24/10/2012 06:02 BST | Updated 24/10/2012 06:27 BST

Israeli Jews Believe The Country Already Practices Apartheid Against Its Arabs, Survey Shows

The majority of Israeli Jews believe they should have more rights than their Arab countrymen, according to a survey which reveals the extent of ultra-nationalist views in the country.

The findings also reveal that the majority of Jewish Israelis already believes the country practises apartheid against Arabs.

The survey, based on a sample of 503 interviews and published in the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz shows 59% of Israeli Jews want to be given preference over Israeli Arabs for jobs in public life.

A third want to ban Israeli Arabs for voting for people to represent them in parliament and 49% want Israel to treat its Jewish citizens better than Arabs.

Haaretz commentator Gideon Levy said the survey painted a "sick" picture of Israeli society.

"Now it is not just critics at home and abroad, but Israelis themselves who are openly, shamelessly, and guiltlessly defining themselves as nationalistic racists," he wrote.

"We're racists, the Israelis are saying, we practice apartheid and we even want to live in an apartheid state. Yes, this is Israel."

As well as hostility against Israeli Arabs, MP Miri Regev recently attacked African migrants to the country as "a cancer in our body."