The fifth in a series of articles and videos prepared by the Israel Democracy Institute in the run-up to April 9, explaining and critiquing what goes on during an election period
The five-year plan for the development of the Arab community was a giant step forward towards the socioeconomic advancement of Israel’s Arabs, nevertheless the current election campaign is going to be the acid test: Is the Israeli government serious about integrating the country’s Arab citizens into the broader society, or merely in promoting the Arab economy in light of its importance for the country’s overall prosperity?
In its fight against terrorism, Israel has often been proud of its ability to effectively fight terrorism, while remaining faithful to democratic principles. House demolitions were always considered a necessary evil, which could be resorted to in very exceptional circumstances - are we now facing populist trends that runs contrary to the traditional ethos of subjecting counterterrorism policies to rule-of-law constraints.
The deputy president of the Jerusalem District Court inaugurated the Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, issuing the first verdict based on it - imposing punitive damages on Hamas for the severe post-traumatic stress suffered by a Jewish Israeli wounded in a terror attack in Tel Aviv in 1998.
The Israel Democracy Institute issued a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Nation State Billl, asserting that if the value of equality is not anchored in the legislation alongside the other enumerated national characteristics of the state, the law may eventually erode Israel's democratic character
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality: "The establishment of the Democracy Pavilion is an impressive demonstration of Israeli democracy. Only in a democratic society can freedom and tolerance co-exist. This is what allows the opposing sectors of Israeli society to live side by side." The Democracy Pavilion is located at the start of the Independence Trail in Tel Aviv and is open to the public free of charge.
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.
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.
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.
IDI Researcher Chanan Cohen says that while the greatest tension in Israel is between Arab and Jewish Israelis, there is cause for hope. The vast majority of Jews support having Arabic translations of public signs in Israel, teaching Arabic in school and having Arab citizens represented in the civil service. This article was first posted in the New York Jewish Week.
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.
On June 4, 2014, IDI experts Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs submitted a legal opinion to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation stating their concerns about the proposed Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People. A full translation of this legal opinion can be found below.
A bill entitled "Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People" is currently being considered by the Knesset. Although it was sponsored by a large number of Knesset members from a both the coalition and the opposition, the bill is controversial as it may disrupt the delicate balance between the "Jewish" and "democratic" identities of the State of Israel. In this op-ed, IDI Vice-President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Researcher Adv. Shiri Krebs argue that the bill is unnecessary and counterproductive to the goal of a Jewish and democratic Israel.
Israeli politicians deemed the attack of a group of Arab teens by a group of Jewish teens to be the act of "bad apples" who don't represent the norm. In the following op-ed, however, IDI researcher Attorney Amir Fuchs warns that the radicalization of Israeli youth is the fruit of a poisonous tree being cultivated in the Knesset itself.
Are there gaps in the level of formal education required of elementary school teachers in the Arab and Jewish sectors in Israel and the level of education that they actually attain? Dr. Nabil Khattab, head of IDI’s Arab-Jewish Relations project, explores this question as part of an attempt to understand gaps in achievement between Jewish and Arab schools.
The percentage of Arabs in the labor market is lower than that of other groups in Israeli society and is among the lowest in the world. Because this discrepancy is based on national-religious schisms, raising the Arab employment rate has important economic, social, and political-national implications. Find out more about this issue in this report, which was submitted by IDI's Arab-Jewish Forum to the Committee for Socio-Economic Change headed by Professor Manuel Trajtenberg.
In an op-ed from Yedioth Ahronoth written in honor of Israel's 63rd Independence Day, IDI Vice President of Research Yedidia Z. Stern reflects on the quality of Israeli independence, and asserts that a connection with the wellsprings of Jewish culture is necessary for maintaining the quality of the independence that Israel holds so dear.
The “Nakba Bill” would impose financial sanctions on institutions that commemorate Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning. In this op-ed from the Ynet website, IDI’s Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Adv. Amir Fuchs warned that while observing Israel’s Independence Day as a day of mourning by citizens of the State of Israel is “a galling, unpleasant, and defiant act,” the test of a true democracy is whether it is able to allow such expressions of freedom of speech.
A number of controversial bills recently tabled in the Knesset undermine basic constitutional values, add fuel to the international assault on Israel's legitimacy, and may end up damaging Israel's democratic character. In an article in The Jerusalem Post, IDI Former President and Founder Dr. Arye Carmon and Vice Presidents Professors Mordechai Kremnitzer and Yedidia Z. Stern respond to these initiatives.
Are the ostensibly anti-Arab bills under consideration by the Knesset, the “Rabbis’ Letter” that forbids the sale of real estate to non-Jews, and the findings of the 2010 Israeli Democracy Index clear-cut indicators that racism is on the rise in Israel today? Or are more complex factors at play? IDI Research Fellow Yair Sheleg shares his views on this matter.
IDI researcher Karin Tamar Shafferman calls for a reexamination of the relationship between Arabs and Jews in the State of Israel and an exploration of the way Israel's Arabs define themselves, in order to determine whether the equality that Ben-Gurion spoke of upon founding the State has been achieved.
Following is the response of the President, Senior Fellows, and Board of Directors of the Israel Democracy Institute to "The Future Vision of Palestinian Arabs in Israel" document published in December 2006 and to two additional documents published by the Israeli-Arab organizations Adalla and Mossawa at around the same time.
Was the Principle of Equality Before the Law Upheld?
A Quest for a Jewish-Arab Compact in Israel
The 9th Caesarea Economic Policy Planning Forum, June 2001
The Caesarea Economic Policy Planning Forum, 2001