Poll: 75% of Israeli Arabs Support Jewish, Democratic Constitution

A vast majority of Israeli Arabs would support a constitution that maintained Israel's status as a Jewish and democratic state, according to a poll whose results were published yesterday.

Some 75 percent of the poll's 507 respondents said they would agree with such a definition, while 23 percent said they would oppose it.

The Israel Democracy Institute, a nonpartisan research institute that commissioned the poll, said the results were proof that a constitution that maintained Israel's status as a Jewish and democratic state could win the support of the Israeli Arab public. Over the past year, several Israeli Arab organizations, including Adalah and the Mossawa Center, have published proposals for a new "multicultural" constitution.

However, the poll also revealed that Israeli Arab support for defining Israel as a Jewish and democratic state has eroded in recent years. In 2004, some 55 percent of those in favor of such a constitution said that they felt strongly about their position, while in 2007, only 34 percent did so.

Israeli Arab support for a constitution in general stood at 88 percent, with 72 percent saying they feel equality should be prominently featured in the text.