What the Guardian won’t report: Happy and successful Arab citizens of Israel

H/T Elder of Ziyon

While polls indicating that Israelis are among the happiest citizens in the world are not surprising (they came in 7th in a 2011 global happiness index survey, with 63% of respondents saying were happy with their lives), a recent polls indicating that Israeli Arabs are largely content, successful and patriotic is perhaps a bit more counter-intuitive.  

Yet, According to a recent poll (“Democracy Index 2011“) on behalf of the Israel Democracy Institute, 52.8% of Arab citizens answered yes to the question of whether they are proud to be Israelis, while only 28.3% of respondents said they were “not at all proud”. Additionally, the same poll demonstrated that 45% of Arab citizens of Israel agreed that it is “important or very important” to strengthen the military might of Israel, while the  percentage that responded that it “wasn’t important” to them was only 29%.


Israeli border patrol officers protect Arab citizens during rocket attack on Nov. 17

Additionally, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, an Education Ministry summary of 2011 test scores showed that Israeli students (from all sectors of society) registered their highest scores on international tests since they started being recorded in the 1990s.  In math, for instance, Israelis are now ranked 7th in the world based on test scores.

The report concluded that Israel’s Arabs, while lagging behind their Hebrew-speaking counterparts, also scored higher than in previous years in mathematics, sciences and reading comprehension.

However, even more interesting is how well Israeli Arabs performed in math, reading, and science compared to their counterparts in Arab countries.

Elder of Ziyon wrote the following:

In reading, fourth grade Israeli Arabs scored 479 (vs. 568 for Hebrew-speakers.) But no Arab country scored higher – UAE 439, Saudi Arabia 430, Qatar 425, Oman 391.

In science, eighth grade Israeli Arabs scored 481 (520 for Hebrew speakers.) Compare to UAE 465, Bahrain 452, Jordan 449, Morocco 376 – and the PA with 420.

In math, eighth grade Israeli Arabs scored 465 (vs. 536 for Hebrew speakers.) Compare that to UAE 456, Lebanon 449, Morocco 391, Oman 366 – and the PA with 404.

Additionally, I’ve previously citedpoll indicating that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians living in eastern Jerusalem (citizens or permanent residents) not only don’t want to divide Jerusalem as part of any future peace agreement, but, when asked if they would consider moving to a city in the new Palestinian state if their Jerusalem neighborhood became part of Israel, 54% said they wouldn’t move, with only 27% expressing their desire to move.

Such polls on Arab happiness and their relative academic success generally wouldn’t come as too big of a surprise to Israelis who work, socialize and otherwise come into daily contact with their fellow Israeli citizens.  

However, you can be assured that such reports would likely never find their way into the Guardian.


Jews and Arabs at the Dead Sea

Jews and Arabs at the Dead Sea

16 replies »

  1. My response would in any case have been “some apartheid!” And then there’s the photo at the end as well …

  2. Interesting photograph. So not all male Muslims get uptight seeing exposed female flesh. Mind you, from the photograph, difficult to know if the bare chested men are Muslims or not. Bur everybody seems so at ease.

    A slap in the face to international media projection of Israel.

    • Until relatively recently, even conservative Muslims in Israel/WB/Gaza were not the sort of extremely tightly-wound conservative Muslims you get these days. I recall seeing a photograph of women, years ago, who’d been elected in the first Palestinian Authority local elections–not a covered head among them. People used to be much more westernized and less overtly pious.

      In Gaza that is going, going, gone, and in the West Bank it seems to be changing rapidly. Lip service to Islamic ideals has basically replaced lip service to Marxist ones. Granted, some mornings it seems like all religions are taking one giant step to the right…

      But I can’t really judge if there’s been any change in Israel. Israeli Muslims I meet seem pretty laid-back.

      It has been an interesting trend to watch, and I don’t know if anyone’s studying it formally.

      • In the swimming pool of my Kibbutz, as many Kibbutzim do, we have visiting Druze and Arabs schools every summer. Though the woman wear swimming suits that resemble surfing suits, they never cover their heads.
        Druze elder ladys do cover it with traditional white light cloth.
        Palestinians have always been the most seculer and educated of the Arab world. At least since 1948.
        This was one of the reasons for the first intifada breaking. The graduates couldn’t find jobs and this caused frustration on a mass scale.
        Israel should have pushed for a solution back in the 80’s but it was pre occupied with Arafat and Lebanon.

        Egypt was a leading force in secularism during the Pan Arabic era but this as you clearly see is regressing.
        Libya down, Iraq down, Egypt down and now only Assad remains.

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  4. Very few Guardian readers, or indeed anyone else in the western world, is the least bit interested in the continual spat betwee Israel and its Palestinians. That’s why the Guardian, and no other UK newspaper, ignored this survey.