The picture painted by the mainstream international media and loud-mouthed anti-Israel advocates is always the same: Israel is a racist and oppressive place to live for Arabs. This, so the argument goes, is particularly true following this week's government approval of the controversial "Jewish State" law.
But, if Israel's such a bad place for non-Jews to live, then why does an overwhelming majority local Arabs prefer life under the rule of the Israeli government, as opposed to the Palestinian Authority?
That was the finding of a survey commissioned by Israel's Channel 10 News and carried out last week by the Statnet research institute, which is headed by Israeli Arab statistician Yousef Makladeh.
Makladeh asked fellow Arabs plainly and clearly: "Under which authority do you prefer to live, Israel or the Palestinian Authority?"
A full 77 percent of respondents chose Israel.
This was despite the fact that most respondents said that as a minority, they experience some degree of racism, and that only nine percent felt they enjoy full equality with Israel's Jewish citizens.
An 81 percent majority said they believe Israel is trying to alter the status quo on the Temple Mount, where Jews are currently forbidden to pray, but 84 percent said they oppose the reactionary violence emanating from the Arab sector.
An earlier Peace Index poll found that a 46.5 percent plurality of Israeli Arabs ultimately support allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, which is Judaism's holiest site. Just 34 percent continue to oppose such a change, and 19.5 percent declined to weigh in on the topic.
PHOTO: Former Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts a Muslim holiday together with local Arab leaders at the presidential residence in Jerusalem.