Task Force Activities
As Israel approaches its third consecutive national elections on March 2nd, many eyes are on Arab citizens. The two previous elections saw dynamic developments regarding Jewish-Arab political relations. These ranged from the breakup of the Joint List before April’s vote and subsequent low Arab voting rates, to a strong September turnout in response to the list’s reunification and unprecedented steps by both Jewish and Arab political leadership towards greater cooperation.
This third cycle follows the publication of the American peace proposal, which includes the possibility that 10 Arab communities in Israel's Triangle region could become part of a future Palestinian state. How has publication of the proposal—and this clause specifically—affected Arab voters? What other issues have influenced political discourse in this round, and how do they compare to the developments over the last year?
Created by alumni of Israel's Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education, MIshMish is a web series discussing the impact of shared society and how shared space plays out in Israel's diverse cultural settings. Episode 1 features the band "White Sheet," Muslim artist Suha Furruja, and a Hasidic sect known as "Nachmans" from the area of Gush Dan and the Triangle cities, Tira and Taibe, and Wadi Ara.
The Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and the Edlavitch DCJCC are proud to present the 10th annual film festival, The 21%: The Lives of Arab Citizens of Israel, an in-depth exploration of the daily lives and challenges of Arab Citizens of Israel.
The program will feature the DC premiere of Breaking Bread, an award-winning documentary about Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel - the first Muslim Arab to win Israel's MasterChef – and her quest to make social change through food. The film gives an inside look at the A-sham Arabic Food Festival she founded in Haifa where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on mouthwatering dishes.
Following the film, join us for an audience talk-back with the filmmaker, Beth Hawk, and Gazala Halabi, a celebrity Druze chef from Israel and a “shuk” featuring Israeli food from various restaurants and caterers as well as NGOs working to build a shared society in Israel.
- 11:00am-12:30pm | Screening Breaking Bread
- 12:30pm-1:00pm | Panel with Beth Hawk, Filmmaker and Gazala Halabi, celebrity Druze chef
- 1:00pm-2:00pm | Shuk
Sponsored by the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and the Edlavitch DCJCC.
Lead Support provided by The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and The Lois and Richard England Family Foundation.
LEARN MORE AND PURCHASE TICKETS HERE: The program is Pay-What-You-Choose; RSVPs are required as they expect a sell-out event.
On January 28, the Trump Administration unveiled a vision document for a “comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians” entitled, “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People.
This post focuses on Arab society’s reaction primarily to this clause in the plan, and on the speculations related to the impact on elections.
In December 2019, the National Insurance Institute (NII) of Israel published its annual poverty report (Hebrew), presenting data on the scope, degree, and characteristics of poverty in the country for 2018. The report shows that despite rising employment rates and gradually rising salaries, poverty in Israel “is, to a large extent, treading in the same place” when compared to 2017, after a significant decrease in poverty rates between 2009-2013. As a result, Israel maintains its position on the OECD scale with one of the highest poverty rates compared to other developed countries, with even higher poverty rates among children.
Poverty rates rose among Arab citizens, but the depth and severity of poverty decreased by several percentage points as they did nationwide. However, the data about Arabs may not present a comprehensive picture as the current report includes a “problematically small sample” of East Jerusalem Arab residents, about half the number of interviews from last year’s report. According to the authors, this has “probably led to distortions in the results.”
The IPBC - Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation KAN TV's Sorry for the Question!, a program that creates a space for participants and viewers to ask questions and confront stereotypes, features Arab citizens of Israel. Questions submitted by Jewish viewers include, “Do you know any terrorists?” and “Were you taught to hate Jews in school?” The program provides an "honest and intimate glimpse into the lives of groups dealing with social stigma through questions asked by viewers."