe in many cases genuinely do—not only refusing to disavow these leaders, but reelecting them to the Knesset year after year.

The Hizballah controversy, which broke after Pew’s survey was conducted, is a perfect example. Hizballah has killed thousands of Israelis [among whom were many Arabs] and tens of thousands of non-Israeli Arabs. Yet the [Arab-majority] Balad and Ḥadash parties both condemned the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] for declaring it a terrorist organization. . . .

[T]he combination of ever more outrageous behavior by Arab MKs and the growing “alienation and disgust” reflected by the Pew poll clearly creates a combustible situation. And at some point, if a new and different Israeli Arab leadership doesn’t emerge, it’s liable to explode.

Yet rather than helping to cultivate such a new leadership, both American Jews and Israeli leftists have been enthusiastically supporting the very Israeli Arabs who are doing the most to destroy coexistence. The Ḥadash chairman, Ayman Odeh, for instance—who condemned the GCC for declaring Hizballah a terrorist organization, but won’t condemn Palestinian knife attacks because “I don’t think it’s my place to tell the people how to resist”—was feted by Jewish groups when he visited America last year. Thus, it’s high time for Arabs and Jews alike to realize that supporting arsonists like Odeh is no way to foster coexistence. Otherwise, the “alienation and disgust” reflected in the Pew poll will only keep growing.

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