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Israeli Teens Say No to Arab Rights and Compliant Army Service

A new survey of Israeli high school students makes for depressing reading. When the Jewish sample was asked whether Arabs should have equal rights, some 49.5% said no.

An even higher percentage, 56%, said that Arabs should not have the right to run for office. Particularly alarming is that a repressive attitude towards Arabs and religious observance seem to go hand-in-hand. Looking just at the religious respondents from the Jewish sample, 82% said that Arabs should not have equal rights.

The figures come from a poll just conducted by the Maagar Mochot research company. The poll also contained figures which, if translated from talk to action, would raise major questions about how the Israeli army will be able to function when these youngsters are drafted.

Some 48% of respondents, including a significant number of secular students, said that they would refuse to evacuate outposts, while 31% said they would refuse to serve in the territories.

The data has not been analyzed to check if there is cross over between the two groups. Those who would refuse to serve in the territories should, logically speaking, have said they would refuse to evacuate outposts by nature of the fact they wouldn’t go near them, though it’s likely that most respondents didn’t think it through to this extent. So, if we have two groups, with hardly any crossover, who plan to bring their own personal demands to their army service, Israel has an army where over the next few years we can expect to see seventy-something percent of soldiers unprepared to serve where they are told and do as they are told.

It also raises the question of who, exactly, will evacuate outposts in three years time, when the age group surveyed fills the ranks of the enlisted army. If 31% won’t serve in the territories and 48% won’t evacuate outposts only, in three years time Israel could have an army where only 21% of soldiers are prepared to evacuate outposts. Factor in that 9% of respondents say they won’t go to the army (we don’t know how they answered on the issue of serving in the territories and evacuating outposts) and you have something of a dysfunctional army.

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