Goldblog bemoans the emergence of an anti-Arab racist as the public face of Israel to the world. We should keep in mind that Lieberman might just have a cold-blooded capacity to make some tough deals. Begin, after all, signed the treaty with Sadat; Reagan ended the Cold War; Nixon went to China (with that crackpot Freeman). But still. And Haaretz recently published a poll (full data in a PDF here) that reveals how Lieberman's views of Arabs are not that marginal among Israelis themselves:

Sixty-eight percent of Israeli Jews would refuse to live in the same apartment building as an Israeli Arab, according to the results of an annual poll released Wednesday by the Center for the Struggle Against Racism... Forty-six percent of Jews would refuse to allow an Arab to visit their home while 50 percent would welcome an Arab visitor. Forty-one percent of Jewish support the segregation of Jews and Arabs in places of recreation and 52 percent of such Jews would oppose such a move.

These are attitudes not unlike that of the Jim Crow South. Lieberman is not that fringe a figure:

The poll further revealed that 63 percent of Jewish Israelis agree with the statement, "Arabs are a security and demographic threat to the state." Thirty-one percent of Jews did not agree. Agreement with the statement was strongest among Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews and low-income earners.

Forty percent of Jews believe "the state needs to support the emigration of Arab citizens" and just 52 percent don't agree with the statement.

Thirty-four percent also agreed with the statement that "Arab culture is inferior to Israeli culture." Fifty-seven percent did not agree with the statement.

Half of Israeli Jews express fear or discomfort when hearing people speaking Arabic. Eighteen percent of Jews said they feel hate when hearing Arabic speakers.

More recent data here.

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