As news about the Tal Law gains traction in Israel, UH has closely been tracking reaction from the Israeli-Arab community.
The University of Haifa conducted a survey measuring Israeli-Arab’s willingness to volunteer for civil service. The results indicate 40 percent of Arab youth in Israel were willing to volunteer for civil service in 2011, compared to the 53 percent willing to serve in 2009. Israel offers those exempt from military service to complete civil service.
Nevertheless, Arab leaders oppose both practices because it “distorts the Palestinian identity of Arab youths and instills a certain ‘Israeli-ness’ in them,” according to an article published in Haaretz.
However, the survey reveals 89 percent of Israeli-Arab volunteers said their service contributed to Arab society. Furthermore, the survey showed 75 percent of those engaged in civil service volunteer in Arab towns and villages, distinguishing themselves from their Israeli Jewish neighbors.
“These findings disprove the fears expressed by the Arab leadership of “Israelization,” estrangement from Arab society and erosion of national identity of the Arab volunteers,” the researchers said.