Task Force Activities
A recent comprehensive audit conducted by the Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel sheds light on the alarming levels of idleness and rising crime rates among young Arabs in Israel. The report calls for government intervention to address the root causes, provide necessary resources, and foster integration, aiming to bridge socio-economic gaps and create a safer, more productive future for the entire nation.
On Monday, May 23, 2023, IATF hosted a Zoom call titled “Arab Public Elementary Schools: New Approaches to Narrowing Gaps” with The Israel Center for Educational Innovation (ICEI) to discuss new government efforts and civil sector partnerships to improve performance.
The surge in violence and crime-related incidents resulting in the deaths of Arab individuals in Israel has become a significant concern in 2023. Since the start of the year, 84 Arab individuals have been killed, with the majority of the victims being citizens and residents of East Jerusalem. Gun violence and organized crime are major factors contributing to the rising homicide rates, and there is a growing sense of insecurity among Arab citizens. The government's previous efforts to combat crime, such as the GR-549 plan, which allocated funding for crime prevention in Arab society, have been stalled by the new Ministry of National Security. Additionally, the establishment of a combat-trained National Guard has raised concerns among Arab leaders, as it may perpetuate the perception of Arab citizens as enemies and blur the line between them and Palestinians in the West Bank. Civil society organizations have called for action, organizing protests and vigils to raise awareness about the violence and lack of funding. They emphasize the need for dialogue and a transformative shift in the political landscape to address the underlying challenges faced by the Arab community and promote equality and justice.
Photo: Screenshot of Three Bullets Episode Cover on Groundwork, April 13.
A new study by the Taub Center examines patterns of migration within Israel from 2017 until 2020 in eight mixed cities in Israel by migrants’ socioeconomic status and their impact on changes in the social fabric of cities. The findings testify to changes in the size and composition of the population, both ethnically and socioeconomically. In Jerusalem and Ramla, the population of Arabs has increased, while in Lod, the Jewish population has increased. External migration in Nof HaGalil increased the Arab population in the city at an annual rate of 4.5%. In the majority of mixed cities, Jews tend to live in areas with higher socioeconomic standing than the Arab population. An exception to this is Nof HaGalil where there is more similarity between the Jewish and Arab populations in terms of socioeconomic standing, and the patterns of migration indicate a possible improvement in the overall socioeconomic status of the city in the future.
Since the inauguration of Israel’s thirty-seventh government on December 29, 2022, Israeli society has been in turmoil. Protests that began in early January against various illiberal aspects of the new governments’ agenda grew and intensified as they coalesced around proposed judicial reforms and their implications for Israeli democracy. Arab citizens have been largely uninvolved in the protests, for reasons described below. Yet, Arab society is deeply concerned about the government’s shift in overall policies, priorities and tone, and what impact these developments will have on Arab citizens and communities.
This paper aims to outline the major areas of concern regarding the new government with respect to Arab society, state-minority, and Jewish-Arab relations. It then points to emerging lines of thought about responses in the field.
Learn how shared Jewish-Arab Ramadan Activities are continuing in 2023.
Photo: Jewish and Arab Alumni of Appleseeds Academy at Iftar in Ramle. Courtesy of Orit Bash, Director of Partnerships at Appleseeds.