November 11, 2023 | Flash Brief

Gaza War Boosts Solidarity Between Israeli Arabs and Jews

November 11, 2023 | Flash Brief

Gaza War Boosts Solidarity Between Israeli Arabs and Jews

Latest Developments

Israel’s Arab minority is rallying to the country in record numbers during the Gaza war, a poll published on November 10 found. The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) survey found that 70 percent of Arab citizens “feel a part of the State of Israel and its problems,” a record high during the think tank’s 20 years of polling. In June, the IDI found that just 48 percent of Arab citizens felt such an identification with the country.

When Arab respondents were asked if they would leave Israel given an alternative Western citizenship, 59 percent said they would stay and 58 percent rated Israel’s wartime resilience as high. However, just 27 percent of Arab respondents in the November poll voiced optimism about Israel’s future, down from 40 percent in the June poll.

According to the IDI, the war has consolidated Israel’s Jewish majority, which had been riven by months of feuding over the government’s proposed judicial reforms.

The IDI found that 94 percent of Israeli Jews feel connected to the country as it battles Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a proportion not seen since the 2003 campaign against the Palestinian terror wave known as the Second Intifada. More than four in five — 80.5 percent — would not leave Israel if they had an alternative home in the West.

A majority of Israelis — 61 percent — believe the government’s focus on the reforms contributed to the timing of the shock Hamas attack on October 7 as well as to the country’s poor preparedness for it, the IDI found.

Expert Analysis

“The last Gaza war, in 2021, set off unprecedented internal strife in Israel, with some of its Arab citizens resorting to violence against Jewish compatriots in the name of Palestinian solidarity. That has not happened this time around. It’s possible that Israeli Arabs brought themselves back from the brink of 2021. It is no less likely that, having witnessed the utter ruthlessness of Hamas’s cross-border slaughter, which did not spare Israeli Arabs, all citizens of the Jewish state have a renewed appreciation for its civilizational strengths.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The events of October 7 seem to have galvanized Israeli society. Hamas terrorists slaughtered Jews and Arabs alike, showing no mercy to their victims. While Israel still faces challenges with its diverse population, it is enjoying a moment of unity, with important signals from Israeli Arab leadership that there has been a profound shift in the attitudes of Israel’s Arab population since the internal strife seen in 2021.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“Israeli Arabs rushed to save their Jewish and Arab compatriots on October 7, with some paying the ultimate price for their bravery. Their heroic sacrifices should serve to unite Israel in the wake of the October 7 massacre.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Israel Maintains Internal Quiet Amid War With Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Breaking a leg in Jerusalem: How Arab-Israeli kindness challenged my assumptions,” by Jonathan Schanzer

Internal Violence Has Become a Nightmare for Israeli Arabs,” by David May and Haisam Hassanein

Israel’s rescue of Arabs from Ukraine undermines oppression narrative,” by David May


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