Press Release

The Arab Israeli Vote in the 2013 Elections


Marked Drop in Arab Sector Voting Rate Over Past Decade

Sunday, November 25, 2012 17:00 – 20:30, Israel Democracy Institute, 4 Pinsker Street, Jerusalem – The upcoming Israeli elections mark a crucial juncture for Israel, and indeed for the entire Middle East. Given the stakes involved and the backdrop of the Arab Spring, one would expect Israel's Arab citizens to turn out in high numbers. Yet, the rate of participation by Israeli Arabs in recent elections has markedly decreased. Given that Arabs make up 20% of Israel's population, this is a matter of great concern both for Israel's Arab population and for Israeli democracy as a whole.

Why are fewer Israeli-Arabs choosing to exercise their right to vote? Is it an expression of estrangement from the political system or a reflection of an ideological commitment to isolationism? Can this trend be countered by the government or influenced by Arab Israeli leadership? Is there a connection between lack of political participation and inequality?

These and other questions will be addressed during a roundtable discussion jointly sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Abraham Fund Initiatives.

Prof. Tamar Hermann, Academic Director of IDI's Guttman Center for Surveys, will present relevant findings from recent Peace Index Surveys and the annual Israeli Democracy Index, and pollsters Dahlia Scheindlin and Hisham Jubran will present a study on the political participation of Arab citizens of Israel commissioned by the Abraham Fund Initiatives.

Speakers will include:

  • MK Dr. Ahmad Tibi, Chairman of the Ta'al party
  • MK Dr. Jamal Zahalka, Chairman of the Balad party
  • MK Yuval Zellner, Kadima
  • Former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner
  • Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, IDI Vice President

The event will take place in Hebrew and will be streamed live from the IDI website. Interviews in English may be scheduled upon request.

For more information, to RSVP, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Yehoshua Oz
IDI Director of International Communications