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A third of Arab Israelis see Oct. 7 massacre as in tune with Islamic values

The result was among the findings of a new poll carried out by the Center for Democratic Values and Institutions.

Palestinian Arabs celebrate the first night of the holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City on March 23, 2023. Photo by Jamal Awad/Flash90.
Palestinian Arabs celebrate the first night of the holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City on March 23, 2023. Photo by Jamal Awad/Flash90.

One-third of Israel’s Arab citizens disagree with Ra’am lawmaker Mansour Abbas’s statement that Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre “does not reflect Arab society, the Palestinian people and the Islamic nation,” according to a recent poll.

Thirty-three percent of all Arab Israelis surveyed disagreed with the statement while a further 11% “didn’t know.” Among Muslim Arabs only (separating out Druze and Christians) the number was larger still, with 34.5% disagreeing with the statement and 12.5% answering “didn’t know.”

The poll was carried out between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 2023, with 538 men and women interviewed by telephone in Arabic. The maximum sampling error was ±4.31% at a confidence level of 95%.

It was conducted by the Center for Democratic Values and Institutions (Arab Society in Israel Program) in collaboration with the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute.

The pollsters noted that “this was a statement by a political figure [which] may have impacted certain responses.”

The poll results, similar to those of a survey published in early December, indicate that a significant number of Arab Israelis harbor views that put them at odds with the country’s values.

The earlier poll, conducted by Tel Aviv University, found that 32% of Arab Israelis do not believe that Hamas terrorists intentionally targeted women and children on Oct. 7.

The TAU poll also found that 44% of Arab Israelis did not feel that Israel’s response to the Hamas attack was justified, while 38% believed that both Israel and Hamas share responsibility for the outbreak of war.

A total of 502 Israeli Arab citizens over 18 were surveyed. The Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation initiated the study.

According to the data, 21% of Arab Israelis think that Oct. 7 contributed to a solution to the Palestinian problem.

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