A new poll of Israeli citizens asked exactly that question – Is Israel an Apartheid State? The results have shocked many people around the world.
Not only do the majority of Jewish Israeli citizens believe that their country already practices a form of apartheid against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship (58% agree that they live in an apartheid state), but many would like to see it taken even further. A substantial 47% of people who responded to the survey, for example, would like to see Palestinians stripped of their Israeli citizenship rights and instead placed under the control of the Palestinian authority.
Approximately one third of the people surveyed said that they would like to see Palestinians denied the vote. Forty percent said that they would like there to be separate housing and schools for Jews and Arabs – a key component of Apartheid rule, whilst more than half – 59% – said that they would like Jews to be given preference over Arabs in the allocation of public sector jobs. The survey, which put these questions to over 500 Israeli Jews, was conducted by Israel’s Dialog polling group and published in the Ha Aretz (The World) newspaper. The findings reveal much more support for extreme nationalist ideas than many people outside of the country would have expected. So the answer to the headline question is – yes Israeli citizens believe that their country is already an apartheid state – but there is a groundswell of public support to take it much further.
Roughly 20% of the 8 million strong population of Israel is made up of Palestinian Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship.