Monday, August 14, 2006

1970 Survey of Israeli Arabs: What Traits Jews Should Learn From Them

I'm still reading Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind, and I'm still finding things of interest in it to post.

On page 104, Patai writes about a survey done in 1970 of what Israeli Arabs in Nazareth and the surrounding area thought Israeli Jews could learn from them. According to the results:

...41 per cent of the 464 respondents stated that they thought the Jews should learn from the Arabs hospitality, friendliness, and generosity; while 19 per cent answered that they should learn from the Arabs pride, honor, and honesty. Only a very small percentage of the respondents felt that the Jews should learn from the Arabs other things, such as tolerance and nondiscrimination (4 per cent), honor for parents and modesty (2 per cent), customs and details of traditions relating to foodstuffs, style of building, etc. (3 per cent), and agriculture (2 per cent).

According to Patai, the survey indicates what those traits are that the Arab respondents believed actually characterized them--as opposed to being ideal traits.

I wonder if the survey also indicates those traits that Arabs feel are lacking in the Israelis (Sabras) they came in contact with.

Since I am in Cincinnati this week, I don't have access to my books, but I recall that S.D. Goitein writes about the difference in attitude between Arabs and Sabras. Maybe when I get back I can post more about this.

It would also be interesting if in the last 36 years someone thought of doing other surveys of what Israeli Arabs thought about Jews and Jewish traits.

If anyone is interested the Patai's source is:
Yochanan Peres, "Modernization and Nationalism in the Identity of the Israeli Arab," The Middle East Journal vol. 24, no. 4 (Autumn, 1970), p. 488.

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