Arab-Jewish Relations

IDI's Arab-Jewish Relations program seeks to mitigate the tensions between Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority and create a shared, inclusive society. The program seeks to address the social, cultural, economic and legal barriers to the integration of Israel's Arab minority into the Israeli state and society. Program staff members devise and promote policy recommendations designed to allow Israel's Arabs to prosper as citizens with equal rights and opportunities.

Among other initiatives, the program is initiating a regular survey of facts and figures about the Arab-Israeli population, developing a model of shared workspaces for Israeli employers, advancing the inclusion of Arab citizens in government decision-making, promoting mutual understanding between Jews and Arabs, and organizing forums for dialogue between Jews and Arabs and Arabs and state institutions.

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    Adv. Eli Bahar

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    Eli Bahar holds an MA in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and teaches courses in the Law Department of Tel Aviv University. He served as the legal advisor to the Shin Bet from 2006 to 2011.

     

     

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    Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya

    Director

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    Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya holds an MA in education and social geography and is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Tel Aviv University. The topic of her doctoral dissertation is, “The contemporary impact of social space barriers on the inaction and future orientation of young Arabs aged 18–22.”

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    Adv. Lila Margalit

    Researcher

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    Arik Rudnitzky

    Researcher

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    Mr. Rudnitzky is a PhD student who has been researching Arab Israeli issues for more than a decade. His fields of expertise cover political, national and social developments in Israel's Arab society; Jewish-Arab relations; and government policies on Arabs in Israel. Rudnitzky holds MA (magna cum laude) and BA degrees in Middle Eastern History from the Faculty of Humanities and an MBA degree from the Faculty of Management, both at Tel Aviv University. 

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    Salim Brake

    Research Assistant

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    Mayson Shada

    Research Assistant

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Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya’s research finds that shared work spaces in Israel benefit both Jews and Arabs alike. Moreover, working together reduces alienation, erodes stereotypes, and contributes to the Israeli economy.

The majority of the Arab public want to be included in the State’s decision-making processes, and support Arab ministers serving in the government.

 

The National Economic Council has repeatedly stated that the human capital potential of Arab society could be a significant source of economic growth, and is a resource that has not been developed.

Arab women - around 10% of the total population of Israel - barely participate in the workforce, far below the employment rate of Arab or even ultra-Orthodox men. Why?

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On the complex relationship between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the secret to bringing down the walls of fear and prejudice

Rabin's legacy was equal representation at decision-making levels, fair regulation of land and services in Arab towns and equality as a right that’s guaranteed to all.

A state that is proud of its identity has nothing to fear from granting all its citizens equality.

How both faiths can use their common threads and customs as a means to connect, dialogue and cooperate.

The state and its Arab leadership, not only the political leadership, must work together to bring as many Arab citizens as possible into the decision-making echelons.

The north presents real opportunities for Israel’s society and economy. Turns out that the solutions have been in plain sight all along.

Now you know what it's like to feel marginalized and unequal in Israel. Arab citizens know that all too well. That's why we must join forces.

Israel’s leadership appears to have diverted from Theodor Herzl’s path. Instead of striving to create equality and a common ground, it is doing everything in its power to incite and divide for the sake of a few more votes.

 

Recent findings by the Central Bureau of Statistics on the Israeli labor market reveal that 80% of the country's Arab citizens are employed in jobs with difficult physical conditions. Watch a Research Reel about the NEET phenomenon among Israel’s Arabs.

Haredim and Arabs must be integrated into society and economy to take the start-up nation to the next level.

The author proposes a number of policy recommendations that could help Israel’s Arab population, and could be applicable to any society that suffers from socioeconomic segregation and related challenges. This article was first published by Jmore.

Instead of accepting the Arab local authorities’ proposal for a dialogue and the preparation of a comprehensive joint strategic plan for permitting construction in the Arab locales, the government is continuing to destroy Arab homes in Israel ... and there is no solution on the horizon.

Although one need not agree with the positions held by Israel’s Arab citizens, it can’t be denied that they constitute an independent, moderate voice – and a promising political middle ground on the Palestine- Israeli conflict. This article first appeared in The Jerusalem Post.

Few stories illustrate the unfeeling and aggressive attitude of the Israeli government toward the Arab-Bedouin population of the Negev as well as the case of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. In this op-ed, which was first published by JTA, Eli Bahar and Thabet Abu Ras of the Abraham Fund discuss Israel's obligations toward its minority citizens.

The integration of talented Arab employees into Israel’s hi-tech sector could relieve the human-resources shortage for employers. Encouraging Arabs to enter the hi-tech industry could improve their economic situation significantly, which would reduce inequality and contribute to a reduction of social tensions in the Arab community.

Following the publication of the Poverty Report, Dr. Sami Miaari points out the large percentage of Arab Israelis that live in poverty. He says the current situation requires a new strategy and economic investment on several levels simultaneously. This article first appeared on Times of Israel.

Arab elected officials have disappointed the public time after time with their lack of professionalism in how they lead their constituents toward political change. (This article was originally published by the Jerusalem Post.)

Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya and Eli Bahar say the biggest difference between the security situations in 2000 and now is the profound lack of understanding between the two sides. This article was first published on the Times of Israel website.

Eli Bahar says we must not accept this state of affairs as a fait accompli. He reminds that we can change the situation even if it seems that it has almost reached the point of no return.

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer explains the importance of the fifth meeting of IDI's Police and Society Forum, which was dedicated to the question of partnership and transparency in the relationship between the Israel Police and Arab society.

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Att. Talya Steiner warn that the veteran's benefit bill, which is intended to extend benefits to those who have contributed to the State, discriminates against Israel's Arab citizens, who are exempt from military service in Israel.

Should the State always present its position in a unified voice or should state institutions with specific expertise sometimes be allowed to present their views separately? Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Talya Steiner address this question In an op-ed in Haaretz.

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Talya Steiner warn that the proposed veterans benefits bill, which would give preferential treatment in employment, higher education, and housing to those who have served in the Israeli army, gives license to discriminate against Israel's Arab minority.

The recently passed Nation State Law changed the status of Arabic from an official language in the State of Israel to a language with “special status". Although some may view this as only a symbolic measure, this decision has broad implications for the Israeli public. Our discussion will examine this change from a broad perspective and will relate to the many aspects of this issue. Among other things, we will discuss the study of Arabic in the education system, the presence of the Arabic language in the public and media arenas and language as a means for cultural expression.

  • Open to the public
  • Live
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This conference will present a comprehensive analysis of the Israeli government's accomplishments, set backs and challenges yet to be addressed with regards to the status of Arab society in the country over the last decade.

  • Participation by invitation only
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A joint discussion presented by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Abraham Fund.

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Co-sponsored by IDI and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Israel

  • Open to the public
  • Live
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A roundtable hosted by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Abraham Fund Initiatives.

  • Live
  • Open to the public
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A roundtable on the proposed solution to the problem of Bedouin settlements in the Negev.

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On Sunday, November 20, 2011, IDI convened the George Shultz Roundtable Forum to explore the meanings and implications of the proposed Basic Law: Israel - The Nation State of the Jewish People.

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