Trends in Israeli Intergroup Relations

This report examines the state of Israeli democracy, with an emphasis on the relationships over time between the different groups, using existing research data, public opinion surveys, social network analyses, and international comparisons over the past two decades. The report shows that while Israel has traditionally enjoyed a high international ranking in social and political indicators, the extreme tensions among social groups constitute the Achilles heel of democracy in Israel. Intergroup conflicts are very intense and cross the entire spectrum of Israeli society in terms of  ethnic, political, religious, and gender divisions. On the basis of the various indicators included in the review, it appears there is no improvement in relationships among groups, and in some there is even a downward trend that should be a red flag for the future.

It is evident that each group in Israeli society holds prejudices and negative stereotypes towards other groups that are the basis for racist and offensive statements on social media. These expressions are on a drastic rise. All attest to a society that has become less tolerant over time and does not respect diverse and contradictory views within it. This poses a great danger to basic civil rights such as freedom of expression and equality, and leads to racism and discrimination, which are suffered mainly by minority groups in society. It seems that although each group has a certain responsibility for preserving and sometimes escalating the situation, most people recognize the severity of the situation and understand its negative implications on Israeli society.

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