The UK Task Force on issues facing Arab citizens of Israel

The UK Task Force on issues facing Arab citizens of Israel

The UK Task Force on issues facing Arab citizens of Israel is a diverse, broad-based coalition of organisations committed to the welfare of Israel and its secure and peaceful existence. Members of the Task Force support Israel's Declaration of Independence, including the article promising social and political equality for all its inhabitants - Jews and Arabs alike. We are committed to building a shared society between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens.

Israeli Supreme Court Judge Theodore Or, author of the eponymous 2003 Report and 2004 follow-up report, concluded that the future of Israel's Arab citizens is a defining strategic issue facing Israel, affecting its prosperity and security. Since the Or Report, which was commissioned in the wake of the violent events in 2000, Jewish-Arab relations in Israel have continued to be strained.

In recent years, the British Jewish community has shown a growing awareness of issues facing Israel's Arab citizens, manifested in new educational initiatives on the subject, additional support for relevant projects in Israel and an increase in visits to Arab communities in Israel. The Task Force provides an organisational structure to ensure that this awareness is sustained, increased and evaluated. It has been set up as a sister organisation to the North American Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues (IATF)

The founding members of the Task Force were: The Board of Deputies of British Jews, New Israel Fund UK, Pears Foundation, The UK Friends of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, United Jewish Israel Appeal and The Zionist Federation.

The Task Force exists to increase awareness of issues facing Arab citizens of Israel amongst the UK Jewish community and beyond. We hope to provide a forum for information-sharing and discussion of the issues and to encourage the environment, both nationally and internationally, for those seeking partnerships to support civic equality in Israel. Activities include providing members with briefings, advice, support and contacts with Arab communities in Israel, as well as study trips to learn about the realities on the ground.

We aim:

  1. To deepen UK Jewish engagement with, and understanding of, issues facing Israel's Arab citizens and leverage communal resources to provide effective solutions.
  2. To ensure that engagement with the issues is sustained, increased and independently evaluated.
  3. To encourage member organisations to work with Israeli partners to strengthen civil society activity, including Jewish and Arab leadership.
  4. To build links with international partners engaged in similar endeavours in order to ensure effective engagement with the issues.

Helpful info:

April 2011 update

UK Task Force Study Trip 2011

Rabbi Brawer

The UK Task Force on issues facing Arab citizens of Israel